More Set – Books for Myanmar Project

 

Introduction:

Mission

‘More Set’ is a library installation project focused on the under-privileged primary schools in Myanmar. The name, ‘More Set’ comes from the Myanmar language, meaning “blessing rain,” which refers to the end of Myanmar’s hottest season and the start of its rainy season. Each school year in Myanmar begins with the rainy season, when trees and flowers come into bloom. Our hope is that the installation of school libraries will offer similar results as a blessing rain, which helps students, the little blossoms of the future, come into full bloom.

 

Who We Are?

The project was founded by Ms. Mon Myat Thu, a bookworm and scholar brought up in a remote area of Myanmar. Her great passion for children and books led her to find ways for young people to enrich their lives and realize their dreams through reading and learning.

The project is supported by members and other donors who share the same passion for helping children learn, grow, and live out their dreams. The project’s six core members include Mon Myat Thu, Ryohei Kobuchi, Soe Myat Htun, Htet Htet Htun, Thanda Nyut, and Khine Lin Hein.

 

The Myanmar Educational System

The Myanmar educational system suffered tremendously under years of military rule. The major obstacles to civilian children in Myanmar/Burma are lack of opportunities and quality of education. Simply put, the education system in Myanmar is in a state of crisis. The Myanmar government currently spends 5.84  percent of national budget on education, and curriculum reform is currently on the agenda of Myanmar’s quasi-civilian government.

It is not surprising that Burma’s education system is the least effective in Southeast Asia. Reliable, up-to-date statistics are difficult to find, but a 2008 survey by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) cites the following Burmese education statistics:

•     3 out of 10 primary school-aged children are out of school

•    70% of those who do start school are unable to finish at the primary level

•     50% of students are unable to continue to secondary school

 

Children from wealthy families usually benefit from attending private schools in the capital city, Yangon, while children from poorer families attend public schools. Although public schools continue to be established throughout Myanmar, the reality is that some of these schools are little more than a building, and many lack basic facilities, such as libraries and playgrounds.

Even if libraries are provided, they are often poorly equipped and lack a sufficient number of books. In some cases children are not allowed to use school libraries, because teachers are worried about books being torn or worn out. Sadly, most of the school libraries are either non-functional or non-existent.

 

Project Description: Exploring the knowledge through books

 

The ‘Books for Myanmar’ project aims to solve these problems by creating a mechanism of installing functional libraries in schools across the country. The project works as a facilitator between schools and donors, along with the generous help of Innwa Bookstore, one of the largest booksellers in Myanmar.

The installation mechanism details are as follows:

 

1.      Select a school – “More Set” project school will be chosen based on the following criteria:

  •   Students with great passion to read and learn from books
  •   A promise by teacher and administrator to ‘let the children read’
  •   A secured library space, where books may be stored, displayed, and enjoyed by students

2.      Collect Donation

  •   Project members will collect donations in person and via mail or bank transfer. The monthly donation for each school is set at 50,000 Kyats (Approx. 53 USD). The monthly amounts will donations of about 30 books per month.

3.      Payment at Innwa Bookstore

  •   A ‘More Set’ representative will act as liaison with the bookstore to arrange donated payments within the first week of each month. The liaison will collect the previous month’s receipts to confirm types of books that have been donated, keeping records of schools, books, and donations up to date.

4.      Receive book requests from the schools

  •   A representative of Innwa Bookstores will contact representatives from all project schools to collect individual book requests, from children’s story books to novels and reference books. The essence of the ‘More Set-Books for Myanmar Project’ is to offer children with varying reading needs and abilities total access to the reading materials they want and require.

5.      Delivery of the books

  •   Innwa Bookstores will delivery selected books to each school within a week after payment. At the outset, Innwa has offered to send books free of charge as the ‘More Set’ project becomes established.

6.      Monitoring the projects

  •   Occasional visits to project schools to ensure the books are being sent and received.

 

Lifecycle of More Set Project

 

Project Goals:

Within five years we hope to donate library book packages to 100 Myanmar schools, increasing children’s access to reading materials, increasing literacy, and improving the overall quality of education for Myanmar students. With greater access to reading materials, students will increase reading speed and comprehension, helping them gain greater classroom proficiency across a range of subjects.

 

Immediate Goal:     Continue to help eight current project schools to successfully establish one library per school at the end of their project period.

Definite Goal:           Install libraries in 100 schools over the next five years (approx. 2019), and increase membership to initiate additional school library development projects.

Ultimate Goal:          Installing libraries full of books to all Myanmar schools.

 

Follow Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/More Set

Email:     moreset-blessingrain@gmail.com

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