An enjoyable experience visiting the Aung Myae Monastic School in Saigang

Close to Mandalay, at the foot of Saigang Hill, we find the Aung Myae Oo Monastic Education School. Hundreds of children in a red habit for males and pink habit for females go towards the school along the road. All the little students have shaven heads, and they hold a small notebook. We are very curious to know about life and education in school. When we enter the large schoolyard, many children, intrigued and amused, come to meet us. There are also three young teachers, dressed in the school uniform, with a white shirt and green skirt. While the children run and play in the playground, the teachers tell us about the interesting history of the school.

 

The school was established by a Buddhist monk, Venerable Vilasa, in 2003. In the beginning, Venerable Vilasa and the other two monks were the only teachers who made their best effort to give children primary education. The school began with a sense of responsibility when the founder noticed a need for education for children from low-income families. Some children from villages and remote areas are accommodated at the school, and the school itself supports their basic needs. The school began as the primary teaching, but it is being promoted to the secondary and high school level. The main purpose of the school’s establishment is to give children modern education and train them in moral education. There’re several activities in the school. Computer courses, English language courses and Buddhist cultural courses are regularly available throughout the year.

Saigang Hill, the Monastic School
Saigang Hill, the Monastic School

The school is based on donations. They explain that the significant expenses of the school are teacher’s salary, furniture and teaching aids, food, clothing and medical care for all students. In the foundation year, the teachers were only 6 and the students 31, but now the school counts about 50 teachers and 3000 students. After finishing the pleasant explanation, it’s time to donate to the school and give the little students pencils,  pens, crayons and notebooks. They show us their happiness jumping into our arms and playing altogether, taking pictures.  We will never forget their smiles and joy. It was an extraordinary experience for knowing a beautiful cross-section of the local life.

Saigang Hill, students in the courtyard of the school
Saigang Hill, students in the courtyard of the school

Need to know

How to get there: Take a tuk-tuk from Mandalay; the school is on the road to Saigang Hill (TaungYoe Rd, Saigang).

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