It has been two years since Elin* left the Thailand-Myanmar border region due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, students have not been able to return to the school that Elin had been teaching in for classes. Their situation was further exacerbated by the political unrest that started after the Myanmar military coup in February 2021.
Being away from the youth and children that she has grown to love, Elin had to think of creative ideas to connect with them. Like many teachers around the world, she turned to technology to teach students who were miles away from where she was in Singapore.
From April 2021, she began teaching a group of youths at the Thailand-Myanmar border English via Zoom. These teenagers were not attending school and could only receive such informal education from teachers like Elin.
Connection issues and the lack of equipment, together with the language barrier meant that the online learning experience was not an easy one for the students initially. On top of that, Elin was new to these youths, and they were unfamiliar with her style of teaching. Thankfully, the students gradually got used to the arrangement and they enjoy the classes now.
Later in 2021, Elin arranged for a local instructor to teach 11 youths in basic computer literacy, with the hopes that such fundamental skills would give these youths a leg up in their future. “We want to equip these youths with basic computer literacy to prepare them for the future. They are now able to type lyrics on PowerPoint for worship. Some can also perform basic bookkeeping tasks using Google Sheets, while others are able to translate letters on the computer instead of paper.”
2021 was a challenging year for OM MTI’s ministry at the Thailand-Myanmar border with the twin impact of a pandemic and political unrest. But we are thankful to God and to our supporters that we are still able to provide some youths with education opportunities that will hopefully aid them in building their future in such chaotic times.