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Oxford University Students Engage Myanmar Youth at UNESCO’s Centre of Excellence for Business Skills Development

UNESCO’s Centre of Excellence for Business Skills Development (CEBSD) welcomed Oxford University Postgraduates Andy Espinoza and Manting Chen on a two-month internship during July and August. The CEBSD, an innovative public-private partnership between UNESCO, Yangon University of Economics (YUE) and PepsiCo, aims to improve employment outcomes for young people in Myanmar, and at the top of the list of Andy and Manting’s objectives was to engage local youth by providing training relevant to their career development.

Andy and Manting developed and implemented a series of popular and successful workshops for Yangon youth. Manting, a member of the Oxford Debating Union, delivered participatory workshops on, “How to be Persuasive: Making a Compelling Argument” and “Dare to Disagree: How to raise Objections”, finishing with a British parliamentary style debate on the question, “Does the internet bring more good than harm to Myanmar youth?” Andy, drawing on her background as a volunteer English teacher and customer service work in the US, developed a practical 4-week course in which young participants gained English language tools to help them communicate more effectively in business situations, including English for networking and English for customer care. Andy’s course was heavily oversubscribed and a second class was arranged to meet student demand.

A total of 189 students participated in Andy and Manting’s programmes, and end of course feedback forms demonstrated that students’ experience was extremely positive. The CEBSD plans to utilize Andy and Manting’s excellent teaching materials for further classes moving forwards. For further information please contact Seint Sandar Hlaing, and Tin Nilar Aye,