Take a Look at Where the Burmese Students Live
We are now two months into the school Semester and would like to share the process about how we recruit students for the Burmese Learning Center. Take a look at how we facilitate student outreach to familiarize families with the Burmese Learning Center and how we recruit new and returning students.
The process begins 3 weeks before the start of school. The Foundation For Education and Development (FED) arranges meetings with families and communities to give information about the Burmese Learning Center and to register returning and new students. Information is given about pick up and drop off, a summary of the daily schedule and what curriculum is being taught. Families are able to directly ask any questions they have. FED also provides information on health related tops and current migrant rights.
We survey the main areas that students live and often times are directed to new students by families we visit. It is a lot of personal conversation with families and trying to figure out where families have moved or where new students may be. Since we have built trust and respect within the local community it is easy to simply walk within the community and get an assessment of how many students we may have. Prominent community leaders also help us to find prospective students.
The first area we surveyed was at the fishing pier, which is only 3 Kilometers away from the center and where the majority of students live. It is a dense population of people and the Burmese Families are living if very poor, tight, unsanitary conditions. Families that live at the pier work extremely hard. Males often times work on the commercial fishing boats and females work at the pier drying squid, selling snacks and cleaning. It is hard work for not a lot of money. For example the men will only make 250 THB a day. Families at the pier also have to pay for rent, visas, passports and documents. After surveying the fishing pier before this semester there was a total of 42 registered returning students and 6 new students.
The second area surveyed was at outlying areas around the school, about a 15 Kilometer radius. Jobs at these areas include working rubber tree plantations, palm oil plantations, shrimp farms, construction, lumber factories, pet food factories and ice factories. Both men and women do these jobs and the kids are expected to take care of the household so the parents can both work. We had a total of 33 registered returning students and 5 new students.
It was clear this time talking with parents that there reason for sending their kids to school included:
1. They want their students to get an education and a better, less laborious job when they grow up.
We also found out that 2 recently graduated students want to continue onto 7th grade. FED will help with supporting documents or have the students attend their learning center that is located one hour South of Kuraburi.
We were happy to see a total of 75 registered Returning Students and 11 New Students that were registered.