Over 60 learning centre teachers including 10 Marist Education Centre staff gathered at the Wat Tapoltram (Hot Springs Temple) on 26-27 October for two days of the Development of Migrant Educational Implementation Project (DMEIP) Teacher Training. The aim of the project is to help teachers provide a consistent standard of education with an understanding attitude towards the social, economic, spiritual and educational needs of migrant children in Ranong.
The morning of 26th October began with prayer at the monastery followed by a reflection on peace and silent meditation led by MMR director Fr. John Larsen. “Work for peace, because peace is the fruit of justice.” Fr. John encouraged. Such encouragement is essential for teachers who often have to deal with less than ideal teaching conditions, inadequate resources and students who come from precarious home situations.
Fr. John encouraged each person to respect everyone else in the classroom but especially the “smallest, littlest one.” To give an example of the importance of respecting everyone else’s culture Fr. John requested the Burmese to state what they believed the three most beautiful things in the Thai culture are and vice versa.
Irene Hon from the Jesuit Refugee Service in Ranong discussed the importance of teachers being good role models for the children. Irene explained that for most of these children both parents work such long hours that they end up spending more time with teachers and therefore the teachers have a significant role.