Nursery School in Kanyinthonesint
Kanyinthonesint is a typical rice farming village located on the main road from Pathein to Yangon about 35 miles away from Pathein in Kyaungkone Township, Ayeyawady Division. Most of the people living here are ethnic Karen and Buddhists. About half of the total households are small-scale farmers who rely on the subsistence farming of monsoon paddy, beans and groundnuts. About 20% of the population own some small parcels of land and grow cassava, banana, sugarcane, flowers, betelnuts, etc. They supplement the household income as day laborers on third-party land. Most of the households keep some livestock (chicken, duck, and pigs) for their own consumption. Kanyinthonesint village has a primary school only and no nursery school. Many children only receive a basic primary school education, as families cannot afford to send their children to attend a middle or high school in the next towns: Kyaungkone (about 10 miles), Hinthada (30 miles) and Pathein (35 miles).
Burmese education, at both lower and higher levels, has suffered badly from decades of political unrest, with academics and students seen as threats to the regime. The education system has been destroyed by half a century of military rule. The cycle of poverty is such that the parents are focused on their own livelihood and not necessarily on the education or the future livelihood of their children. Sadly, in this environment many parents do not even understand the value of education and the influence it will have on the future well-being of their children.
To break this cycle of poverty, the diocese of Pathein wants to set up a nursery school for the three to six 6 year olds in the village. The Sisters of Charity, who have opened a convent at the parish center, will operate the nursery school for the children and offer social services to the villagers. The nursery in Kanyinthonesint will be open to both Catholic and non-Catholic children of the community with a range of programs designed to prepare children to enter state schools. The activities, which will be run by the sisters, will include games and puzzles, basic writing, spelling, reading and calculations, as well as personal hygiene instruction and training of other life skills. Annually, the nursery school will take in least 40 children from the surrounding five villages. After completing the nursery school, the children will be better prepared for state primary school education and the parents should see the benefits of education for their children.
The new nursery school is built next to the house of the Sisters of Charity.
In mid June the building of the nursery school is ready to be handed over to the Sisters and the children.