My name is Htike. I am 32 years old and belong to the Shan ethnic group. I am the second of my parents’ two children. Born in Yangon into a farming family, I grew up helping my parents grow seasonal vegetables.
I was an intelligent student back in my school years. I passed my 10th-standard exam with one distinction and earned high marks over all, so I had opportunities to study any subject other than medicine. Unfortunately, my father had a severe kidney problem that year, so I had to work to help cover his medical expenses.
I began working at an international preschool in Yangon, which turned out to be a great decision because it led me to my current profession. Although I studied chemistry as an undergraduate, my focus shifted to education. I began working as a teaching assistant at Network International School in 2008 and found that I wanted to be an educator. I studied a lot about early childcare and was promoted one year later.
Today, I am a student at Assumption University in Thailand, working toward a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, and have already finished my first year in the program. The upcoming year will be my second year, which is also the last year of the program.
My father passed away in 2009, which caused my mum and me to struggle. We ended up with huge debts, and it took five years for me to repay them on my modest salary. My mother no longer works, so I have to support her as well. I worked for six years and never forgot my dream—but I didn’t know where to start to become what I wanted to be.
In 2014, an investor from Australia asked me if I wanted to lead an international preschool he was preparing to start. So I moved to a brand-new preschool, where I had to manage almost everything: school curriculum, settings, recruitment, and staff training. To lead a preschool, I had to communicate more often with parents, students, and staff. During this time, I learned much about leadership skills, communicating with others, planning, and delegating tasks to staff.
- Age: 32
- Ethnicity: Burmese, Shan
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Assumption University
- Master’s, Counseling Psychology
Goals & Dreams
- Become an educational counsellor
- Open free learning centers for children
- Travel to Finland
- Loan Amount: $4,550
- Amount Left To Fund: $4,025
- Contract Duration: 12 years
- Status: In Repayment
What Others Are Saying About Htike
During my working years, I often traveled to villages, volunteering at schools or in communities so I could learn more about education in Myanmar. In my 11 years of work experience, I met many parents and teachers struggling with how to handle children’s behavior. I felt that there must be someone who can understand children and all their hardships.
In Myanmar, we lack counselors in education, so I want to become one to help students, teachers, and parents. Hence, I decided to study Counseling Psychology in Thailand. I am confident that I will be a good counselor when I return to Myanmar to work in the Education Department. I also have a dream to travel across Myanmar to educate parents and teachers on how to nurture children to reach to their potential.
In Myanmar, the big cities are full of International schools and private schools for children, but this is not the case in small towns and villages. I have visited many villages and found that they often lack schools or teachers.
Therefore, I hope to train parents so they can educate their own children, or train other teachers to reach seemingly unreachable villages. I will provide counseling so that together we can make the change to a quality education system in Myanmar. A loan from Zomia can help me achieve this dream, and it will benefit my country Myanmar as well.
Written by Htike with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“I have a dream to travel across Myanmar to educate parents and teachers on how to nurture children to reach to their potential.”