Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mary's story: ECCD teacher in Aing Ma Village, Laputta Township

By Aye Aye Yee, Education Specialist

Ayeyarwady Region, 15 September 2016 – Mary Moe, 40, is an Early Childhood Development (ECD) teacher, and a motivated mother who lives with her eight children and her husband in one-room house without electricity, in Aing Ma village, in a rural area of Laputta, Ayeyarwady Region.
Mary has been teaching the village’s children from 3 to 5 years of age since Nargis hit their community. In 2008, as the village was severely affected by the cyclone, development partners provided a number of facilities in Aing Ma School, including a new preschool.

With approximately 60 students, this is a small community-based preschool. ”Unfortunately, some children could not join the Early Childhood Care Programme at the preschool because they live far away from the village with no means to come every day”, Mary Moe explains. “This is one area marked by lack of infrastructures and vulnerable and poor families, who live from fishing and agriculture.”

Situated by the sea, Aing Ma is often hit by severe weather.  Indeed, the preschool building has been degrading due to frequent heavy rain, storms and floods.  “The young children do not have a healthy environment to learn in and a playground for their physical growth”, the teacher explains. 

Sometimes, when her salaries were late, she wanted to quit her job. However, every time it happened, the students’ mothers organised fundraising activities to pay ECCD teachers’ salaries, children’s food and school materials.

During ECCD teachers’ trainings, Mary Moe learnt how to create safe and stimulating environments at preschools and the minimum quality standards, including separate toilets for children, and an inclusive policy that welcomes all children, regardless of their physical and academic abilities.

Mary has been dreaming to have a clean, secure and healthy school facility for her 60 students. She wishes her own children and all village’s students to have a resistant shelter where they can learn safely even during rainy season, when storms often hit the delta, and parents might be out at sea.

Thanks to the support of UNICEF Korea, the dream has finally came true. A new ECCD centre, which includes toilet facilities, has just been inaugurated and is now ready to use.

Mary, in pink blouse, participating in a workshop for outdoor playground development
”The new ECCD centre made me the happiest person in the community”, Mary Moe affirms. But she is not alone. Parents couldn’t be more satisfied with the new cyclone-resistant and barrier-free infrastructure. As Michael and Rosy affirm, “now we can go to work knowing that our children are safely learning in school” These parents  believe the new school  will build a better learning better foundation, contributing to a smooth transition to school which in turn will help their children to succeed in life.”

Mary makes every effort to spend time with her young children in preschool and oversee them all the time. She is proud to be a teacher and witness their development. “Providing a quality ECCD programme in this newly build centre, will give children better chances and options in life”, she concludes.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting and the village deserve it earlier but still needed after many years of Nagis.