You may know of Parami University as a university that offers two online Bachelor of Arts degree programs in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and Statistics and Data Science (SDS). Apart from the undergraduate programs, Parami offers many civically engaged programs to provide continuing learning opportunities for young people.
Under the Parami Institute of Continuing Education at Parami University, Parami provides three offerings: ParamiX online courses, English language courses, and a Burmese language seminar course on analytical skills. All the courses offered by the Parami Institute of Continuing Education are not licensed by the Higher Education Licensure Commission.
Since June 2021, the Parami Institute of Continuing Education (PICE) at Parami University has offered 80 two-month-long courses on various topics, from humanity to interdisciplinary to science. Nearly 800 young people across Myanmar and neighboring countries have completed the courses.
Based on feedback from participants and faculty, Parami introduced courses in a slightly different format in the fall of 2022. The new courses are designed for young professionals who wish to expand their knowledge and skills for career development while working full-time. All courses are 12 weeks long, including time to implement the learning in projects, with guidance from valued instructors worldwide. The first round of classes in 2022 started in September with 59 participants from a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds.
Parami welcomed four instructors to teach ParamiX online courses: Myo Thida (Ph.D.), Bruce Bolnick (Ph.D.), Jack van Dokkum (M.A.), and Akary Tun Thein (M.Sc.). The instructors have shared their teaching at Parami and their impressions of participants in their classes.
Dr. Myo Thida shared that the interdisciplinary approach motivated her to teach at
Parami. Apart from teaching Data Science in Python for Beginners at ParamiX, she is also a faculty member of the Division of Mathematics and Data Science at Parami University.
"This is my first time teaching at Parami University. Parami amazes me with the best administrative and technical support in holding virtual classes. Parami students, in general, are well equipped with digital skills, and it makes teaching in virtual environments easy. In my Data Science class, the students come from diverse backgrounds, from high school graduates to professionals working in different sectors such as banking, non-profit organizations, and medicine. But one common trait among all the students is the 'hunger to learn. They joined the class with full commitment, and this made teaching fun."⸺Myo Thida, Ph.D.
Having spent time in Myanmar during the democratic regime, Dr. Bruce Bolnick explained that he chose to offer Public Finance for Developing Countries class to help Myanmar students continue their education and deepen their understanding of vital public policy issues.
"I am genuinely enjoying my class sessions and the limited online interactions with Parami students. The preparation of lectures and class materials, however, is taking up much more time than I had expected. Online classes require far more advanced preparation than old-fashioned chalk-and-board teaching. I'm impressed with the quality and dedication of the students. From what I can see, nearly all students are seriously committed to learning from my class."⸺Bruce Bolnick, Ph.D.
Jack van Dokkum lived in Myanmar for about 18 months before COVID-19. As passionate about sharing his knowledge and education with the young people from Myanmar, he decided to teach a class, The Story of Us – Different Perspectives of the History of Humanity, at Parami.
"I find the topic that I teach incredibly interesting, and it is a lot of fun to share with the students. The group is very diverse. We have different ages, different backgrounds, and different educational histories. This makes it a challenge sometimes to find the right balance between speed and content to make sure that everybody can keep up. I would like to contribute to the education system in Myanmar by teaching online. This keeps me connected to the country. I hope students will be inspired to develop themselves despite the situation, so they can be prepared to take the lead when the country is free again." ⸺Jack van Dokkum, M.A.
Akary Tun Thein has dedicated her time to contributing her knowledge by offering courses in management and communication at Parami in the past year. She described her experience teaching as humbled, energetic, and having a strong sense of collaboration. This academic year, she is teaching Organizational Culture, Workplace Communication, and Conflict Resolution course.
"What I like most about teaching in ParamiX is the academic freedom to draw up my own syllabus and manage my classroom activities at my will. Depending on the learners' feedback and classroom responses, I can arrange suitable activities and flexible coursework to meet the course objectives. Also, I always feel at home whenever I teach at Parami. ⸺Akary Tun Thein, M.Sc.
Read the full biographies of all instructors teaching ParamiX online courses this semester at: https://www.parami.edu.mm/post/new-academic-year-new-courses.
Parami will offer two rounds of courses: one at the end of 2022 and another in the first half of 2023. The current courses will end in the last week of November 2022. The new intake for Spring 2023 will be available in mid-December of this year. Please stay tuned for the updates on the Parami Institute of Continuing Education Facebook page.