Title

Bridging Gaps in Burma’s Education: The Role of Migrant Schools Along the Thai-Burma Border

Presenter

Paal Nilssen

Abstract

Burma’s military government has kept many of its colleges closed for the past 20 years for fear of another student-led uprising for democracy. Some 25 percent of Burma’s budget is allocated to the military compared with only 1.3 percent for education. Lack of funding makes Burma’s education system one of the weakest in Southeast Asia. Thus, many students leave the country to find education in Mae Sot, a Thai-Burma border town, where grassroots organizations provide funding for migrant ethnic minorities. I examine the effects of grassroots organizations on migrant communities and how education, as a perceived form of success, can also be a form of political resistance. Organizational efforts make it possible for migrant children to receive an education and return to their native villages in Burma to teach future generations.

Faculty Sponsor

Kimberly Mueller

Sponsor Department/Programs

Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

Tracks

Health, Education and Ecology

Location

Science 159

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Bridging Gaps in Burma’s Education: The Role of Migrant Schools Along the Thai-Burma Border

Science 159

Burma’s military government has kept many of its colleges closed for the past 20 years for fear of another student-led uprising for democracy. Some 25 percent of Burma’s budget is allocated to the military compared with only 1.3 percent for education. Lack of funding makes Burma’s education system one of the weakest in Southeast Asia. Thus, many students leave the country to find education in Mae Sot, a Thai-Burma border town, where grassroots organizations provide funding for migrant ethnic minorities. I examine the effects of grassroots organizations on migrant communities and how education, as a perceived form of success, can also be a form of political resistance. Organizational efforts make it possible for migrant children to receive an education and return to their native villages in Burma to teach future generations.