Published: Wednesday, 03 September 2014 08:32
|As many as 150 participants attended at the Taunggyi Consultation workshop
||Various education stakeholders, including local authorities, teachers, students, ethnic groups from Shan and Kayah States, attending at the Taunggyi Consultation workshop
||Attendees from six states and regions – Yangon, Bago, Ayeyarwaddy, Tanin Thar Yi Regions and Rakhine and Chin States, at the Yangon Consultation workshop
As 2014 develops, much progress is being achieved in the Myanmar Government’s Education Reform Programme.
Both CESR (Comprehensive Education Sector Review) and EPIC (Education Promotion Implementation Committee) have worked hard to meet timeframes for the Programme, and weekly progress reports have been submitted to the President’s office.
The three phases for CESR are:
- Phase 1: Rapid Assessment. This was a sector wide assessment for identification of urgent priorities and reform issues and information on knowledge gaps for Phase 2. This was completed in mid 2013.
- Phase 2: In Depth Analysis. A detailed sector analysis which is large scale, participatory and will incorporate more focussed investigations and capacity building. This phase has now been completed and consultations are underway on the findings.
- Phase 3: Development of one overall National Education Sector Plan, with cost analyses for Government.
PHASE 2 REPORTS AND CONSULTATIONS
The Phase 2 analyses components cover Early Childhood Care and Development, Primary Education, Secondary Education, Policy, Legislation and Management, Information Communications Technology, Non Formal Education, Technical and Vocational Education, Curriculum, Language, Teacher Education and Higher Education.
The preliminary reports for all these segments are on the CESR’s new website, www.cesrmm.orgunder Documents.
Seven national consultations are now underway on the reports. They are being held with local and regional government members and officials, National races, NGO representatives, teachers, parents, students, education stakeholders and media, in Yangon, Taunggyi, Mawlamyine, Monywa, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. The findings from the consultations will help finalise the Phase 2 Reports and help identify the steps needed for Phase 3.
Key presenters at the consultations have included: Kayah State National Races Minister U Sein Oo; Mon State Social Minister Dr Hla Oo; Sagaing Region Social Minister Dr Myint Thein, Dr Thane Myint, Chariman of Myanmar Academy of Arts and Science; Director General of Department of Myanmar Education Research Bureau, MOE; Daw Tin Tin Shu, Head of CESR, and many others.
The results from the consultations have been overwhelmingly positive, with participants pleased to have the chance to contribute to these important reforms. There has been much discussion of the options being put forward. About 1000 people are expected to attend these during 2013-14 as the Programme has progressed.
KEY ISSUES ARISING
Major issues arising from the reports are about university autonomy, consolidation and quality assurance; how language will be managed in schools; and the length of time for schooling.
A NATIONAL EDUCATION LAW
A National Education Law has been presented to the Hluttaw and is expected to be passed in the current session. A Basic Education Law, Higher Education Law and TVET law, Private Education Law are being drafted, which will fall under the framework of the overall National Education Law.
The Government’s key messages for the overall Education Reform Programme are:
- It is undertaking extensive reforms to provide a quality education which strengthens the traditions and culture of Myanmar
- The reforms will be based on principles of equity and inclusion, to achieve ‘people-centred development’, education for all and all for education
- The reforms will ensure that the system offers good quality education options for Myanmar’s children, from early childhood to tertiary education
- The reforms will promote a learning society and will build a more competitive economy with higher levels of skill.
ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE
A number of decisions are already being implemented by Government, including:
- Commitment to a substantial increase in the overall education budget;
- Strengthening quality and equity in education in order to promote equitable and sustainable development in all states and regions;
- US $100 million investment in the school grants and stipends programme;
- School grants increased to a minimum of 800,000 kyat per school;
- Student stipends increased;
- No entrance fees for primary and middle schools;
- Free text books and exercise books for primary students;
- Stationery grant of 1,000 kyat provided to each primary school student;
- Recruitment of 50,000 new teachers;
- Training of 30,000 new teachers;
- Transfers and promotions based on merit;
- Provision for at least five teachers including school head per primary school by regional and state governments;
- Literacy campaign extended to 29 townships;
- Child Centred Approach (CCA) extended to all townships to improve thinking skills, creative skills of each student;
- Parent Teacher Associations strengthened for each student learning achievement;
- Extension of scholarship programmes and scouts and girl guides programmes.
These are very substantial achievements which lay the foundation for major progress in the overall Programme.
PHASE 3 PROCESS
The objectives of Phase 3 are to provide a strategic planning tool for the national education strategy; to enable Government to engage with Development Partners to mobilize external financing to support reforms; to provide Government with a clearer idea of costs, so priorities can be established in line with ‘people centred development’; and to point to the structural reforms required to implement the decentralization policy.
It is now agreed that the overall reform programme will be known as the National Education Sector Plan, in view of its breadth and significance. The NESP will require a structure which includes clear objectives, strategies and policies, targets and milestones, main programme activities, programme monitoring and management, and financial planning within the two and five year timeframes identified.
Phase 3, the preparation of a National Education Plan, with costed sector plans, began in May and will be finalised late in 2014. CESR and EPIC’s work will come together in Phase 3. It will include two plans:
- A 2 year plan covering 2014-16
- A 5 plan covering 2015-21.
One final plan will be presented to Government by the close of 2014 with realistic deadlines for the production of the NESP costed sector plans.