Tuesday, February 26, 2013
As part of their corporate citizenship programs, Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank and QT Mutual Bank are collaborating to support CUFA’s Teachers Project in Myanmar.
Myanmar is a country that has been ravaged by civil unrest for the past 60 years. Now in a more peaceful time, the country is in a period of growth. In order to ensure this nation has a more prosperous future, it is important to provide the children of tomorrow with an education.
A government school scheme is in place in Myanmar but unfortunately, many living in poor communities cannot afford to send their children to this user-pays system. In order to overcome this, poor communities have come together to establish informal schools where the teachers work on a very low income to help provide children with an education.
However, the community faces an immense challenge of paying the teachers an industry appropriate salary for their dedication and commitment to providing a quality education to the children enrolled. They are currently relying on donations from the community but this is limited and insufficient. Teachers often have to seek employment elsewhere to complement their pay as they do not earn enough to survive. As a result, the teachers are faced with immense financial burden.
It is important that the teachers receive adequate payment for their work as it ensures they remain engaged in the education system, feel valued and fully committed to their task of educating, rather than being concerned with alternative means of earning an income. A committed teacher will ensure the children receive a better quality education.
Rather than simply paying the teachers a salary, CUFA would like to see a more long term and sustainable solution to the problem at hand. The money from local village savings as well as the funding received from Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank and QT Mutual Bank will be used to provide loans to local credit union members.. The locals will be required to pay interest on the loans and it is this interest that will be used to pay the teachers’ salaries. This outcome ensures the teachers are adequately rewarded for their time and energy in educating children, as well as creating a maintainable schooling system.
QT Mutual Bank CEO Mike Murphy said the CUFA Teachers Project in Myanmar would not only benefit teachers but entire communities long term.
“Teachers are one of the most valuable resources in any community, in any country and the role teachers play in shaping our children into the adults they will become cannot be overstated,” Mr Murphy said.
“To allow the teachers in Myanmar to concentrate on educating the local children is something we are extremely proud to support”.
“The long-term, sustainable vision of CUFA for this Teachers Project makes it a great initiative which will ultimately allow the country to continue to grow and prosper”.
Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank’s CEO, William Wolke, is proud of their involvement in the Myanmar Teachers’ Project. “We are pleased to be able to focus our CUFA donation to a project directly aligned to teachers and their local community. Being an education based organisation, we understand the importance education has in building social capacity within communities. Our collaboration with QT Mutual Bank will help CUFA to continue their work and achieve sustainable outcomes in Myanmar.”