This weeks blog entry is written by two of our students in the Yangon Center, who wished to write about their experience this year at The Esther Project; we have left their comments unedited.
I am Pung Pung. I am in Grade 6. I am thirteen years old. When I attended the Esther Project, I was shy and afraid to study. But I really wanted to learn English and Computer. After a few days, I made new friends and enjoyed my class very much. And I made a progress in my English. Before I came to the Esther Project, I knew only a few English words. Now, I know new vocabularies between 100 and 150. And I feel I am also better in English speaking. I like to learn computer and I think it will be very helpful for me one day. My vision is to become a doctor. I want to help patients and want them to be healthy.
My name is Sui Sui. I am 17 years old. I am in grade 10. I think the Esther Project is very helpful for me since last year project. I learnt many new things regarding my English and Computer skills. I am shy to speak English very much. But now, I can speak English better than last year. And I also believe the Esther Project is helpful for me to do better in grade 10. Thats why I chose to study this year here whereas my friend learnt in tuitions. Understanding English is very important in grade 10. One day, I want to become a fashion designer. I want it for my professional career.
As we are now at the end of the first month of the Esther Project year, we scheduled a monthly test this past week. This past Friday, every student had to sit for their monthly examination. The test consists of English writing and speaking. The writing is from the assessment book. In the speaking test, the students have to complete three sections; Section A - Introduce yourself, Section B - Talk on a topic for 2 minutes and Section C - Question and Answer. Their marks will be released in next week report
Our 2nd year students are getting much better in English and are now able to make significant sentences on their own. These students are now able to share their personal story for about ten minutes in English in front of the rest of the students. We have a daily time period set aside where only English speaking is permitted in the classroom. They loved this time period and are able to carry on conversations with their study mate. Additionally, the 2nd year students are reading from the NIV Bible version daily and comprehending what they are reading. Most importantly, they are excited and eager to speak English more and more each day.
Our 1st year, class A students are also making excellent progress for their 1st month of classes. They can now make their own sentences following the grammar instruction and are asked to talk on a simple topic for about 3 to 5 minutes in English daily.
Our 1st year, class B students are the most challenging as they find it hard to learn the English language. They have in the past been neglected in their classrooms at school because they were bad in all subjects. Even in their orphanages, they are thought as black sheep. They have a difficult time focusing on studying and are easily distracted. For the first several weeks, we notice only minor improvements in their English skills, we, however, are not discouraged. We continue to encourage them and have repeated the lessons for them. Recently with the 2nd year students from the same orphanages helping them back at the orphanages, we have noticed an improvement in their attention, and effort. Over the past week, we have noticed a slow improvement in their use of English as well.
Regarding the computer class, most of our classes are doing very well, but much like last year for a group of the 1st year students a computer is still a very strange thing for them and they can’t understand the importance of having computer skills. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and this past week one of the students dropped a laptop on the floor accidentally in the classroom while she tried to make more space for herself. We have used this opportunity to explain how very important it is to take good care of the computers to the rest of the students.
At last, but not least, we had a birthday celebration for all of the students born in March this month. We believe it is helpful to have a birthday celebration for the students each month because most of the students have never seen a birthday cake and have never been blessed on their birthday in their life.
Solomon Shwe Oke (Esther Project Myanmar)
Our Esther Project, a non-profit program in Myanmar provides vocational training to orphans. We currently serve over 200 children in 29 orphanages in 6 locations.