The newest development at DEPDC’s Half Day School (HDS) is Tai Yai language lessons on Friday afternoons. Thanks to the new cooperation between DEPDC and the Tai Origin Network (TON) HDS can now offer regular Tai Yai language classes on two different levels every week.
This school year children from seven different ethnic group visit HDS. This are Tai Yai, Tai Lue, Akha, Tai Khün, Burmese, Thai, and Lawa. Currently the biggest group at our school are students from the Tai Yai group. They make up for nearly 50% of our current students.
The Tai Yai, in Myanmar often called Shan, are the biggest ethnic group in Myanmar’s Shan State and many refugees and labor migrants along the Thai side of the border belong to this ethnic group as well. Tai Yai people have their own language and script and as language is an important part of ones culture and origin there are increasing efforts to promote the language in all situations of live.
Tai Khün and Tai Lue language are closely related to Tai Yai language and together this three groups stand for more than ⅔ of HDS current students. For this reason we were very happy when two teachers from TON offered to come to visit HDS ever Friday afternoon to teach Tai Yai language to our students. This classes include spoken and written language. DEPDC believes that literacy in the students own language is a valuable addition to literacy in Thai and some cases Burmese language.