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Educational Culture

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Title: Class Divide
Date of publication: 26 May 2014
Description/subject: "Since 2013, Ma Mya Mya Thet has been taking a one-year-and-five-month Master of Arts course in management and policy at the National Institute of Development Administration in Bangkok, Thailand, courtesy of a postgrad scholarship provided by the Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA). Her experience highlights the anxiety faced by many Myanmar students when it comes to teacher interactions in the classroom, at home or abroad. “My worst fear in the class is to ask questions and to be asked,” Ma Mya Mya Thet said in March following a TICA press conference at the Riva Surya Hotel about scholarships for Myanmar students. “It takes time for me to accustom myself to questioning the teachers in the class because we are not in the habit of asking questions,” said Ma Mya Mya Thet, who earned her bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from Pyay Government Technology College, then worked as a vice director at the Department of Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security. “We used to learn by heart and take exams from what we memorised.” Now, she said, she’s working hard to adjust to a more open, dialogue-based classroom. “I try to get into the habit of asking questions if I don’t understand something. The pedagogy here encourages me to research and think for myself. It is a big difference,” she said. Ma Mya Mya Thet said Myanmar students on the whole are more motivated and disciplined than their foreign counterparts, and study very hard, with a serious attitude. They’re also better at writing in English than their Thai students, perhaps as a result of their diligent study habits. But she said Myanmar students tend to be weaker in English speaking, “because we don’t normally use the English language in the workplace.” That problem is compounded by the fact that they’re not used to raising their voices with confidence in the classroom."...
Author/creator: Zon Pann Pwint
Language: English
Source/publisher: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/special-features/182-education-2014/10500-class-divide.html
Date of entry/update: 26 September 2014