Volunteer Teaching in Myanmar
- PLACEMENT LOCATION: Dala, near Yangon (Rangoon)
- TYPES OF SCHOOLS: Monastery-run school
- AGE OF STUDENTS: 5 - 18 (mostly 5 – 15)
- CLASS SIZES: 20-40
- ROLE: Teacher or teaching assistant
- ACCOMMODATION: Shared volunteer apartments
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
Myanmar is one of the most underdeveloped countries in Asia and there is little to no access to education and health care outside of cities. This means that children living in rural areas have few opportunities for schooling except through Buddhist monasteries. As a volunteer on Projects Abroad’s Teaching Project, you will have a vital role to play in the local community and will help open doors for disadvantaged students.
To join the Teaching Project, you don’t need any previous teaching experience, nor do you need any formal teaching qualifications or a TEFL certification. You can volunteer as part of a gap year, career break, or vacation. When you start your project, our fully trained staff will be on hand to guide you and answer any questions you have about your placement.
Our Teaching Project in Myanmar is based in Dala, a severely underprivileged township located on the southern bank of the Yangon River, opposite central Yangon (Rangoon). It is a rural community despite its close proximity to the city, as there are no bridges or tunnels connecting the two areas. Crossings are only possible by ferry, which takes 20 minutes.
Volunteering Abroad as a Teacher in Myanmar
In Dala, we are partnered with a school that is run by a monastery. The school is a vital part of the community, as it provides free education to hundreds of students. However, there is only one local English teacher, which means that the resources for English education are spread far too thin. As a volunteer, you can make a significant impact by giving individual students and groups extra attention and help in the classroom. You will work closely with the local teacher, who will also assist you by providing translation when needed.
Did you know? Education was not prioritised during military rule and as such education indicators are among the lowest in the south-east Asian region. Now, spending on education has become a priority; in its 2015 budget, the government increased education spending by 21.6 per cent to US$1.4 billion, around 6.1 per cent of the total budget.
All volunteers on the Teaching Project in Myanmar focus on teaching English through arts and crafts, music, drawing, and playing educational games. A lot of the local education system is based on learning through songs and games, so you will often be asked to suggest and teach new activities. You can also help teach parts of the formal instruction on English grammar if you are interested.
You will find that the older students have learned a bit of English vocabulary and they will be eager to practice with you in and outside of the classroom. Local teachers will appreciate if you take the time to interact with the children and offer them your friendship and support. Whether you are helping with homework, playing sports, or teaching a new game, the time and attention you give will build the students’ confidence and future prospects!
Teaching volunteers work Monday to Friday, from 11am to 5pm. During the day, you will enjoy a lunch of typical local cuisine with the staff and students that is provided by the monastery.
You can join the Teaching Project in Myanmar from two weeks if you do not have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.