Educational Support for Karenni Further Studies Program (2011)
The study program will provide a safe and enabling learning environment to develop the knowledge, skills and attitude of young people to value their education and become the community leaders of the future. In refugee camps on the Thai/Burma border, access to higher education is very limited and previously there was no educational program available for young refugees in Karenni Camp 2. KnFSP was established to meet this need and provide a space for young refugees to continue their education. In addition, through the current resettlement programme, the number of skilled workers has greatly diminished, so this program will help address that gap.
The KnFSP program is varied including formal learning, symposiums, work internships, leadership camp and community service outreach. Part of the course curriculum will include women’s studies, in order to empower young women, with over 60% of the student population being female. The formal education will be carried out by 6 full time teachers and the program is supported by an advisory committee, mainly formed by Karenni community members.
In 2008, the KnFSP was established by the local community to create a two year school program for young people aged 16-21, who did not have access to further education. It is located in Ban Mae Surin (BMS), otherwise known as Karenni Site 2, in Amphur Khun Yuam, Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand and has a population of approximately 3,500 people.
In the last 3 academic school years, there were 48 graduates, of whom 70 percent are now working with community based organizations and schools.
Among the 51 students, all of the 33 level 1 students were able to pass the final exams and all of their level 2 students were granted the graduate certificate. All the graduates this year were employed by different community based organizations within the camp.
Their active involvement in the local community during and after the program was much appreciated. Without this effort, according to the chairperson Saw Hsar Htoo, the services in Karenni camp 2 will be paralyzed, particularly the education sectors, where teachers are in great shortage.
Quote: “I’m both excited and nervous about the new job. But I have trust in the knowledge and skills I have learned from KnFSP. I will definitely try my best to help my people”.
– Seng Lott