By Moe Min
Myanmar government has a very high expectation for implementation of comprehensive reforms in the education sector to ensure equal access to education for all the school –aged children in the country.
The National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 was designed to fully realize the benefits of a quality national education system. It is also a road map to undergo a major transformation over the five years. The government is of the view that quality, equitable and relevant education is essential for the country, it also plays a central role in reducing poverty and inequality, increasing household incomes, improving individual and family health, strengthening communities and peace and development.
The plan is also expected to transform Myanmar education system, to achieve dramatic improvements in teaching and learning in all educational institution of the country.
A key reform focus of the present government is the provision of quality, healthy, play-centred pre-school and primary education for all children, including those living in remote rural areas.
The Ministry of Education is implementing the goal of being all-inclusive, providing equal access to equality and quality education and the Sustainable Development Goal, while taking assistance from international development partners.
One of the recent financial was provided by the European Union with the disbursement of euro 32 million (51 billion Myanmar kyat) on 23 March.
The funds are to assist Myanmar government’s efforts in improving the quality of education and vocational training in the country.
At the handover ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw, Union Minister for Education Dr Myo Thein Gyi expressed his appreciation, saying, “Equal access to education for all school-aged children in Myanmar is a priority of our education system and a cricual basis for peace and development.”
Mr Kristian Schmidt, the EU ambassador, made a constructive comment on the Myanmar government’s efforts to provide equal access to equality education for all the children in Myanmar.
The recent financial assistance is as part of 221 million euro grant of EU to the Ministry of Education. The EU assistance includes the 175 million euro programme which delivers the support in direct cooperation with the government of Myanmar. Of which, the EU has disbursed 67 million euro (K105 billion) to day; and the 46 million euro (K80 billion) for technical support for the improvement of Secondary Education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training, as well as Public Finance Management.
The EU programme is aimed to implement major reforms in the National Education Strategic Plan 2016-2021, focusing on equal access to better quality secondary education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
The EU also supports education in the ethnic areas with an additional 20 million euro grant (K 35 billion) to support mainstreaming education reforms, and to promote collaborative engagement between the Ministry of Education and ethnic education providers.
Whatever system or assistance to the country, it is not easy to implement the reforms for equal access to education. The stakeholders in this processes need to have an alternative mindset for genuine desires for development goals.
References: 1 . The National Education Strategic Plan 2016-2021
2. Press Release of EU on 23 March 2020