Friday, August 18, 2017

Depayin Dhamma school overwhelmed by demand

Students at the Rahula Dhamma School in Sai Pyin Gyi village. (Supplied)Students at the Rahula Dhamma School in Sai Pyin Gyi village. (Supplied)

About 500 children have enrolled at a private school in rural Depayin township, Sagaing Region, where Dhamma classes are taught in English.

Rahula Dhamma School was established in Sai Pyin Gyi village on August 24, in memory of the famous Ledi Sayadaw, who came from Sai Pyin Gyi.

The school still only operates from temporary huts and patron Sayadaw Dr Ashin Acara said he had been overwhelmed by demand for the classes.

“I thought it would be enough if I got about five or 10 children who wanted to learn about Buddhism in English. But unexpectedly more than 500 children are coming and attending classes – I got many children in a short time,” he said last week.

“The reason I opened the school is so that children can learn both English and Dhamma (Buddhist teachings) at the same time,” said Dr Ashin Acara, who is also head of the Pitika English Department at the State University of Sasana in Mandalay’s Aungmyaytharzan township.

Yahula Dhamma School offers classes in Primary I, Primary II, Secondary I, Secondary II, Intermediate on days when state schools are closed. Another branch has already been established in Depayin’s Yin Yae village, near where Sayadaw Dr Ashin Acara, 41, grew up.

“Offering the Buddha Dhamma class to young generation is my ambition since I was 20. I will open more and more Rahula Dhamma schools in our country,” he said.

He said that he also wanted to provide free education to children from villages that have only basic education schools and to establish monastic schools in villages where there is no state school.

The Sai Pyi Gyi school was established at a cost of K400 million.

The project includes a water pump and electricity project, two hostels, a meals hall, two classrooms, a library and three buildings for monks.