Mr Sanjay Thapa, Founder and Managing Director of SAPE Events & Media Pvt. Ltd, sat down with Mizzima Editor Myo Thant to discuss the opportunity provided through the India Education Fair 2019 for Myanmar students to go to India to get a quality and affordable education.
The 6th India Education Fair will be held at Summit Park View Hotel, Yangon on 29-30 March 2019 supported by the Indian Embassy, Yangon.
SAPE is one of the leading event management and educational promotion organisations of South East Asia to provide the students easy access to education options and career prospects almost on their doorsteps. With more than fifteen years of experience, SAPE Education Fair is now the most sought education fair in India and various other South Asian countries. The Education Fair is extended to more than 19 cities among the region and has proudly held more than 200 education shows till now.
India and Myanmar are close geographical neighbours sharing long land and maritime boundaries through which trade and cultural relations have flourished throughout history. These close ties were reinforced in the 20th century by a close association with Indian universities and centres of education and Indian teachers in Myanmar. Today as Myanmar transforms into a modern economy, India is in a position to provide high quality English language based education, training and skills development for Myanmar citizens in India as well as Myanmar.
The following is the interview with Mr Sanjay Thapa.
Please could you tell us about yourself?
I am the founder and managing director of Sape Events & Media Pvt. Ltd. This is a leading education fair organizer in Asia and Africa. So we organize the India Education Fair to promote the Study India programme in these countries.
When did you start these education fairs in Myanmar?
We started these education fairs in 2014. So this is going to be the sixth year of the India Education Fair in Myanmar. So we are in the sixth year and the reason I am here to promote my Study India programme, so hope that students of Myanmar can come and they will be able to understand about the India education system.
Can you tell us more about the education fair?
The reason behind this India Education Fair to educate the Myanmar students about what the possibilities they have when they come to India. We talk about India, we always says it is affordable education, quality and affordable education. So the idea behind this education fair to promote Indian education to the Myanmar students, to create opportunity for the Myanmar students to understand about India education and the opportunities and what best they can do if they get educated in India.
Could you tell us about the Indian education system compared with the Myanmar education system?
India and Myanmar have almost the same education system that used to be in the British era. But you know when the Yangon University is affiliated to the university in Kolkata. But after the British era, you had your own education system and India have their own education system. India has an education system ten plus two, then the graduations, then the Master’s. And the Myanmar education is slightly different from India but India is the third largest education system in the world after America and China. So India has almost 100 universities public and private, and we have around 40,000 institutions across India. So India provides the vast opportunity in terms of different courses and careers.
How will the students benefit from the education system?
Number one, I just want to tell you like that when I am here for the last seven years and now Burma is definitely one of the speedy globalizers and Myanmar is into the global arena. So what I find is when your country is growing then you have so many things that are coming up. If you look at the telecommunications, then your tourism, but what I see in Myanmar your telecommunications, again the head of the telecommunications headed by Indians. You have around four or five telecom companies. Those companies, the big people are from India. And even the hotels also. And those people actually are educated from India and they are coming here. So the Burmese students can also take this benefit if they come to India and study in the future, rather than having people from other countries to head your entire business, so Burmese can also educate themselves and in the future they are also leading their own companies here.
Entry into the Burmese and Indian education systems is a little bit different so how can the Burmese students gain admission.
This is the right question. I think a lot of Burmese students have what you call adult, whether I am eligible to come in and educate myself because I already mentioned earlier that our education and the Burmese education is slightly different, although the British era we had the same education system. Burmese education system follows matriculation after the university and our education system follows matriculation, then it is called higher education, then the university. So there are no such difficulties in terms of Burmese students, they have to not worry about coming to India. Say I take an example, let’s talk about engineering, I think we are well know in IT engineering. Even today, if you look at the companies Google, Microsoft, all headed by Indians, these are Indians actually educated from India.
So I am talking about let somebody from Burmese matriculations wanting to do engineering in India, they can always come for a diploma programme that is going to be three years, and after that they can join a three-year programme. So six years they can be an engineer, a degree, a graduate engineer. And what I understand in Burma, after matriculation you have six years for engineering. So there is no such difference in terms of engineering.
If I talk about the other courses, humanities, commerce, science, so here what happens is Burmese after finishing matriculation they go for university for four years. So what this student can do if they wanted to come to India for further education, they want to do a graduation in India, so after finishing their second year in university, they can come to India for graduation that takes three years.
So there is no such term in terms of difficulties coming to India. Only you need to understand the education system and there is a brief we have created from the India government to facilitate students of Myanmar to come to India to study. And hopefully again I am saying, Burmese have to come, they have to lead their companies their own.
Are there any scholarship programmes for Myanmar students?
Actually as for a scholarship programs, we have two kinds of scholarships, one is a scholarship provided by the Government of India, that is through the Indian Embassy, so if the students are interested in the scholarship they can directly go to the website of the Indian Embassy in Yangon. So this scholarship is entirely free for your tuition fees, your traveling, your stay, as well as you also get a stipend in terms of pocket money. So this is absolutely free for graduate to post-graduate.
For that the student needs to apply through our embassy, the Indian Embassy, you can always log in to the website of the Indian Embassy. Apart from students who are looking, we have very limited scholarship from the government side, totally free, then we have a lot of private institutions in India that are offering Burmese students to come to India – ranging from 50 persons to 100 persons. So students who are interested in studying in India, I would request though this Mizzima TV, please do not fail to attend this education fair that we are going to hold from 29 to 30 March. This gives you the opportunity to understand. You can interact directly with our university representatives.
What is the difference between other education and India education?
Number one, the difference if you talk about (the students of other countries) and the students of Myanmar, they prefer to go to Singapore, Malaysia. You see Indian education is a very high quality and it is recognized by all the First World, that is what I said, if you look at the Indian CEOs, from the multinational companies such as Google to Microsoft, so we have the Indians leading, so that gives you the message that the Indian education system is recognized and well deserved.
The other important aspect of Indian education is we are affordable, but at the same to we are very quality. So if students are looking for education in Europe, but at the same time they are looking for education in India, so for one tenth of the cost you can always have in India and at the same time, it is not like you are compromising in terms of quality because our education quality is as good as what you have in Europe and Singapore.
Some people are afraid when they go abroad. How do you view the issue of India security right now?
That one thing that you need to understand why today the Indian news are highlighted more than the other news because you need to understand that India is 1.3 billion population and if you look at the digital media, every news become headlines all across the world. A lot of people say India is not a safe country, but I say India is a safe country as Myanmar. And there are a lot of advantages, I want to share with the Myanmar students, if you come to India especially in northeast India, you don’t find there is any difference right from your culture, your food, even the look like also because we are also the same Mongolian face. So I would request Myanmar students, you can always try to see what India offers and if you really deeply see India offers maybe some others are not able to offer you.
Can you tell us a little more about the India Education Fair?
This time is this education fair is the sixth India Education Fair and we have top rank coming from universities to give you information, on the spot admission, as well as scholarships ranging from one hundred percent to fifty percent. So this is kind of opportunity for the students of Myanmar looking at information from the secondary level. You can come to the summit and meet and take the first-hand information regarding Indian education and maybe you have a lot of doubt about how to go about India. So this education fair gives such chance to the students of Myanmar to understand and access directly with our university people, understand what best they can do for their future.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Again, because this country, I really like it the most. When I come here that is what I said, I am saying Myanmar students you can come to India and explore. Another way to say is like seeing is believing. Once you come, must have heard a lot of rumour about bad negative things about India. But again I say seeing is believing. If you start coming to India and if you see in India what we offer, then only you can realize what you are missing. I would request the students of Myanmar, there is always the option next door, that is very close to your country and I hope you will be able to explore our country and I wish you have a bright future.