I came across a Burmese blog the other day that really twanged my heart strings. I learned that in that ancient country things are so hard that a 12 year old boy named Toe Aung is working 15 hours every weekday so he can afford to go to weekend private school. For five days a week he can be seen washing dishes, cleaning tables, scrubbing floors and serving customers in his Aunt’s restaurant in Bya Township, Western Burma.
His workdays end at 9 pm after which he eats his supper and falls asleep unless he has energy for a little homework still. What hope of good Burmese Education has Toe Aung got and why does he not attend a regular Burmese School? And why also is he deprived of the weekend games friends play while he attends private lessons every Saturday and Sunday instead?
People in Burma shun public schools because the teachers are underpaid and the education that they provide is perceived as being second rate. Aung’s father was an uneducated laborer and when he died his mother was unable to support him so he went to live with his Aunt who houses him in return for his labor. He is allowed to keep tips back though and these he uses to fund his weekend school classes.
This young man believes that education is vital for his future success and will one day uplift him to the extent that he will be able to buy his mother a house in a fine City like Rangoon. In the meantime he thinks of her as he washes dishes and dreams of becoming an educated and successful young man.
Some of us could take a leaf out of the book of his work ethic as he kicks down doors to his Burmese education while fiends promote his cause with a Burmese blog. Let's hope somebody gives him a leg up soon so that he can achieve his dream and be re-united with his mother.