Access to Learning Programme
In a region containing some of the fastest growing economies in the world, Myanmar remains one of the poorest countries in Asia. Reliable data about Myanmar is difficult to obtain, but there is evidence of widespread poverty and vulnerability. Its Human Development Index rank of 148/186 (UNDP) is the lowest in the region. Where data does exist, it shows that Myanmar did not achieve many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is similarly off track for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In many regions there is no education available after Grade 10 and often children are unable to complete their schooling even to this level. While people from Myanmar have always placed a high value on education, the state education system has failed its population.
State education in Myanmar also falls well below international standards; students learn by memorising long passages from often out of date or inadequate text books, and are not taught critical thinking or analytical skills, a form of learning which we take for granted. Because it is so inadequate, education is sometimes not valued by older generations, who may remove their children from schooling before they have completed secondary school. The effect of a quality education on an individual as well as their wider community, however, is enormous. With each year an individual attends school, their income potential increases by around 10 percent. It not only has an effect on income potential, but on all aspects of life. If a mother has the ability to read, her children have a 50 percent greater chance of surviving past the age of five.
Our Access to Learning programme gives disadvantaged people from Myanmar the opportunity to gain a quality education which will change their lives forever. Through our programme, they gain the crucial foundation skills they need to access higher education, from critical thinking skills to an internationally recognised English Language qualification. Through this we open up opportunities that would not be possible otherwise, either to pursue further education, or employment which will afford them a better income and quality of life. One of our projects is Sky Age.