Around this time of year, we would normally begin to see the children who are enthusiastic with their new school equipment and new school books to get ready for their new school year. But not this year. It is now encircled with silence in all of the school related environments.
It has been over a month since we found the first case of COVID-19 in Myanmar. This global pandemic has severely impacted every sector as well as the educational journey of youth who will be taking over the responsibilities of this country in the future.
Many of us are fortunate to be able to use our phones, binge-watch movies on Netflix and listen to music to overcome the boredom while staying at home. However, according to U-Report Myanmar’s findings, there are approximately 57 percent of people without a radio and 14 percent without TV.
In this moment, we are actually given with the gift of time. Hence, young people who have the most fortunate opportunities to learn new things should use their time well. So, U-reporters, what do you usually do to pass your time day by day?
Some private universities and schools are ongoing with their school lessons and exams by using platforms on internet. Besides my school lessons, I started learning some interesting things from online for myself. I would like to share some of the useful tips that I find effective with our U-reporters.
1. If you need the shade, don’t wait out in the sun.
You are willing to start learning new things but where can we start? There are lots of young people who stop trying because they cannot find the right place to start. If you would like to learn new languages, I recommend the app called Duolingo. It’s simple and helpful app which will make you think that leaning new languages is not that hard. There are other applications like Coursera and Udemy which started giving out many free lessons now which were had to be paid for before. There are also some universities that can give you a certificate. If you need to continue studying and have to sit for exams, you might need the help of Khan Academy. There are many videos which are clear to understand like having a tutor of your own.
2. Be Diligent!
Most of the youth are brave enough to take a first step but they need some dedication to continue what they have started. Once you start learning online, there will be no one who would keep pushing you to study. There’s no one but yourself to rely on.
You should set yourself some rules and develop a schedule for yourself with a timeline stating when to study which subjects. If you have dreams to study abroad, now is the best time to teach yourself how to be self-disciplined.
If you have planned to sharpen a pencil for today and do it, no matter how small the goal is, it can help to enhance your self-confidence by achieving that goal. If it is hard to start with the big goals, start from the small ones.
I use Google Calendar to draw up my own schedules and take about 5 minutes a day to fill in Google Tasks for myself.
3. Know how to use Google efficiently
When you have to start studying by yourself, you can face challenges like not being able to call someone to give you guidance, or having difficulties to ask your teachers or even ask your friends. For times like these, you need to know how to use Google efficiently. In this time, you can face many challenges in no matter what you do if you do not know how to use Google.
4. The Art of sharing
Recently, there was a trend on Facebook about making Dalgona coffee. It was fun to see many people joined in and challenging each other. Some would show off their well-made Dalgona coffee and some who failed would ask the questions. Sharing is the same as candle light. Once you start sharing that to another, it does not make you less but both of you could be sharing the brighter light. It is fun to share your knowledge with your friends and they will also learn something new from it.
5. Take care of your health
Health is the priority number one in this time. We will not be able to do anything we want if we are not healthy, for example, sending the messages to your crush. In our findings, 47% of the U-reporters replied that they want the schools to be reopen only after this COVID-19 pandemic is over. This data has highlighted that there are young people who care about health more than anything.
I would like to end with the song that we have been hearing a lot these days, “Wash your hand regularly, avoid the crowded places and cover your face when you cough or sneeze.” I would be happy to meet and talk with our U-reporters after all this is over. I would like to remind you to stay inside and would love to send best wishes of good health to all of you.