Wednesday, 23 February 2011

We never know when the sunshine is coming to us...

Myoe Nyunt, CDC teacher, has written this beautiful letter to the UK Government to tell how important our Global School Partnership is to CDC.

Dear Mr. Andrew Mitchell,

We are incredibly upset for hearing about the UK government’s reconsideration of the DfID Global Schools Partnership scheme. As you know we have plight forever. We never know when the sunshine is coming to us. We are living illegally and we feel blind because we cannot go anywhere to be open-minded. Children are leaders for the future, so they need to know about the world wherever they arrived.
Global Schools Partnerships is a very important program for our Burmese students and Scottish students. It allows them to share their opinions and their culture in both communities. We have had our partnership for a year, during the whole year our students have improved in their thinking skills, knowledge about the world and nature of the globe. We teach our students all about the global education themes of peace and conflict, diversity, social justice, sustainability and interdependence. They have improved in critical thinking and know what they are, who they are, where they are from and their rights. We want our Burmese students to have the same rights as Scottish students. We want to be able to display the children’s work on the walls as your children do. If you view on the surface of our condition, you will think we are happy people. But, as you know, we are stateless people who have little opportunities for our future.
However, we need to establish this partnership because of the children; teachers, education committees and parents know that it benefits our community. It would like to describe the reasons why our partnership is so important to us:
· Our children are so happy to know that the wider world recognizes their dreadful situation.
· Knowing about the developed country and knowledge of the world.
· Children have improved speaking skills from the Scottish teachers visit to CDC school.
· The children learn new things and build strong relationships with each other through the pen pal project.
· The children have gained knowledge of Scottish life at Campie and lifestyles at home.
· Children are cooperating and working to model critical thinking by involving children in questioning activities, decision making and group work. They have known their rights and democratic elections.
· We want to observe Scottish education for the children in our community.
· If the program is discontinued, our teachers will not have the opportunity to exchange to each other’s schools. This exchange is vital for sharing the knowledge of both communities.

One of our teacher Say Hai who has a chance to visit to Campie school on 7th -20th November,2010 said “ I have learned a great deal about daily living, teaching and learning, political systems and beliefs, rights and equality from Campie school and wider community in Scotland. So it is very important for my Burmese children who didn’t have a chance to know about these. Now I can share with them, so I hope our partnership program is going to be in long-term.”
One of the children Saw Nay Htet Sann from grade 7 also said “I’m so happy for getting friends from Scotland and knowing about Scottish life and some of the political system and it also practices writing skill with my friend by foreign people from developing country. So my skills are more improve after I have had relationship with Campie’s children.”
DfID is Department for International Development between UK and many other countries, so we wish this program will run and give the opportunities especially for our stateless people and other place. On behalf of our children, staff and parents, I hope you see and recognize the benefits of this partnership and continue the Global Schools Partnerships program.( You can also see some photo at attach file)

Yours sincerely,

Saw Myoe Nyunt,
Partnership program coordinator,
Children’s Development Centre (C.D.C School),
Mae Sot,

Sunday, 13 February 2011

UK DfID rethinks Global School Partnerships

The 3 Scottish schools with UK DfID Global School Partnerships with Burmese migrant/refugee schools in Mae Sot, Thailand have learnt that UK DfID have frozen all DfID projects until the end of March 2011 to evaluate their worth. You can read about the REVIEW OF USING AID FUNDS IN THE UK TO PROMOTE AWARENESS OF GLOBAL POVERTY via this link;

Andrew Mitchell, MP, is UK Secretary of State for International Development and is leading this review. Andrew Mitchell visited the Thai Burma border in 2007 so some Campie children, parents and staff have written to explain the impact our Global School Partnership has had on both communities in Mae Sot and in Musselburgh. How sad it will be if Global Schools Partnerships are ended by the UK government.
You can email or write to Andrew Mitchell about the review of Global School Partnerships at
This is my letter.....

Dear Mr Mitchell

Mae Sot, Thailand, as you know, is the home of a vast number of Burmese people feeling poverty and fear in their homeland of Burma/Myanmar. I believe you have visited the Thai Burma border so are uniquely placed as a UK minister to understand the plight of the Burmese.
As headteacher of Campie Primary School, Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland, I have led 3 Lothian schools to link with Burmese migrant schools in Mae Sot through DfID Global Schools Partnerships scheme over the last 5 years.

Our Global School Partnership is unique in that we are establishing links with stateless people, living in Thailand illegally, working in learning centres with no support from the Thai government. This has made the establishment of these partnerships more challenging than normal GSPs.

However, the benefit and worth of these partnerships over 5 years to both their Scottish and Burmese communities has consistently outweighed the challenges.

Children, staff, parents in The 6 communities involved in our Scottish Burmese Global School Partnerships have

1. established friendships which has given support and status to the stateless Burmese people and has given the Scottish people an understanding of a people facing greater challenges than we have ever known.
2. grown to understand the similarities and differences of our very diverse communities

3. engaged in learning projects which have taught us all about the global education themes of peace/conflict, diversity, social justice, sustainability, interdependence from the 3 year olds in our nursery to the grandparents of the families we serve.

4. allowed a total of 16 teachers to spend time in each other's schools learning about different ways of teaching, which has improved teaching and learning in all 6 schools. Staff have developed our understanding of critical thinking and emotional literacy in both communities, using skills from both communities.

If you ask the children in both communities what this means to them. (And some of our children and parents are writing to you so you will hear their voice.) The Scottish children will tell you that they never knew what life was like for refugees and that they didn't realise how lucky they are. The Burmese children are so happy to know that somebody in the wider world recognises their dreadful situation, their invisibility.

All this has been made possible through the UK DfID Global Schools Partnership Scheme.
The scheme has now frozen while you evaluate all DfID projects. On behalf of the 6 school communities involved in our Scottish Burmese Global School Partnerships, I urge you to see the bilateral value of these partnerships and continue UK Government support for them. It's an initiative the UK government should be proud of.

Yours truly

Sheila Laing,
Campie Primary School

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Keep on going

At Campie in January, we've been learning about setting a goal and not giving up when it's hard but KEEP GOING because YOU CAN DO IT.

Today I read that Aung San Suu Kyi protesters in Egypt on Tuesday: "We’re all with you!” as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Cairo. In a live question and answer session on BBC World Service radio, Suu Kyi said that


Wise words from a wise woman.