EXTRA CIRRICULA ACTIVITIES
This is mainly promoted through talent competitions and through church singing activities - additional to singing that may take place within the mainstream curriculum. Outside teaching times it is impossible to walk around the school campus without hearing a number of groups of all ages practicing some upcoming singing performance. In addition there will be the accompanists practicing guitar drum or keyboard parts – or maybe just jamming.
Dancing is another major area of activity. Hip-Hop has been a favourite, with many of the young students of both sexes showing ‘their moves”. Karen traditional dancing is clearly a key area and includes regaling the dancers in traditional costume. A key consideration too is to keep the Karen traditions vibrant and relevant for the future rather than simply recording them as “museum pieces”. Thoo Mweh Khee is at the forefront of incorporating new ideas about dancing, like Hip-Hop, into the Karen culture. Dance groups within the school are coming up with a fusion of Karen traditional dances and modern developments which is challenging for the performer and challenging the viewer’s ideas about what a Karen dance should look like.
This leadership is most obvious when TMK participates in inter-school competitions. To sit in the audience when TMK performs and see the eyes of students and teachers from other schools light up at the innovations they are seeing and the quality of how they are performed, is very gratifying. You can feel how much the other school students “get it” and would love to be a part of it.
Drama performances are not lavish “school productions” with an audience full of the parents of the performers. Far from that. There is little money for fancy sets, props or costumes but this is compensated for by a flair for getting the message across with a minimalist approach. So if a scene needs to be set in America, this will be conveyed with a banner or by American music.
Karen students suffer from none of the inhibitions that many Western novices experience when they get on stage. In fact they are more likely to crack up laughing on stage than to freeze. The ability of a group of students to “workshop” an idea, and flesh it out into a viable plot is staggering. The next step is not to write down and learn their lines. Normally they will simply use the scene notes as the basis to ad lib their part. It’s like the difference between following a recipe strictly or just adding a pinch of this and a dash of that. Every time is a bit different and some are better than others, but every now and again you get something original and truly outstanding.
The 3 major sports are football, volleyball and caneball. All these sports are conducted on the basis that if you turn up you’ll get a game at some stage, even if you have to wait. There is no ongoing inter-school competition with home and away fixtures every week. None of the schools in the catchment area could afford that. From time to time there will be an inter school tournament with all matches on one day and there are internal competitions between different parts of the school which are always well attended, with the spectators having as much fun and involvement as the players.
THE PURPOSE OF EXTRA CURRICULA ACTIVITIES
We aim to promote a broad spectrum education, not simply the learning defined within the academic curriculum
It is one of the school’s aims to foster Karen culture. Extracurricular activities are a key way to achieve this
Many students live in dorms on campus.
Extra curricula activities are vital to provide things that students can do outside school hours.