Exam Preparation Outreach Project (EPOP)

EPOP works through community organizations to identify students aspiring to attend university but are not academically prepared. Through EPOP, these students receive learning materials and periodic diagnostic tests to ready themselves for a university setting.
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Year launched: 
2009
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
Thabyay Education Foundation
Primary Topic: 

Location Data

Geography type: 
Additional country(ies) of operation: 
Program Description: 

The Exam Preparation Outreach Project (EPOP) is the flagship program of Thabyay E-learning Platform, and an initiative of the Thabyay Education Foundation. EPOP works primarily with community organizations in Southeast Asia to identify promising students who wish to attend university, but are not academically prepared with the level of education required. The program focuses on ethnic and linguistic minorities who live in remote areas of Myanmar, as well as students from Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

EPOP provides a web-based exam preparation program that assists up to 400 students per year. Students must demonstrate a dedicated commitment to continuing their education by participating in the program. Applications for EPOP participants are solicited by EPOP and their partner community organizations twice a year. Before beginning their EPOP studies, students set a goal for themselves for the college entrance exam score that they would like to achieve. Eventual success of the students in the program is measured by whether or not they achieve their desired score (not if they gain admittance to their chosen university).

The program is designed to be accessible to students in almost any location in Myanmar and Thailand, with study materials distributed via compact disc, online, and in print. The program uses an online student portal with tutors and practice exams, regional study groups, and even classroom-based tutorials in places where a significant number of students are enrolled in the program.

Learning in the EPOP program is self-directed and largely web-based. EPOP works with each student to design a course that fits his or her individual learning needs. Students work at their own pace to teach themselves material in the academic subjects in which they need support. Periodically throughout the EPOP program local community organizations distribute study materials and administer diagnostic tests. The only cost for the students participating in the program is a 20 USD fee which includes an official TOEFL ITP exam as well. For students living in refugee camps or in difficult financial conditions, the course fee, books and/or study materials are provided for free. Once students have demonstrated (in diagnostic tests) that they can score within the necessary range to achieve their goals, then EPOP will administer the official test.

In the future, EPOP would like to expand its network, offering accesspoints across Myanmar with physical hotspots that will be equiped with computers and mobile internet access in order to give students living in remote areas the opportunity to join the program. Access to the internet through mobile technology will be rolled out throughout Myanmar by two companies (Telenor and Oreedoo) in 2014. EPOP is eager to cooperate with these corporations in a long-term CSR partnership.

Highlighting Innovation: 
EPOP's pillars are an e-learning system that provides courses on three level including writing assignments, listening tasks, quizzes and three diagnostic tests by semester ; the Online Volunteer Tutors intiative; official TOEFL ITP exam provided by EPOP.
Key Challenges: 
The biggest challenge that EPOP program faces is the hectic internet connection and power supply in Myanmar. That is why the assignments are re-opened twice a semester giving the chance to the students to complete tasks that were not fulfilled.