Unlocking Potential towards Knowledge Economy in Myanmar

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  • Dr G R Sinha
    Professor, Myanmar Institute of Information Technology Mandalay

Knowledge Economy (KE) plays significant role in overall economic growth of any country, so as in Myanmar. Knowledge economy is so powerful tool that it can transform the country and take the nation to sustainable growth along with brilliant GDP. Human capital is most important among all capitals that is essential component of knowledge economy, rather backbone of KE. Therefore, the ways and means to make human capital much stronger and competent need to be always contemplated upon; devised upon; revised if necessary so as to keep on improving knowledge economy. This article discusses about an overview of knowledge economy in Myanmar and how the great nation could move forward towards satisfactory KE with the available resources by unlocking its true potential.
Unlocking the potential includes requires many things, to name few; native talents be given all opportunity of international exposure and education in Myanmar itself; development of multiple intelligence in young minds to make them globally competent; increase in participation of youth of Myanmar in international corporate, academics and research based organizations. This needs international collaboration with reputed institutes all across the world; which would provide better opportunity and visibility to young minds of the country. Recently, Myanmar has been found gearing up in all such endeavors, which is great step towards moving in right direction for becoming good KE country. Following are major observations; suggestions; thoughts that could help the great nation in realizing its potential and become great KE nation:
Capacity Building in Higher Education and Greater Academic Engagement: Institute of International education has already launched a path-breaking course on “Connecting Words: International Relations for Higher Education Institutions”. This would build; rebuild and strength higher education capacity and improve the academic engagement at global level bringing foreign universities in the country for its youth or facilitating the international education through collaboration with reputed foreign institutions.
Expansion of person to person network; institution to institution network and country to country network through such academic collaborations would greatly help the young minds of Myanmar in realizing their native potential and they would be able to carry out viable research work as well along with brilliant academic impact.
Human Capital Development: Since human capital is first and foremost component in making any nation a big KE country and therefore more focus is needed in this direction. This requires a lot of funds and hence availability of funds has to be ensured; or mechanism of fund generating schemes needs to be evolved/devised; quality of education needs to be improved continuously; research culture has to be inculcated among youth in universities and institutions; and whatever is required for educating, creating awareness; and finally producing excellent human capitals in the nation. Human capital only returns a lot serving in the nation or even from outside the country.
Human capital once developed would showcase and demonstrate the students and youth generation after generation how to take the country ahead and transform it for the benefit of society and mankind.
Fostering Innovation and Research based Skill in students: Research and innovation based skills need to be inculcated in school going students right from the beginning. Research ambience and scientific attitude in youth will help them in contributing in giant global organizations that would attract several employment and investment opportunities for the nation. Investment has to be done positively in the direction of human capital development and fostering research and creativity in the students. If unavailability of fund is a major cause of concerns then the policymakers may think upon the alternative ways of the funds for these schemes.
MEMS can play Crucial Role: Myanmar Enterprise Monitoring System (MEMS) focuses on small and medium size enterprise (SME) as industrial enterprise that would create awareness in youth, for which only required the effort to bring the SME initiatives to the youth and making them part of it.

This could do wonders in skill development and enriching human capital in native areas of scope in the industrial sectors.
Sharing and Caring the Talent: The country is rich in producing vegetables, fruits and paddy and this needs a lot of scientific revolutions so as to make few significant contributions in these areas that would not only help productivity but attract more and more foreign investments. The collaborative investments get the talents of Myanmar as well as other parts of the nation in exploring the possible research based economy in the area of agriculture by combining the efforts and scientific knowledge of local youth and other researchers from the world. So, sharing its native knowledge; updating with latest knowledge; involving others from outside would help develop human capital in the nation itself.
Strengthening ICT Initiatives: As far ICT (Information and Communication Technology) tools and initiatives are concerned, the nation has to take very bold steps so that common ICT tools are available to common masses and they can use all ICT enabled services for service sector and other beneficial schemes aimed at elevating the poor and common masses. In addition to this, modern and global education needs ICT support very much and therefore ICT efforts that are already being put by the country, needs to be speeded up for facilitating the e-based or ICT based education and then the outreach of education would benefit faster and larger.
Knowledge Management Platform can act as Big Brother: The country’s knowledge management platform launched for bringing big financial services to Myanmar, can act as big brother in helping the institutions and young minds in becoming good human capitals that would further attract other developed countries in Myanmar for joint academic and research activities.
Recognizing Native Intelligence and giving them Opportunity to Flourish: Most importantly, all native intelligence in different areas of industrial and societal growth need to be given importance. The local intelligence of youth has to be promoted; encouraged; flourished and propagated all across the world.
There are so many things that could be written on how to improve knowledge economy of a nation but this article has attempted to bring important points that would help the nation in developing the human capital so that knowledge economy is improved significantly on continuous basis that would ultimately benefit the common masses and the nation at large.

(Please do write for feedback to me at [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]).

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