Ata – Myanmar, June 20, 2018 – Today Ursula Schnetzler-Broers, who works for our partner NGO Stiftunglife, visited the Acronis School to get updated on the school’s condition and effectiveness.
It has been almost seven months since the opening ceremony was celebrated and our colleague is generally very glad about the positive developments there.
The village community, which consists of five villages, is particularly grateful to have a school building which is still in good shape and well looked after. Currently, 381 pupils and 21 teachers from kindergarten up to grade 10 benefit from a comfortable learning environment, and children use the breaks to romp around the large playground, where big flame trees provide shade.
Building condition and furnishings
The school consists of five buildings with 14 classrooms, 14 toilets and one staffroom. Children from kindergarten up to grade 4 now have their own, fully occupied classrooms. The electricity generated by the solar panels is more than sufficient and children are very happy about the five computers. Students from grades 6 to 10 have computer lessons one hour a week – which is rarely, but this single hour is better than nothing. The toilets are also in good state of repair, water is available. At the moment, 8 teachers sleep in a hut on the school premises.
Concerning the learning atmosphere, it has to be mentioned that two classrooms in one of the older buildings are very dark. Our partner NGO considers whether some of the corrugated iron elements can be replaced with transparent elements to bring light to the darkness and to ensure that all children feel comfortable.
However, problems arise with the water supply – our partner NGO is currently trying to solve them:
The water pressure seems to be problematic, as the village community gets their water from another village. Over a distance of one kilometre, the water must flow through a pipe to the school premises – a very long way, possibly too long. To approach this problem, a solar engineer will examine if it is possible to install a well with a solar pump in the village of Ata itself, where the school is located. This measure would significantly improve the community’s living conditions, as water would then be available in the whole village – at the moment, the school is the only building which is connected to the water pump. Villagers would no longer have to walk by foot or drive with their ox carts to the neighbouring village to fetch the water. To ensure access to a supply of clean drinking water, the PAUL (Portable Aqua Unit for Lifesaving) water filters are used. Water is poured into the traditional clay pots and the results are well-received by children.
Lessons and educational achievement
Regarding the children’s educational achievement, there are some sad news: not a single student has passed the Matrix exam this year. These disappointing results can be attributed to the change of school of good students who go to a Boarding School to take their exams. However, teachers devised a plan to improve the learning outcomes in the next year: they want to teach children in the evening and early in the morning – after and before general lessons start. For this purpose, the 23 pupils shall spend the night at school, together with their teachers. We wish them every success.