The school year is now well under way. We’ve welcomed new teachers and students into the schools and things seem to be pretty busy! With the help of some new donors and lots of community support, we have managed to keep all our schools open – although we still do not have enough funding to enable us to pay all our teachers a full salary.
So for the coming school year, funding remains a big challenge. We have set up charities in both the US and UK (All You Need is Love), which we are hoping will attract a growing source of steady donations from individual and perhaps, some corporate donors. Although money will always be a concern, the focus of our energy remains on children, setting and maintaining high standards and high expectations, and providing the very best education that we possibly can.
It is likely that the year will also bring other challenges. There are some significant changes on the horizon in relation to broader political issues in Burma and Thailand, and these will inevitably have an impact on education for children living on the border. Some foreign groups perceive it likely that there will be rapid change with large-scale repatriation, resettlement and reconciliation. However, it is unrealistic to expect there to be any significant decline in the numbers of children needing education in the border area in the near future.
BMWEC recognises the importance of being proactive in planning for change, as well as proactive in ensuring that children are provided with the education that they need to meet their full potential in different national contexts, and this has particular implications for decision-making in relation to curriculum.
So there is lots to do – but we feel that we are growing in effectiveness and professionalism, that our standards are improving and that our children are achieving higher levels of education. The children that we teach are the leaders of tomorrow – so it is a job that we really need to do well.