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Alumna Jamper Htaw’s Journey to Expand Educational Opportunities in Hometown

Jamper Htaw is one of Parami's students from the 6th cohort. She is currently working as an ESL teacher (English as a second language) at Career Bridge Learning Center in Mawlamyine, Mon State, which she co-founded with five other Mon youths in late 2020. After graduating from the Parami Leadership Program in May 2020, she went back to her hometown to establish the learning center and expand access to quality education for the youth in her community. She has been teaching English and Mon language while sharing educational content on social media platforms to reach the people in her community.  

She shared her philosophy about the approach to education, shaped by her own childhood experience. 

"I could not access a quality education [at school]. I was taught to read everything by heart, and as a result, there was nothing left in my head after the exam. The worst thing for me was reading the texts without knowing the exact meaning. I believe that if I got to experience critical thinking, understanding rather than memorization, and research learning at school, I could have learned better, and this would make school interesting for all the children in our country. Teachers play important roles as socializing agents. If a teacher teaches 20 students, the teacher can change the lives of 20 students, but with the right teaching approach—student-centered approach."⸺Jamper Htaw

Without having had an opportunity to access quality education herself when she was a high school student, she is keen to help the new generation access effective teaching systems to enhance their skills. Jamper has been teaching English to high school and university students at the Career Bridge Learning Center.  Also, she helps guide her students to focus on their learning and introduces them to career and educational opportunities. 

“I realized that the students need someone who could guide them to show them possible paths for their future. For me, no one told me to read books outside school. Even my parents did not know that I should read. No one guided me for my future. I started to understand the importance of reading when I was in my first year of university. It was late, but according to a proverb ‘It is better to be late than never’ I comforted myself not to regret it but to keep going. Also, most teenage boys started to use drugs, and most girls began to get married at an early age. As a consequence, a lot of them ended up in bad marriages since they could not balance their married life. I always encourage my students to stay motivated and find their passion and their potential," she explained. 

Jamper also reflected back on her experience at Parami and how it helped her in finding her own path.

She shared that "all the classes I have learned at Parami are worthwhile and valuable for my work. Currently, I get to apply the ideas from the writing and thinking workshop, the education courses, global history and political science courses, identity and ethics class, and environmental climate change class. I got to understand that diversity is beautiful. I am full of gratitude to Parami for preparing me to be confident and have high self-esteem. Parami teaches me to fully believe in myself." 

Apart from working as a full-time ESL teacher at the Career Bridge Learning Center, Jamper shares educational video content in Mon language on her Facebook page called Jamper Teachable with over 10k followers. She launched the page with objectives to promote children's autonomy so that the parents could see their children's talents and encourage parents to tune in and embrace children's ideas from different perspectives. 

Her motivation in sharing video content on childcare and parenting rose from hearing the struggle of new mothers dealing with their children. When creating video content, she applied the psychology and early childhood education knowledge acquired from Parami class and resources from the book called How to Talk, So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazilish. 

"Most parents are using parenting styles that their grandmother and their parents taught them. Some techniques are not appropriate, but I think they have no choices or other ideas. So, if they hear the new ways to deal with the kids, they would change their parenting styles to foster their kids' abilities. If they could think from diverse angles, they might agree with their children's ideas even if they are different. I believe if the parenting methods are right, the children will have less stress, will become more independent, and will have the courage to face the challenges in their life," she said. 

With better internet access, Jamper plans to share more content on the Jamper Teachable platform on diverse topics, including gender equality, environmental issues, and other general knowledge, helping to educate people in her community. 

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