Kaung Zarni Naing
The story of Kaung and the creation of Thate Pan Hub is one inspiring and passionate story of establishing a vision of reality in which children in Maynmar have access to good quality education. Kaung, growing up in Myanmar public school realizes that there is something wrong with the system of teaching. He realized that instead of harnessing the full potential of each child, the students are only asked to memorize and do the test, without a challenging system that allows more critical thinking or creative explorations. Thus, he begins his journey by joining ASEAN DSE in which he came as a beginner and finished proudly as a youth of competence skill in data analysis and interpretation.
During his days in the ASEAN DSE competition, he experienced many hardships being completely new to computer science, SAP Analytics Cloud and collecting reliable data for his research. Without prior formal education in this field, he managed to overcome these challenges through self-learning through YouTube videos. It is when in participating in ASEAN DSE with the topic he chose being “Leaving No One Behind” which covers SDG 4: Quality Education, Kaung learn a great number of problems with the education quality of Myanmar and other countries across ASEAN. His experience with working with data and CS, along with his newfound knowledge of the low-quality education in ASEAN countries, sprouted his initiative to create a non-profit youth-led organization to promote CS education to all kids in Myanmar.
That Pan Hub is created in September 2020, during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kaung and his team thought of creating Computer Science education more accessible for younger kids to be educated on. They believe in their goal and vision to educate young kids to be more aware of computer science, including coding and artificial intelligence because the roles of technology will continuously grow in significance to our day to day life in the future. So through giving free access to CS education to younger kids, they aim to see a new generation of competent adults that are more innovative with technology.
Their primary vision of Thate Pan Hub is to provide free digital literacy, basic computer science and artificial intelligence education to every kid in Myanmar. Kaung mentioned, that during the process of creation he noticed that 3 main barriers prevent Myanmar children from getting quality education; infrastructure, language, and support. He aimed to diminish all three hurdles and provide accessibility to all children in the country.
However, during his journey, he faced a couple of challenges. One problem they faced is the lack of resources for such an ambitious project. To start the program itself is non-profit and youth-led so it is hard to find financial support. But, they managed to stay true to the programme values and kept the classes completely free. Over time, through their integrity, they received much support from the communities, including volunteer youths, to academics and professors who act as mentors to them, guiding them with the programme with such gladness. They managed to get over 1300 students enrolled all with positive feedback on their experience.
The main takeaway from Kaung’s experience from competing in ASEAN DSE and creating Thate Pan Hub is to prioritize social impact over anything else. One important aspect that builds him and his works to this level are to uphold the values you have whenever making an important decision. He highlights the importance to show integrity with the values you take as it guides situations and progress, preventing things from being side-tracked and lose sight of the original goal planned. Finally, Kaung believe that if it is within our ability and power to help society then why not help? Be the one that resolves the problem and make changes to society.