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Highlights of the Fall Semester Modular Period 2

The first week of Parami Fall semester modular period 2 began last week, and the first week of classes has gone wonderfully well. Parami accepted about 200 students with diverse ethnicities, religions, and regions across Myanmar for the 8-week modular courses and Parami Leadership Program (PLP) and Parami Social Entrepreneurship Program (PSEP). Almost 50% of students from Fall modular period 1 returned. The majority have registered for modular courses, while some have enrolled as program students. 

Virtual Student Orientation for 2021 Fall Mod 2

After completing their first week of classes, Parami has organized a community meeting that acts as a platform for students to share their learning experiences. The students from different courses shared that their first week of classes was surprisingly exciting and smooth. They added that they did not find any technical difficulties while attending classes thanks to the tech support session on the virtual orientation day that helped them get familiar with the technology tools used at Parami before starting their learning. Also, in the first week of the module, each class was joined by the Parami staff to provide students and faculty members with technical assistance and other support during the class session. 

Along with the modular courses, the Parami Leadership Program (PLP) and Parami Social Entrepreneurship Program (PSEP) have also started. The program students are both full-time and part-time. Both program and modular course students have shown great interest in learning and have actively engaged in the class activities since the first day of class.

In this modular period, 15 faculty members, including three in-house faculty members, are from a wide range of expertise ranging from economics to architecture. Most faculty members have several years of experience teaching Myanmar students. Some visiting faculty members from the summer program and the previous module have reopened their classes. 

Alaire Rieffel is one of the Parami visiting faculty members teaching a course called Writing with Clarity in the Fall semester modular period 1 and now offering the same class in this module. 

"This is my first term teaching at Parami. The students are terrific! I am impressed with their devotion to learning under challenging circumstances. I am motivated to teach at Parami because I thoroughly enjoy the students and interacting with them. While we are separated by distance and age, we are going through much the same experience in that our lives are severely constrained by COVID-19." ⸺Alaire Rieffel

In addition, Ye Pyae Thu, another visiting faculty member, offered Social Entrepreneurship: Recognizing Opportunities and Designing Social Ventures (Part 1) in the previous modular period and continued to teach the second part in this modular period 2.

"I am grateful to receive dedicated technical and academic support from Parami from the day I decided to teach a course. Despite the ongoing political turmoil in Myanmar, I am impressed by the levels of energy and interest the students have shown in my course. Since day one, they cannot help themselves engaging actively in Q&A sessions, discussion boards, and many other class activities. I have taught more than 16,000 college students. They [Myanmar students] are among the most diverse, active, and hard-working groups of students that I have ever seen." ⸺Ye Pyae Thu 

Parami’s Admissions and Students Affairs team plays a vital role in selecting students from all walks of life that reflects diversity. Jessica Khin, the Director of Admissions and Students Affairs of Parami, reflected on her team’s experience with the admission for Fall semester modular period 2 and the challenges they faced during the process. 

“The whole experience of recruiting hundreds of students from all parts of Myanmar in a short time for modular courses can be challenging as we had to give them entrance tests to examine their English skills. Most classes are taught in English and a few are bilingual. Another challenge might be online communication which is quite limiting due to unstable internet connection and electricity in Myanmar. ” 

In addition to the modular courses, the team also has to select potential students for three Parami programs―PLP, PSEP, and PEP.

“Due to the challenging circumstances the whole country is facing, we have to be considerate and mindful with our approach in admissions as well. I am very glad to find that students are willing to learn and thrive even during this debilitating situation in our country. The recruitment for the program students continues as we understand this opportunity can be quite demanding for many youths who want to hone their skills. We hope to see more qualified and motivated students in our programs in the future.” Jessica continued. 

Both modular students and program students have the opportunity to be in the same class and study together. The modular students will complete their eight-week courses on December 10th this year. The program students will be continuing their semester at Parami until they have completed the credit hours as the requirement of their respective programs in mid-2022. 

In the Fall semester modular period 2, Parami offers 20 different courses in the six main fields—humanities, arts, science/mathematics and computing, social science, interdisciplinary studies, and the real world. Since the summer program, Parami has been diversifying course areas to allow students to have more options to choose from based on their interests and passion. 

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