The University of Hong Kong administers the HKU Migrant Outreach Education Initiative (HKU Moei) on an annual basis, under the HKU Horizons Programme.
Initially launched in 2008 by the Faculty of Social Sciences, MOEI provides intensive English-language education for migrant children and adults from Burma located along the Moei River section of the Thai-Burma border. Over the years, MOEI Cambodia, MOEI Laos, MOEI Myanmar, MOEI Thailand, MOEI China and MOEI Hong Kong have been organized. In 2015/16, MOEI was re-configurated as HKU Moei – a university-level programme open to all students in the University.
Moei normally consists of two components:
- 1 week of initial training to provide participants with essential orientation for teaching English as a second language
- 9-10 weeks of in-class teaching
In-class teaching generally takes place for 4-5 hours per day from Monday to Friday. Class sizes tend to range from 10 to 40, and pupils are often aged about 12-20. Instruction is usually at the elementary or intermediate level. However, there is no typical Moei class, and participants may find that their experience diverges considerably from this description.
Moei provides basic teaching resources for all teachers and many pupils, usually in the form of a core textbook. In Thailand, further resources are available at the offices of Thabyay Education Network. The Curriculum Department has an especially large library, and the Volunteer Department also has books that are useful for teaching. In addition, Moei makes some funding available for handouts. However, participants may need to cover photocopying costs from their own resources. This is reflected in the costings given on this site.
What to Bring for Teaching
All participants will find it an excellent idea to bring a laptop to Moei for use in class. Some classrooms have Internet connections, and even in those that do not a laptop is an invaluable resource.
Non-native English speakers may have or know of grammar books and textbooks that are particularly useful for language learning. These can certainly be brought for use in class and for sharing with other Moei teachers.
It is also good to bring songs that can be played in class, preferably through a laptop and maybe a small pair of speakers. Singing songs is a standard classroom activity.
Many pupils will want to know about their teachers’ life back home. Photos of friends, family and the places where participants live and study can be a great teaching resource.
Moei tries to allocate participants to placements through consultation during the training week. However, it is not always possible to place all participants in schools that meet their top criteria. All participants are therefore asked ahead of the programme to be flexible in accepting and adapting to their placements. In the vast majority of cases, placements turn out to be ideally suited to participants’ preferences. But a small number of participants may find that they are not teaching in the school they most want to join. That is part of the deal for a programme of this kind.
Funding support for Moei is provided to cover core programme costs, such as organization, training, and major classroom materials. Moei cannot provide funding for individuals. All participants must cover their own costs: airfare, insurance, visa and in-country costs.
In most of Moei’s partner schools, the dress code for teaching is informal but conservative. Shorts may be OK, but should never be really short. T-shirts are fine, but the sleeves should be quite long and the neckline should be high. It is perhaps unfair, but nevertheless the case in many of Moei’s partner schools, that women are expected to dress more conservatively than men.
All Moei participants will be advised on culturally-appropriate requirements, and must dress accordingly to avoid giving offence or generating embarrassment.