PDO High School a non-governmental, self-sufficient and is the first non-profit Monastic Education High School in Myanmar. The school has mainly been funded by charity and small-scale income generation.


Students, teachers and staff
 
Currently, there are more than 6000 students, about 290 teachers, of which 100 actually teach. The term ‘teachers’ can be misleading to western people. In Myanmar, ‘teacher’ is a polite word used to address somebody, used when talking about someone, similar to the English ‘sir’ and ‘madam’. So, in western terms there are 190 staff members and 100 teachers.


Standard and vocational education

Not only can the students receive standard education, they can also receive vocational training in carpentering, tailoring, computing and agriculture. The students are very happy to study at PDO High School because, whenever they have extra time, they can receive vocational training in addition. There is also a school library, which is quite unusual in Myanmar. This is where students can go to study. Every year, about 500 students pass grade XI.


Encouraging free thinking

About 20 students work for PDO High School for up to twelve months as volunteer staff members before they move on to university. Many students eagerly do this, because U Nayaka is a very flexible abbot and he supports free thought amongst his staff, even though Buddhist monks are very straightforward and serious in management. As a result, teachers and staff can think freely and create new things as they wish. Many people are willing to cooperate with U Nayaka.


Groups on the school campus
 
There are various groups of students who live at PDO High School: 75 street children, 230 so-called ‘ethnic children’ (these are children from Myanmar ethnicities other than Bama, like Shan, Karin, Chin, Wa, Akar, etc), 700 novices, 200 girls who come from very poor families and 95 child victims of cyclone ‘Nargis’. So in total, 1300 students live on the school campus and attend school. All of these students are cared for by U Nayaka and his staff. The school has its own free clinic, so the students and the school community are very well cared for.


Foreign volunteer teaching

Foreign volunteer teachers come to teach English. They teach not only our students, but also the staff members. Others provide teaching methodology training, such as CCA (child-centred approach) and RWCT (reading and writing for critical thinking). The teachers from PDO High School receive modern teaching methodology from the visitors, which they can then use for their own teaching. So the students and staff of PDO High School have the unique opportunity to learn English from foreigners.


Foreign sponsoring

Some foreigners also provide vocational training, such as carpentry training. The quality of the furniture produced is comparatively high. In Myanmar, very few carpenters have followed an apprenticeship, so they often don’t possess the appropriate skills. Our tailoring, computer and agriculture classes use a similar system. Likewise, in the school clinic, there are volunteer doctors who provide treatment and health education to the students. So PDO High School offers many good chances through the support of foreign visitors. Additionally, many foreign visitors donate money or other essential goods to the school. Each person or organisation helps in his own way.