Educating Displaced Teachers for Creativity and Well-Being in the Midst of Coup

Introduction to Myanmar’s Crisis

In 2021, the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar was unjustly thrown from power in the chaos of a military coup d’etat – forcing more than 360,000 civil servants to leave their jobs in protest and form the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).  The NUG Ministry of Education (NUG MOE) quickly realized that students and teachers in the CDM had several great needs: to provide continuing education, professional development, and social and emotional learning to help teachers subsist through one of the most challenging periods of the country’s history.

In response, NUG MOE engaged the Institute for Myanmar United (IMU) to deliver an 8-week pilot program for 35 displaced teachers with a focus on creativity, well-being, and political science modules. The creativity and well-being modules were scaffolded to help participants experience safety, emotional self-expression, peer support, and coping to help lay a healthy foundation for higher-level problem-solving skills. The political science modules help teachers educate, inform, and generate ideas for improving government systems, aligning with NUG’s top priority of reinstating a democratic government.

The IMU and NUG-MOE relationship continues to flourish, but needs your help to deliver our curriculums and programs to larger groups of people. After two successful 8-week pilot programs, there are still close to 200,000 remaining NUG MOE Civil Disobedience Movement teachers that need our support. It is IMU’s mission to continue to provide research and education to this very vulnerable population in Myanmar, which is in the midst of a turbulent Civil War. The reason for this is clear: the Civil Disobedience Movement teachers and students of Myanmar deserve a present and a future where education, creativity, well-being, and international aid are readily available to them to support their personal, professional, and communal development.

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