Tin Ma MA Htet Tess
Tin Ma Ma Htet “Tess” is leading the Sayarma Foundation that provides technical support to schools in Myanmar. She is a teaching specialist with more than a decade of experience and a certified professional coach.
Tess worked for the monastic education system, with out-of-school children, and various professional development programmes for teachers and education for peace initiatives. She currently supports holistic development of schools in Myanmar which includes training and coaching teachers, principals and other stakeholders. She is currently researching and learning about Buddha’s teaching strategies, and she designed an education program for Buddhist teachers which gives a stronger understanding on Buddhism and other religions while learning about different teaching strategies to apply in their classrooms.
She grew up in a Buddhist-Hindu family, went to a Buddhist school and studied for a master of primary teaching at the Australian Catholic University. Growing up in multi-cultural environment gave her stronger belief in celebrating diversity through love and compassion, and in learning more about dialogue as a tool to bridge between differences.
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
Santi-Saya (Peaceful Shade)
Santi-Saya means Peaceful Shade which aims to provide equal peaceful shade to anyone joining our project regardless of their differences. The project planned to bring educators from three different religious institutions: Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, to learn about education topics such as Child development and child psychology, trauma healing, child protection and creating safe learning environment and teaching methodologies and dialogue. Participants experienced dialogue through different topics and will learn how to use dialogue and other methods in teaching their receptive religious texts. The initial plan was to have participants develop their own lesson plans and publish. But just before the last few days in the training, Military coup happened and most of the participants had to hide. Some
were arrested for involving in the revolution. So we planned to develop a children activity book called “Colorful Children” aiming to help children from middle school to learn more about diversity, friendship, kindness and fairness. Ven-Acara and Tess collaborated this project. However, Venerable had to stay low and couldn’t involve in the publication process.