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Student Voices: End of Fall Modular Period 1October 14, 2021
Parami introduced new programs and offered over 15 modular courses this fall semester after successfully launching a pilot program in the summer. The goal is to provide continuous learning opportunities for Myanmar students with flexibility and equitable access. Parami Fall semester modular period 1 has come to an end in the first week of October. We invited some of our students, including Parami Leadership Program alumni, students from the summer program, and those who recently joined Parami in the Fall semester modular period 1, for interviews to share their learning experiences and reflections on the courses at Parami.
Ca Hlei Lang, one of Parami's students from the 6th cohort, took the Remaking the World: Storytelling for Social Change class. Having a profound interest in writing stories, she told us that "Writing stories that reflect the era has always been my dream." She believes that having opportunities to voice and share true personal stories is very important amid chaos happening across the world, particularly in Myanmar, and this sparked her to pursue this course.
"We mainly talked about the power of stories, the art of essays, the art of manifestoes, and how writing changes the world to be a better place to live by exploring the works of writers in the past. Throughout the course, I learned how our small experience and story that we think is not worth sharing can turn into a deep and powerful piece of writing," she said.
“The lessons from the class have brought me new yet various perspectives alongside problem-solving skills. "...not only can I see things from different perspectives but also think outside of the box...I can apply those skills in both my professional and daily life.”⸺Ca Hlei Lang
Additionally, Zaw Zaw Aung attended the World of Economic and Finance class during the summer program at Parami. In the Fall semester modular period 1, he took the Human Rights Theory class.
"I have heard people talk about human rights, but I did not know [much about it]. In this course, I got to learn about human rights deeply. We have all been affected by human rights violations since the coup. We discussed [human rights] theory practically by relating to the current situation, which I found interesting." said Zaw Zaw Aung.
Similarly, Nay Myo Zaw, a modular course student, shared how his class, Globalization: Good, Bad, or Both, has changed how he views Myanmar's financial policy. Nay Myo Zaw acquired his MBA years ago, which acts as a prerequisite of the class, yet he stated that the lesson learned from the globalization class is beyond his expectation.
"From my MBA student life, I mostly learned about the microeconomic concept like how to manage and plan businesses, etc. I actually thought that the globalization course would generally be about the connection between these countries and that, but in reality, it is actually about the introduction to political economy. [In that] The macroeconomics attracted me a lot. It is also very relevant to Myanmar's current situation, like what we should do about Myanmar's macroeconomics policy... It was such an eye-opening moment for me.” ⸺Nay Myo Zaw
Nay Myo Zaw also added that he has registered for The World of Economics and Finance for the Fall semester modular period 2 to deepen knowledge in Financial Globalization, a topic from his globalization class.
Meanwhile, due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and political instability in Myanmar, Parami has pushed for essential cutting-edge learning tools for online mode of learning, using Zoom for meetings and Canvas as it is an online learning environment.
"I was surprised that we got a Parami domain email. It is a kind of thing that some companies cannot provide. The Canvas is also quite user-friendly as I used to use some LMS [Learning Management System] both at the enterprise and online learning levels. Canvas is quite good. It is very different from other platforms used by most schools…." Nay Myo Zaw shared.
Although classes at Parami are online, Parami is working hard to ensure that Parami classes will not fail to deliver interactive learning experiences for students while allowing students to experience the essence of liberal arts and sciences education. Students are encouraged to put effort into studies in and out of the classroom through the student-centered learning approach.
"The teaching method is active and participatory and induces critical thinking. The learning environment is non-judgmental, and people are willing to hear your thoughts. I have attended basic education and university...even asking questions, some people [in the class] would judge you for asking questions.” ⸺ Zaw Zaw Aung
As a PLP alumnus, Ca Hlei Lang has a good understanding of the liberal arts and education; she has found the group discussion session helpful for her learning.
"I learned a lot through group discussions. However, I learned the most through listening to classmates' sharing what they talked about in their separate groups in the main session, and I also learned through the teachers answering my classmates' questions during the class. And, of course, I could not leave out the feedback from my teachers. Those are invaluable." ⸺Ca Hlei Lang
Despite this Fall semester modular period 1 has just ended, it is only the beginning of the modular period 2 and the first half of Parami first semester of the academic year. The Parami eight-week-long Fall semester modular period 2 and new Parami programs will begin on October 18, 2021, with over 200 students. Based on liberal arts and sciences education principles, the second period of this Fall semester offers 20 courses covering more arts and humanities-related subjects and sustainability subjects from Community-Based Film as Art & Research: A Practice Workshop to Green Chemistry for Sustainable Development. Parami hopes nothing more than to provide Myanmar youth with opportunities to explore a wide range of profound knowledge through student-centered and interactive learning.
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