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Parami Courses allow Youths to Advance their Roles in Making Social Impacts

Parami Institute of Continuing Education (PICE) provides liberal arts and sciences education to young people in Myanmar to explore several courses from different disciplines—physical sciences, education, social sciences, life sciences, engineering, and applied sciences and humanities. 

With the aspiration to expand knowledge, advance career development, and solve social issues in society, youths in Myanmar and those studying abroad have joined the online short courses offered at PICE this summer. Some students who attended the courses—Writing for Social Change, Democracy, The World Economics and Finance, Design Workshop—highlighted the main concepts and lessons they acquired from the summer program. Moreover, they shared the lessons and skills they found compelling and practical to apply in their professional field and daily lives. Some students have been exercising their liberal arts skills, delivering positive impacts on their society through their passion and dedication. 

With her passion for writing, Aye Shweri Cho (Alice), joined the Writing for Social Change class to explore how using writing can initiate or amplify change in society. She has experienced submitting essays, monologues, and poetry for literature competitions. Two weeks after joining the writing course, Alice started her account on medium.com to post her work on an international platform. Her writing discusses topics on gender and other related issues in society. 

"The most important concept I’ve learned from the course is the combination of three—Ethnos: appealing for credibility, Pathos: appealing for emotions, and Logos: appealing for logic. These concepts also work to counter-check the message. Ethnos, Pathos, and Logos are such eye-opening concepts. The immediate effort is to apply these concepts that I have learned to my entry for feminist literature, which is a niche, but emerging sub-type of Myanmar literature. My previous works [writing] were published before, but I believe that I'm now more capable of composing more concise, engaging, impactful content for a course that I'm already dedicated to."  

Meanwhile, Kyaw Zin, the Director of Call Me Today, a free phone counseling, joined the writing class in the hope of improving his service and the engagement of content and stories related to counseling for mental health. “The class has taught me that writing is more than just writing whatever we want the audience to know. The information we give out has to be precise and not biased. As the counseling service atCall Me Today” started with my personal story, I can modify my stories to be more engaging. Mental health is one of the social problems in our community, and I can now write in a more structured way so that the audience can receive a clear message.” 

Si Thu De Dee is a team member of The Nerds design team, from the Design Workshop class, presented a design problem solution for “How Might We Reduce Mental Exhaustion of Matriculation Students,” during the design workshop's final pitch, and his team won third place. Inspiring to improve skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills.

“The very stage process of the design thinking concept is essential for me. I lacked the skill to solve problems efficiently before, but Dr. Romina taught me to think differently from my perspective and other points of view when joining the class. I have achieved to improve my problem-solving skills and communication skills among my family and friends." He also shared that he has been working with another team member from the class, sharing the idea from the design project with his friend, who is volunteering his time providing counseling for matriculation students at one organization. "I received good news from my friend saying that ideas we shared with him turned out to be effective. As a matriculation tutor, I'm going to apply the design solutions that we worked on for the design project to provide the students [dealing with mental exhuastion].  

The turmoil and the global pandemic have caused economic instability in Myanmar, more or less. Working in the legal field for almost ten years, Su Hlaing Aye attended The World Economics and Finance to expand her knowledge about global economic policy and related topics, which will be helpful for her career. 

"I got to explore more about economic policy: macroeconomics and microeconomics, the causes of inflation, capital flow and banking, and the current economic situation in Myanmar. Apart from the lecture, we got a chance to learn from guest speakers who are proficient in the economic and financial sector, and have worked in Myanmar before or in Asia, sharing their analysis on investment and economic status in Myanmar during the coup, and including the current banking situation. Also, studying the research papers of OECD, IMF, IFC, World Bank, and notes from Lex helped me understand more about the class, including the importance of transparency in financial reports. As a lawyer, I am more capable of advising clients from a commercial point of view. From economics and financial aspects, I will be able to estimate the situation of Myanmar in 5-10 years." 

Expecting to learn new perspectives from different international scholars and democratic concepts and share the knowledge with his community, Myo Win Hlaing, an English teacher and former teacher of the introduction to democracy course, joined the Democracy course at Parami. "I found it easy to learn three key elements of democracy: processes, institutions, and values from Dr. Kevin Quiggley. I also learned from the democratic discussion that the future is not sure to be democratic or undemocratic. Well, with respect to my view, I am confident that I will be passing on the democratic knowledge or culture to my community. Appreciating democratic norms, I will be sharing democratic knowledge with his community. 

In a time of unprecedented global challenges, it is inevitable for both local and global communities to work together. With this in mind, both courses and programs offered at Parami are designed to provide students with sought-after skills such as critical and creative thinking skills, analytical skills, and problem-solving skills, which are essential to deal with the unexpected crisis and today's rapidly changing world.  

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