English Nursery School Opened at Nupo Refugee Camp
24 May 2012: Refugees from Burma living at the Nupo Refugee Camp along the Thai-Burma border have started a new ‘informal’ English nursery school with 25 children in a bamboo-built house around mid this month.
The first nursery school that uses English as a teaching language in the refugee camp is established with financial contributions and donations from Chin communities and other organizations as well as individuals.
Mangpu, a leading Chin teacher of the Nursery School, told Chinland Guardian: “We are happy that we could do something for our children here in the camp. We are pleased to work although we have many challenges.”
Due to insufficient fund, the initial plans to start an English Primary School this summer has not been successful, according to the Chin teacher.
“Because of some inconvenience, we could not open an English Primary School this year but plan to open it later. The current bamboo school building is 35 feet long and 16 feet wide,” added Mangpu.
With limited teaching materials available for the students, the nursery school has got only two volunteer teachers at present.
Camp leaders said they are working hard to raise fund for establishing an English-medium primary school that will teach four subjects including English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Hygiene to children from the kindergarten to Grade-1 classes.
The primary school is planned to accept about 80 refugee children in the camp as students no matter what religion and ethnicity they belong to, according to the leaders.
More than 50 Chin children under the age of 13 are currently stranded in the Nupo Refugee Camp, home to about 5,537 students out of an estimated total population of 15,000 with the majority being Karen.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang