Students and teachers from refugee camps along the border and from migrant schools in Mae Sot gathered to honor their teachers on the World Teacher’s Day on the 5th October.
Led by the Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity (KRCEE) and camp education officials the ceremonies were held at Mae La, Umphiem, Nupo, Mae La Oon, Mae Ra Ma Luang, Tham Hin, and Ban Don Yang refugee camps.
Naw Deborah Htoo, coordinator for KRCEE said the ceremonies were held to honor the teachers.
“We celebrated in every camp in respect of our teachers. This celebration acts as an encouragement for teachers who sacrificed so many things and are still working despite the very little support they receive.”
Naw Deborah Htoo said that in the ceremony, each and every teacher in the camps were gifted a shirt as an token of respect, and those teachers who had worked for five or more years were awarded certificates.
The Mae La refugee camp education coordinator told Karen News that, “More than 700 people attended the ceremony held in Mae La. Teachers are at the helms of our community, and we hold this traditional celebration to honor teachers because they sacrifice so much for us.”
As World Teacher’s Day was celebrated in Karen refugee camps, Burmese Migrant Teacher Education (BMTA) held a similar ceremony in Mae Sot at the Children Development Center (CDC) School.
Man Shwe Hnin, Headmaster of the CDC school, who led the ceremony, told Karen News, “This ceremony honors all the teachers around the world for their guidance, sacrifices, and their important role in shaping society.”
The occasion was marked with speeches from Doctor Thein Lwin from National Network for Education Reform (NNER), the Thai Education Department, Thai military, and respective officials from Mae Sot, as well as the reading of letters. Gifts were given to elderly teachers, along with prizes for winners from the World Teacher’s Day sporting events. More than 500 people, including teachers and parents, attended the ceremony.
There are more than 1000 teachers are teachings in the seven Karen refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border, and around 700 teachers at migrant schools in Mae Sot. Because of the recent cut in funding from international donors, teachers are facing more difficulties in their livelihood.
Similar ceremonies were also held this year in seven Karen National Union-controlled regions under the lead of the Karen Teacher Working Group and Karen Education Department.
The United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization marked October 5th as World Teacher’s Day in 1994, to give thanks to teachers and honor their role and sacrifices.