Where children learn to see the world.
It started with a simple vision: to change the early childhood education standard in Myanmar. Now, we aspire to change the education standard of the world.
Our story started in 2004 with U Aung Naing Oo, together with Mr. Toru Iwasaki and our current international principal, Mrs. Hitomi Iwasaki, as advisors.
It began when U Aung Naing Oo was 16-years-old. He was about to pass his university matriculation examination, when his father called him. His father told him: “I have to work to support your mother and five sons. I can’t do it alone. Please, can you work to support your family?” As the oldest son, U Aung Naing Oo asked for a week to make his decision. At this point, his family did not know if they would even have food to eat for the next day.
He thought about it every night, deep in thought. A week later, he decided to end his education at high school and started working. He did not want his brothers to grow up having to make the same choice he had to make: school or work.
He started working at the Ministry of Agriculture, and under his mentor, he was able to support all of his brothers’ education– including one brother’s university degree. When he wanted to learn how to speak and read English, he picked up Times magazine every week and tried his best to read, even when he didn’t understand some of his words.
U Aung Naing Oo never stopped wanting to learn, but so much of his education was limited by the circumstances he grew up in. After he had to leave school, he said: “What could I do? I could only cry.”
His dream was to be a Captain. But his dream was cut short.
In 1995, U Aung Naing Oo met Mr. Iwasaki. Mr. Iwasaki lived in Japan, New York, Republic of Congo, France, Switzerland and Thailand for his work as a UN and JICA officer. After coming to Myanmar as the Country-Director of UNODC, he moved to JICA to prolong his residency here.
To further develop Myanmar and encourage youth development, U Aung Naing Oo and Mr. Iwasaki decided to start a Sports Against Drugs initiative. Together, they brought baseball to Myanmar, and built the one and only field in the country at the Kyaikassan Sports Institute in Yangon. U Aung Naing Oo is one of the founders and the President of the Myanmar Baseball Federation, and Mr. Iwasaki is called the Father of Myanmar Baseball. He is the special advisor to the Myanmar Baseball Federation, and the head coach of the Myanmar National Baseball Team.
However, they soon realized that the fundamentals of life such as resilience, dedication, commitment and respect could only be fully taught at a young age. U Aung Naing Oo had always wanted to support education because of his personal history, and with his strong relationship with Mr. Iwasaki and our current principal, they formed a team that would inspired a new approach to education in Myanmar.
Our international principal, Hitomi, previously worked in primate and animal conservation in non-profits during her stay in the Republic of Congo as well, working alongside conservationists such as Jane Goodall. In Myanmar, she supported the development of youth baseball as well. She is the nutritionist and healthcare advisor to the Myanmar Baseball Federation.
Together with three Japanese educational advisors, the team built Myanmar’s first early childhood education teacher training center, Yangon Infant and Child Development Center (YICDC), in 2004.
The school began training Myanmar teachers in early childhood education to maximize the education’s sustainability in the future. In a country that did not have any strong foundations in early childhood education, this was a groundbreaking step. The school was initially a free school for local, Myanmar children. During the first stage of the school, Hitomiintroduced a multilingual program with English, Myanmar and Japanese, an emotional development program and a health and nutritional program with proper lunch.
In 2008, we custom built our first model international school at 10 Nichol’s Avenue, Parami Road, with our trained educators and first three students attending. We continued to train new teachers at Khayay Preschool Development Center (formerly YICDC), who would continue on to teach at our model school. Since our initial 3 students, we have nurture over 1500 children from over 25 countries ranging from the ages of 18-months to 12-years-old. We have over hundreds of graduates, many moving on to excellent schools in Myanmar or abroad. The general school staffs are from the Myanmar National Baseball team, as the school supports stable employment, baseball practice and learning through the school.
In 2013, the founder merged the early childhood education teacher training center and Khayay Preschool International to form The Khayay School. Within the new structure, a Faculty Development department with In-House mentors, a Curriculum Research department, and an Educational Design Department was created alongside the Preschool and Primary School Department. We offer classes for children between the ages of 18-months up to Grade 6 this year.
The school serves as a model for pushing innovations in education in Myanmar by not only supporting the learning for children, but professional development for teachers and staff.
In light of this, we will be opening further classes in the very near future. We would like to keep the windows of opportunity open to all children residing in Yangon, Myanmar with our culturally and socially responsible curriculum.
Here is to years of empowering people, and many more to come!
The Khayay International School challenges children of different cultural backgrounds with the same passion for learning, to think critically and creatively, both independently and as a team, while preparing them for active and global citizenship and leadership.
We imagine a peaceful world, where people embrace each other’s differences and co-exist in a global community. It begins here at Khayay, where every child, every staff and every parent’s warmth and love for humanity radiate the halls and classrooms. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, which country you come from or what your financial background is. What matters most is the mutual understanding we have for others.
We believe that every child should have the foundation for an active and global life.
Our school curriculum is based on The Iwasaki Method, an integrated pedagogy we developed for the children of the 21st century. Backed by research and collaborations with professors, and visiting educators from Fukuoka Education University, Stanford University Graduate School of Education and Columbia University’s Teacher’s College; musicians and artists from around the world; and visiting educators from France and Japan, our educational method is a unique approach to teaching young learners to be active, glocal (global and local) citizens while ensuring socio-emotional development.
The Khayay Method emphasizes eight core educational programs.
Primary & Junior High School
At Khayay, students are challenged in their learning as they experience various styles of learning an became an active actor of the entire process. Since preschool, they investigate and explore their surroundings and materials with the guidance of teachers, all while developing socio-emotional characteristics that help them grow into a confident child. Our primary school curriculum comes as a continuity of our preschool program. We keep on encouraging our students’ love of learning and socio-emotional development for a successful academic life.
Our primary school follows the Myanmar National curriculum, mixed with an American, French and Japanese curriculum. Each year, our curriculum undergoes a review to ensure that it is up to date, relevant, and tailored to the needs of our students. Furthermore, Khayay is also recognized by the Ministry of Education while being an international school. This means that Myanmar children who wish to remain in the Myanmar schooling system have the option to prepare and sit the Myanmar examinations according to the national system.
Students have three language classes, science, math, social studies, music, arts and crafts, and P.E. throughout the week. Life skills, ethics, experiential and cultural lessons are also a part of their weekly schedules. Programming lessons have also been recently introduced for the higher grade levels.
With regard to language classes, the 3 languages taught for now are English, Japanese and Myanmar. Natural language learning and acquisition is encouraged for all languages. English classes are taught according to the GrapeSEED curriculum.
Each day, students are also led through a reflection session to review what was done for the day, their thoughts and feelings about it, a preview of the next day, etc. This helps our learners to become more reflective, enabling them to grow in their understanding of themselves and their learning journeys.
Please feel free to contact us with any queries or questions you may have.