Film: Burmese Language version
Recognise Our Education, Realise Our Dreams: Burmese language version
Film Brief, Budget & Credits
US $20,000 +
Client - Save the Children (Thailand)
Duration - 20min
Genre - Refugee Advocacy
Filmed, Directed, Scripted & Edited - Timothy Syrota
An advocacy film intended to exert pressure on the Myanmar Government to recognise the education received by refugees in the camps on the Thai-Myanmar border. The official Government position was that, in the event of repatriation, refugee education would not be recognised and refugees students would be placed in schools at a level dependent upon their performance in Burmese language tests based on Myanmar curriculum. Refugees, however, are largely taught in their mother tongues (Karen) ith a curriculum designed in association with international education agencies. As a consequence, returnees faced placement in year levels many years below both their age and education level.
Before final handover, the film was cut significantly with references to education in Burma - both current and historical - withdrawn, as well as interview comments from a senior education advisor to the Myanmar Government which stated the prevailing Government policy. Simply, any material considered to reflect negatively on the Myanmar Government or its policies was to be removed. The film was not screened or promoted in Myanmar, nor was it given an official online presence. From a personal perspective, what was an (initially) well intentioned and well constructed film concerning the genuinely important matter of refugees' rights to education, ended up with a terribly disappointing outcome.