National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education
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The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Ministry of Education National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 Summary
The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Ministry of Education National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 Summary 2016
2 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 Foreword 1 Page 4 Introduction Page 7 4 5 Overview of recent Recent achievements high-level education of the national policy reforms education system Page 12 Page 14 7 8 Principles that informed NESP goal drafting the NESP Page 22 Page 20 11 Education pathways for work and lifelong learning Page 52
SUMMARY 3 3 2 General background Country context on Myanmar’s education system Page 8 Page 10 6 Key challenges of the current education system Page 16 9 The nine 10 Transformational Shifts Main sub-sectors to achieve the NESP of the NESP goal Page 26 Page 24 12 13 Phased implementation Financing the NESP of the NESP Page 54 Page 55
4 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 Foreword The national education system in Myanmar needs labour market and it is a key driver of economic to undergo a major transformation over the next growth. five years if it is to meet the life-long-learning and Education plays a central role in reducing career aspirations of our students, youth and poverty and inequity, increasing household adults. Quality, equitable and relevant education incomes, improving individual and family health, is essential if we are to provide our children with strengthening our communities, fostering lasting new knowledge and competencies, creativity peace, expanding economic development and and critical thinking skills and cultural and ethical building national unity. values that will enable them to excel in their chosen careers and contribute to Myanmar’s socio- To fully realise the benefits of a quality national economic development in the 21st century. education system, the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar will implement a new Education begins from the time of our birth and National Education Strategic Plan (NESP) during the continues throughout our lives. It is a major period 2016-2021. The NESP is a comprehensive, contributor to the development of our social and widely-owned and evidence-based roadmap economic capital. It inspires creativity and fosters intended to reform the entire education sector over innovation, it provides our youth with the necessary the next five years. skills to enable them to compete in the modern
SUMMARY 5 A key reform focus of the government in the coming We must continuously expand and strengthen years will be the provision of quality, healthy, play- the quality of technical and vocational education centred pre-school and primary education for and training in the interests of sustained national all children, including those living in remote rural economic development. In so doing, we must areas. The physical, intellectual, linguistic, emotional ensure that it is in accord with priority development and social needs of children aged 3 to 6 years must sectors, while also meeting the expectations and be met. needs of employers and students. With regard to basic education, we must work To sustain and expand our national education together to ensure that all children successfully system all educational institutions must have a complete their primary, middle and high Quality Assurance System that will help them school education and acquire relevant learning achieve national quality standards and improve competencies. This will provide them with a strong both teaching and learning. In addition, we must foundation of knowledge and skills that will enable invest in training programmes to build the capacity them to progress to higher education or technical of technical specialists, education managers and vocational education and training. The concept and those occupying leadership positions in our that higher education is only university education schools, training centres and universities. must be changed. It is particularly important that parents should be There is a need for education programmes to encouraged and assisted to play a more active be especially developed to meet the needs of role in their children’s education, as well as in the children who face difficulties in accessing primary educational institutions of their communities. We and secondary education, children with mental or must put in place mechanisms that will enable physical disabilities, or those who live in poverty or education stakeholders, national and international in remote areas. organisations and private sector companies to support and develop our national education We must also redesign and launch a new basic system. education curriculum that focuses on relevant 21st century knowledge and skills. To ensure the smooth In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity implementation of this curriculum we must provide to request all our students, parents, teachers, quality in-service training and mentoring for all school leaders and education stakeholders, as well teachers in our primary, middle and high schools. as national and international partner organisations, to cooperate with the Ministry of Education for Through innovative, quality and accessible the successful implementation of the National alternative education programmes, we must strive Education Strategic Plan 2016–2021. This plan will to improve the quality of life for youth and adults help us to transform our national education system who have only had limited educational and career and to achieve dramatic improvements in teaching opportunities. and learning in all our educational institutions. We are committed to developing a world-class, higher education system, with a strong focus on research and innovation, to meet the country’s social and economic development needs. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi State Counsellor The Republic of the Union of Myanmar
SUMMARY 7 1.0 • Introduction In today’s global economy a nation’s success depends fundamentally on the knowledge, skills and competencies of its people. Countries which invest in education are likely to reap substantial long-term benefits, such as greater economic and social prosperity. Education provides individuals with the opportunity Furthermore, there is broad consensus that major to improve their lives, become successful members shifts are required in the coming years to transform of their communities and actively contribute to the national education system and ensure that all national socio-economic development. In Myanmar students progress through the education cycle, society, education is traditionally valued as a key achieve quality learning standards and fulfil their determinant for social mobility and it is widely career and lifelong learning goals and aspirations. recognised as a critical building block for nation In response to these expectations, the Ministry of building, national unity and sustainable development. Education (MOE) has undertaken a three-and-a- Furthermore, education and poverty alleviation half-year Comprehensive Education Sector Review have been identified as two key drivers to support (CESR) involving three phases: a rapid assessment the democratic and peace-building process and to (Phase 1); in-depth research and analysis of critical achieve the national goal of Myanmar becoming an sub-sector challenges (Phase 2); and drafting and upper Middle Income Country by 2030. building ownership for an evidence-based and, In recent years Myanmar’s national education costed National Education Strategic Plan (NESP) for system has come under increased public scrutiny the period 2016–21 (Phase 3). and debate due to growing expectations from The NESP provides the government, education students, parents, employers and citizens for stakeholders and citizens with a ‘roadmap’ for education reforms that will improve access, quality sector-wide education reforms over the next five and equity in the main education sub-sectors — years that will dramatically improve access to preschool, kindergarten, primary, secondary and quality education for students at all levels of the alternative education, and technical and vocational national education system. education and training and higher education.
8 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 2.0 • Country context Myanmar is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia and is situated geographically at the strategic location between the economic hubs of China, India and ASEAN countries. Myanmar has a long coastline, abundant fertile estimated GDP growth had increased from 5.5 per lands, a rich endowment of natural resources and cent in 2012 to 6.8 per cent in 2014. Medium-term one of the lowest population densities in the region. economic growth is projected to average 8.2 per Myanmar has a population of 53.9 million (2014 cent per year. Census) and an annual population growth of 0.89 However, Myanmar’s economy is heavily reliant percent. on the agricultural sector and extractive industries. Under the 2008 Constitution Myanmar has shifted In order to achieve sustainable economic to a democratic governance system with the development Myanmar needs to reduce its reliance establishment of a civilian-led government and two on natural resources and expand the services and parliaments with elected representatives in 2011. In manufacturing sectors. At the same time, there is a addition, 14 State/ Region governments and local need to use modern technology to produce quality parliaments have been established as a foundation products in the agricultural sector. Myanmar for a decentralised governance system. However, currently is facing two major challenges to expand there is a need to further clarify the authority priority development sectors: (a) a shortage of and roles and responsibilities of these local skilled workers, despite increased job opportunities; governments so that they can play a more active and (b) limited governance and public sector role in expanding access to essential basic services. management capacity. The education sector has a vital role to play to support the government to In 2015, a second multiparty election was address these challenges in the coming years. successfully conducted and there was a smooth transfer of power to a new administration. The There are also other key challenges that the government is speeding up efforts launched by country needs to address to achieve sustainable the previous government to end armed conflicts, development and equitable economic growth, undertake national reconciliation and establish such as the growing disparity between wealthy peace within the country’s borders. and poor citizens within Myanmar society, disparity in access to essential services, especially between Following the recent handover to a civilian- citizens living in urban and rural areas, internal led government, international sanctions have and external migration, human trafficking and been eased and foreign investment is expected drug abuse. The provision of quality and equitable to increase substantially in the coming years. education has an important catalyst role to play to Myanmar’s recent economic growth has been help the government to address these challenges. impressive. The Asian Development Bank
10 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 3.0 • General background on Myanmar’s education system The following section provides a brief overview of the situation of the education sector in Myanmar. 3.1 • Early childhood care and development 3.3 • Alternative education (AE) (ECCD) The MOE provides access to alternative education The MOE and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief through a Non-formal Primary Education and Resettlement (MSWRR) are the lead ministries Equivalency Programme (NFPE EP) for out-of- involved in the provision of ECCD services. In school children and a Summer Basic Literacy addition, there are a number of non-governmental Programme (SBLP) for adults. The NFPE EP is and private sector organisations actively supporting currently being implemented in 89 townships communities with the provision of ECCD services. where it is reaching 11,234 learners. The SBLP was restarted in 2013 and it reached 22,444 learners. 3.2 • Basic education This figure doubled in 2014 to 46,478 learners. The current basic education system comprises of five years of primary education (KG to Grade 4), four 3.4 • TVET years of lower secondary and two years of upper Access to technical and vocational education secondary education. There are currently 47,363 and training in Myanmar is provided by relevant basic education schools in Myanmar reaching ministries and the private sector through 372 approximately 9.26 million students (see Table 3.1 technical and vocational education and training below). The majority of these schools are managed centres. by the Department of Basic Education within 3.5 • Higher education the MOE. In addition, a significant percentage of students access basic education through monastic, Myanmar has 171 higher education institutions private, community and other types of schools. The (HEIs) (colleges, degree colleges and universities), number of schools, teachers and students in the which are overseen by eight ministries. In the basic education system in the 2015-16 Academic 2015 academic year, there were 225,178 students Year are listed in Table 3.1 below. studying full-time in HEIs under the responsibility of the MOE, while an additional 411,164 students were accessing higher education through Distance Education Universities.
SUMMARY 11 Table 3.1: Number of schools, teachers and students in basic education School category No. of basic education No. of basic education No. of basic education schools (2015-16) teachers (2015-16) students (2015-16) Upper secondary 3,513 34,393 873,832 Lower secondary 6,224 129,945 2,795,607 Primary 35,650 158,176 5,184,041 Monastic 1,538 11,044 297,039 Private 438 7,397 107,451 Total 47,363 340,955 9,257,970 Source : MOE (2015-16)
12 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 4.0 • Overview of recent high-level education policy reforms This section presents a short overview of recent, high-level education sector laws and policies that have guided the implementation of national programmes to improve access to quality education for all students and citizens. 4.1 • The Constitution of the Republic of the 4.2 • National Education Law (NEL) (2014) Union of Myanmar (2008) and NEL Amendment (2015) The Constitution (2008) provides the foundation A watershed moment for education sector reform legal framework for the education sector in in Myanmar was the approval by Parliament of a Myanmar. Article 28 of the Constitution stipulates National Education Law (NEL) in September 2014 that the Union shall: that strengthened the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the national education system. The a. earnestly strive to improve education and NEL was further strengthened with the passing health of the people; of the NEL Amendment in 2015. The NEL and b. enact the necessary law to enable National NEL Amendment provide an excellent national people to participate in matters of their framework for the implementation of a wide range education and health; of complementary reforms across the national c. implement free, compulsory primary education system, such as: recognition of the right education system; of all citizens to free, compulsory education at the primary level; establishment of a standards-based d. implement a modern education system that education quality assurance system; expansion of will promote all-around correct thinking and the basic education system to 13 years; support for a good moral character contributing towards the learning of nationalities’ languages and culture; the building of the Nation. and greater decentralisation within the education Article 366 of the Constitution states that: Every system. An additional benefit of the NEL is that citizen, in accord with the educational policy laid Myanmar is now fully aligned with ASEAN members down by the Union: in terms of the number of years of schooling under basic education. a. has the right to education; b. shall be given basic education which the 4.3 • Education sector reform priorities Union prescribes by law as compulsory; for the government The following section provides a brief overview of c. have the right to conduct scientific research, the main reform priorities of the government. explore science, work with creativity and write to develop the arts and conduct research 1. Establish early childhood care programmes; freely in other branches of culture. 2. Improve primary education completion for every primary-aged child in school, and
SUMMARY 13 dedicated education programmes for children 7. Improve the quality of life of people with limited who face difficulties in accessing and achieving educational qualifications, through middle and primary-level education, such as children high school equivalency programmes and with mental or physical disabilities, children vocational training; living in poverty, and children living in remote 8. Develop a world-class higher education system, areas while creating learning opportunities where universities have autonomy over their progressively to enable all citizens to complete own curriculum and governance and the at least primary-level education and proceed ability to conduct independent research; towards further education. 9. Develop a technical and vocational education 3. Support and promote nationalities’ languages and training system that is equal in status with and cultures, including curriculum development, academic learning at universities; implementation and monitoring by state and 10. Establish effective education services that region governments to support primary-aged do not place a burden on parents and children who speak different languages; communities; 4. Achieve an appropriate teacher-student ratio; 11. Ensure the effective, efficient and transparent 5. Improve the abilities and subject-matter allocation and use of government, private expertise of teachers in all schools; sector, other domestic and international 6. Prioritise the needs of schools in less funding; and, developed areas in order to make education 12. Implement effective educational reforms, more accessible to all, especially in middle and as well as management and monitoring high schools lacking facilities and equipment; programmes, based on accurate information and data.
14 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 5.0 • Recent achievements of the national education system The government has launched a number of new initiatives and national programmes to expand access to quality education across the education sector. A selection of these achievements are briefly described below. 5.1 • CESR — establishing an international- 5.3 • Dramatic increases in the number standard evidence base to develop a of teachers — improving the quality of National Education Strategic Plan education Over the last three-and-a-half years the MOE Over the last three years approximately 72,000 new has successfully co-ordinated and completed a teachers have been hired to ensure that there are comprehensive review of the entire education sector, more teachers in every school. Furthermore, work including an in-depth policy review by the Education is ongoing to improve the professional capacities of Working Group. This achievement enabled the these new teachers. This exceptional investment in MOE to identify priority reforms, strategies and the basic education sub-sector is expected to result programmes though the establishment of an in improvements in education quality and student international standard evidence base that will lead learning achievement in the beneficiary schools to dramatic improvements in teaching and learning where teachers have been deployed. in all schools and educational institutions. This approach will ensure the highest possible return – 5.4 • Strengthening governance and in terms of impacts on teaching and learning – on management — enabling more efficient and government and development partner investments effective service delivery in the education sector over the next five years. In 2016, the government launched a major public sector reform to reduce the number of ministries 5.2 • Investing in education — committing and improve the overall efficiency of the government to measurable changes in education service delivery. As part of this reform the MOE service delivery and the Ministry of Science and Technology were The government has increased funding for the integrated into one ministry. This was followed by education sector in recent years and this has a rationalization of departments within the new enabled the MOE to introduce new policies and ministry and the establishment of a new department national programmes, such as hiring new teachers, dedicated to alternative education. These reforms free basic education and the school grants and have established a strong foundation of leadership stipends programme for basic education schools. and management to support implementation of the new strategic plan.
SUMMARY 15 5.5 • Expanding access to basic education — and 13,555 existing classrooms were renovated. For major investments in school infrastructure the 2016–17 school year the MOE has approved and A notable achievement over the last four years has secured funding for upgrading of an additional 3,312 been major investments in school infrastructure schools. These infrasturcture investments have across the country. Between 2010–11 and 2014–15, dramatically expanded access to basic education the MOE constructed 7,616 new schools and 11,776 and improved the quality of teaching and learning new classrooms. In addition, 8,945 existing schools in the targeted schools.
16 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 6.0 • Key challenges of the current education system The challenges that the Myanmar education system is currently facing are multi-dimensional, and most of them deal with key concepts in education reform, such as access, quality and equity. Area 1 • Preschool and kindergarten Area 2 • Basic education — access, quality education and inclusion The four major challenges facing preschool and The four major challenges facing basic education — kindergarten education are: access, quality and inclusion are: • Children living in rural and remote areas • The MOE is now implementing free basic have limited access to quality preschool and education in order to ease the cost among kindergarten education, and this negatively parents and communities. However, children’s affects school readiness, student learning access to schools, and their retention and achievement, community wellbeing and completion of basic education, needs to be national economic development. significantly improved. Moreover, drop-out rates are still high during the transition from • Preschool service providers generally need to primary to middle school and from middle to improve the quality of their services, including high school. supporting more active parental involvement in their child’s educational development. The • A school quality improvement framework is quality of preschool teacher training needs needed to focus attention on measuring and improvement and a national preschool database addressing teaching, school management and is needed for the effective management and school facilities standards. Moreover, a quality planning of preschool services. assurance system needs to be designed and implemented to improve school performance • More effective co-ordination and management and ensure greater accountability from head structures are needed at all levels – national, teachers, teachers and education managers. state/region, district, township and community – to improve access to quality preschool services. • Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) need to be empowered and strengthened in all schools so • Design, development and implementation that they can actively monitor the achievement of a developmentally appropriate, culturally of school quality standards and support responsive and educationally relevant improved student learning. kindergarten curriculum is a major priority in order to ensure that all children can access • With poverty being a key factor affecting appropriate and quality kindergarten learning. access to basic education, more efforts are needed to enable students living in remote and rural areas to enrol in primary and middle schools. Also, additional resources are
SUMMARY 17 needed to attract children with disabilities to Area 4 • Student assessment and schools and provide education services to examinations children from mobile families. The three major challenges facing student Area 3 • Basic education curriculum assessment and examinations are: The three major challenges facing the basic • Development and implementation of a education curriculum are: comprehensive assessment policy for basic education schools. The current emphasis on • Redesigning the basic education curriculum in rote memorisation of factual information in line with the new KG+12 structure with a focus teaching, learning and assessment highlights on 21st century skills. the urgent need for a more balanced system • Upgrading the professional capacity of of formative and summative assessments that curriculum development teams, as well as assesses student learning against national the capacity of head teachers and teachers to learning standards. Improved co-ordination, successfully implement the new curriculum. management and monitoring is essential for • Strengthening curriculum management, dissem- the MOE to implement integrated student ination and monitoring and evaluation systems. assessment reforms.
18 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 • A well-designed capacity development • A high-quality, national continuous professional programme needs to be put in place focusing development (CPD) programme needs to be on assessment strategies, test development put in place to upgrade teacher pedagogic and analysis, and interpretation and utilisation knowledge and skills over a sustained period of test results to inform teaching and improve that will lead to measureable improvements student learning. In addition, there is a need to in student learning achievement in all basic upgrade the assessment-related functions and education schools in Myanmar. responsibilities of MOE departments. Area 6 • Alternative education • Practical mechanisms need to be established to The four major challenges facing alternative support the effective co-ordination, management education are: and monitoring of new assessment reforms. In addition, awareness of new assessment systems • The MOE needs to research, develop and among parents and the public is vital so that they widely disseminate an alternative education understand and support the new approaches. policy that can provide an overall framework for the implementation of alternative education Area 5 • Teacher education and programmes. management • The MOE needs to support the implementation The three major challenges facing teacher of a range of quality, accessible, flexible and education are: certified alternative education programmes that • There is an immediate need for comprehensive respond to the diverse needs of out-of-school and integrated teacher management reforms learners at diﬀerent stages of their education that will strengthen teacher recruitment, and career pathways. deployment and retention; establish an effective • Access to high-quality, learner-centred and and transparent performance evaluation and demand-responsive alternative education could promotion system; and provide clear and be significantly improved through establishing equitable career pathways for teachers across and actively measuring national quality the national education system. standards for all government, non-government, • Major changes are needed to improve the community-based and private sector alternative quality of teaching, learning, infrastructure and education service providers. management in teacher education institutions • The MOE needs to strengthen and expand (TEIs) – Education Colleges (ECs), Universities co-ordination in the alternative education sub- of Education (UOEs) and the University for the sector to enable more effective partnerships Development of National Races (UDNR). with government and non-government service providers, community-based organisations and the private sector.
SUMMARY 19 Area 7 • TVET • Myanmar’s higher education institutions The three major challenges facing TVET are: need to improve their research capacity in order to foster the development of new ideas • High-quality, accessible and integrated TVET and innovations. is a pre-requisite for increasing employment, poverty reduction and sustainable economic Area 9 • Management, capacity growth. Demand-driven TVET that is accessible development and quality assurance to school leavers and those who are interested The four major challenges facing management, in TVET has the potential to play an important capacity development and quality assurance are: role in addressing youth unemployment and boosting Myanmar’s economy. • A clearly defined, nationally mainstreamed and standards-based quality assurance system • Enhancing the quality of TVET provision is needs to be put in place to improve education critical in order to sustainably expand TVET quality and student learning achievement in all access, provide good jobs upon completion and schools and educational institutions. create greater demand from both individuals and employers. • Effective and inclusive co-ordination mechanisms are needed at national, sub-sector and • TVET management and co-ordination needs sub-national levels to facilitate, support and sustain to be strengthened through a more cohesive education reforms through partnerships with legislative and policy framework that covers the ministries and non-governmental organisations. entire TVET sector. • A major system challenge is the lack of access Area 8 • Higher education to quality education management data (i.e. The four major challenges facing higher education accurate, timely and strategic) covering overall are: sector performance and the implementation and results of NESP programmes funded by the • The traditional centralised model of governance government and development partners. needs to be substituted with a more corporate model that focuses on performance, • Successful implementation of the NESP will accountability and autonomy. require a combination of strengthening existing and establishing new management structures, • Myanmar’s higher education system needs systems and tools. In addition, quality training significant improvement in terms of quality- programmes are needed at all levels of the related dimensions, such as curriculum, national education system to develop the learning environment, research and capacity of officers in all aspects of education teaching processes. management. • Issues of affordability and accessibility both impact access to higher education. Support programmes are needed to help students to overcome cost barriers for higher education.
20 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 7.0 • Principles that informed drafting the NESP The NESP has been developed through applying the following best practice principles in strategic planning. 7.1 • Evidence based 7.3 • Quality focused Over the last two years the MOE has established One of the most prevalent themes which and analysed five complementary information emerged from an in-depth review of the NESP resources to inform the drafting the NESP 2016- evidence base was the importance of quality 21 (see Diagram 7.1). The MOE has undertaken education. In response to this finding the MOE has a thorough triangulation analysis of these five mainstreamed quality-focused reforms, strategies information resources to identify, with a high degree and programmes across all education sub-sectors of confidence, priority reforms to implement during in the NESP. the period 2016–21. 7.4 • Integrated 7.2 • Consultative The NESP has adopted a comprehensive systems A notable success factor of CESR research and approach to education reforms that pays special Education Working Group analysis initiatives were attention to linkages between different sub-sectors extensive consultations with a wide range of and the overall phasing of reforms. education stakeholders from across the country. Between October 2014 and July 2015, CESR 7.5 • Measuring change colleagues organised 107 meetings with 3,199 From the initial stages of researching and drafting stakeholders to discuss and document feedback the NESP, senior MOE officials have stressed on nine draft NESP Sub-sector Action Plans. the importance of putting in place systems that will enable education managers at all levels of In July 2015, CESR officers presented the the national education system to actively track draft NESP Sub-sector Action Plans to about and measure the impacts of NESP strategies 13,000 education stakeholders during one-day and programmes. consultation meetings in 43 districts across the country. There was overwhelming support 7.6 • Costed from these stakeholders for the proposed NESP The MOE has undertaken a thorough costing of the goal and nine Transformational Shifts, as well NESP to ensure that the proposed strategies and as the strategies and programmes outlined in programmes are affordable in relation to projected the NESP. government and development partner funding commitments for the education sector over the next five years.
SUMMARY 21 7.7 • Accessible 7.8 • Aligned The MOE has paid special attention to drafting The MOE has developed the NESP so that it a NESP that is accessible for the widest possible fully aligns and successfully achieves the reform audience. priorities of the government. Diagram 7.1: Categories of information resources to develop the NESP 2016–21 Education Working Group Reports CESR Phases (2) 1 & 2 Reports (1) NESP 2016—21 National evidence-based Educ. Law (2014) strategic plan & Amendment (2015) Reform priorities of (3) the government (5) 9 NESP Sub-sector Action Plans (4)
22 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 8.0 • NESP goal The MOE commits to achieving the following NESP goal statement by the end of the 2020–21 fiscal year: Improved teaching and learning, vocational education and training, research and innovation leading to measurable improvements in student achievement in all schools and educational institutions. The three main reasons for this goal are as follows. 8.1 • High expectations from parents and 8.3 • TVET and higher education are students fundamental for Myanmar’s long-term There is universal consensus among education social and economic development stakeholders consulted to develop the NESP High-quality technical and vocational education and that parents want their children to significantly training (TVET) that equips Myanmar’s economy improve their learning achievement at all levels of with a skilled and competitive workforce is vital the national education system. To address these for sustainable socio-economic development. In expectations, wide-ranging reforms and innovative the coming years a large number of skilled strategies and programmes will be undertaken over employees will be needed for the agricultural, the next five years to improve student learning in all energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, livestock, schools and educational institutions. fisheries and tourism sectors. To address this demand the TVET system will need to equip learners 8.2 • Teachers have a key role to play in with the knowledge, skills and competencies to implementation of NESP reforms achieve their career aspirations and contribute to There is convincing national and international economic growth. research evidence that highlights the crucial role to be played by teachers in the successful Higher education is responsible for nurturing skilled implementation of the reforms outlined in the human capital needed in government, business NESP. For example, in the basic education sub- and industry. Higher education institutions (HEIs) sector teachers will play a key role in the successful have a key role to play in undertaking research and roll-out of the new curriculum, as well as adoption incubating the innovative and creative thinking of new interactive pedagogy and application of a needed for globally and economically competitive new assessment system. Therefore, teachers have society. been placed at the centre of the NESP goal.
24 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 9.0 • The nine Transformational Shifts to achieve the NESP goal The MOE has identified nine Transformational Shifts that will collectively contribute to the achievement of the NESP goal (see Diagram 9.1). A Transformational Shift is defined as high-level vision statement that describes a desired future state of a particular part of the education sector in Myanmar in 2021. Importantly, these nine Transformational Shifts will Development Goal for Education, namely: SDG Goal enable the MOE to make significant advancement 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education towards achievement of the Sustainable and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
SUMMARY 25 Diagram 9.1: NESP goal and nine Transformational Shifts Preschool and kindergarten education Management, All children get a head start capacity development on their learning pathway Basic and quality assurance through accessing quality education — access, Education managers at all levels preschool and quality and inclusion kindergarten apply evidence-based decision education All children can access, making and demand progress through and accountability for improved successfully complete teaching and learning in quality basic schools and educational education institutions Higher Basic education education curriculum Students have equitable access to a world-class higher NESP goal All school children develop knowledge, skills, education system, leading attitudes and competencies to better opportunities for Improved teaching and that are relevant to their lives employment and significant learning, vocational education and to the socio-economic contributions to a and training, research and development needs of 21st knowledge-based century Myanmar economy innovation leading to measurable improvements in student achievement in all schools and educational institutions. TVET Student assessment and More learners can examinations access TVET and graduate from quality-assured and Teachers and education labourmarket-responsive managers implement a TVET programmes under quality assessment system to a more effective TVET improve student learning management system achievement Alternative education Teacher education and Learners can access management and graduate from quality-assured, certified Teachers support, develop and nationally credentialed and apply interactive alternative education classroom teaching and programmes to achieve learning benefiting all their learning and students career aspirations
26 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 10.0 • Main sub-sectors of the NESP To successfully achieve the nine Transformational Shifts responsible departments of the MOE and relevant ministries will need to implement a series of complementary strategies and programmes in a well-co-ordinated manner across all sub-sectors. This is essential in order to realise greater efficiencies and better value for money for government and donor investments in the education sector. The following section presents the sub-sector strategies, programmes and programme components that the MOE will implement to achieve the NESP goal and nine Transformational Shifts by the end of 2021. 10.1 • Preschool and kindergarten moral, social and psychological skills and prepare education them for continuing into primary education” (Chapter 1, Clause (o)). In addition, the law states that The government is committed to expanding Kindergarten is “education that promotes holistic access to quality preschool and kindergarten development using appropriate methods for five education, which together comprise early year olds to ease their transition to first grade” childhood care and development (ECCD), as an (Chapter 1, Clause (p)). The NEL also stipulates integral part of major ongoing social sector reforms “kindergarten will be regarded as the base level of and expanded national economic development. Primary Education” (Chapter 5, Clause 16 (b)). Many economists, child development specialists and social policy researchers in Myanmar and Currently, access to preschool in Myanmar internationally have ranked funding for ECCD lags far behind most other countries in the services as one of the most important social and Asia Pacific Region. Limited access to quality economic investments a country can make in preschool and kindergarten education negatively order to maximise investments in other education affects school readiness, student learning sub-sectors. achievement, community wellbeing and national economic development. The National Education Law (NEL) (2014) states that ECCD “promotes the holistic development The following four complementary and linked using developmentally appropriate methods for strategies and programmes will be implemented children from birth to age eight” (Chapter 1, Clause to achieve the Transformational Shift for preschool (n)), while preschool “is for children aged three to and kindergarten education. five years to develop their physical, intellectual,
SUMMARY 27 Strategy 1: Strategy 2: Strengthen governance and co-ordination of Expand access to preschool services for children preschool services in rural and remote areas Programme: Programme: ECCD governance and co-ordination programme Access to preschool services programme Programme Component 1: Programme Component 1: Establish ECCD Committees at district and township Expand access to school- and community- levels to engage stakeholders from government, based preschools through preschool grants to civil society and private sectors in expanding access disadvantaged areas to ensure that children with to quality preschool services the greatest need can benefit from quality preschool education Programme Component 2: Preschool census and mapping baseline to collect Programme Component 2: quality data on the level of access to preschools Early childhood intervention services for children across the country (integrated with Department of with special needs aged three to five years so that Basic Education national baseline) they can easily transition to mainstream schooling End Outcome (by 2021): End Outcome (by 2021): Better governance and co-ordination of preschool Improved access to quality preschool services for services by ECCD committees results in effective children aged three to five years, living in rural and delivery of preschool education remote areas
28 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 Strategy 3: Strategy 4: Improve preschool quality to better prepare Implement quality kindergarten education children for primary school Programme: Programme: Quality kindergarten programme Preschool quality improvement programme Programme Component 1: Programme Component 1: Provision of integrated packages of interventions Provision of kindergarten teachers, classroom for preschools in rural and remote ethnic areas infrastructure and appropriate teaching and to improve the quality of school- and community- learning materials in all basic education schools based preschools Programme Component 2: Programme Component 2: Promotion of parental involvement in kindergarten National preschool teacher training and preschool education management committee training to improve Programme Component 3: learning in preschools Implement a national teacher training programme Programme Component 3: for kindergarten specialisation Quality assurance assessments of the achievement of national preschool standards in all preschools End Outcome (by 2021): End Outcome (by 2021): Children are better prepared for entrance to Successful transition to Grade 1 by children who kindergarten after attending preschool have completed one year of kindergarten
SUMMARY 29 10.2 • Basic education reforms for the 21st Principle 2: Dynamic accountability relationships century to improve student learning The MOE has developed a Conceptual Framework The successful implementation of the basic for Basic Education Reforms (see Diagram 10.1) to education reforms are entirely dependent on show the key linkages between the main basic dynamic accountability relationships operating education sub-sector reform areas: between education stakeholders across all levels of the national education system. For example, i. Access, quality and inclusion; township education officers demand accountability ii. Curriculum; for improved teaching and learning in schools from iii. Student assessment and examinations; and head teachers and, conversely, head teachers iv. Teacher education and management. demand quality in-service training for their teachers There are four important principles represented in and school quality grants from township officers. this framework. Principle 3: Enabling township and school-based Principle 1: Maximising improvements in student decision-making policy reforms learning achievement through a sequenced Head teachers and parent teacher associations and integrated approach to programme (PTAs) all need to be empowered and given greater implementation decision-making responsibilities to be able to make This principle highlights the importance of effective changes in their school to support the successful sequencing and co-ordination of strategic reforms implementation of the basic education reforms. In in the basic education, curriculum, student addition, township education officials need to be assessment and examinations and teacher empowered to support schools to implement the education and management sub-sectors over basic education reforms. the next five years. Reforms in these sub-sectors Principle 4: Mechanisms to empower schools to must be undertaken through a fully harmonised sustain the basic education reforms approach as they are all interrelated. The MOE has identified School Improvement Plans, School Quality Assurance Assessments and school quality grants as the key mechanisms to empower schools to support and sustain implementation of the basic education reforms.
30 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 Diagram 10.1: Conceptual framework for Basic Education Reforms President, State Counsellor, Parliament 2 MOE implementing departments, state, region, district & township education offices Dynamic accountability relationships Head teachers, Parent Teacher Associations Citizens & Civil Society Organisations 3 Access, Quality Enabling & Inclusion township & school- based decision- making policy reforms Teacher 1 Basic Education Improved Education and student learning Curriculum Management achievement Student Assessment and 4 Examinations Mechanisms to empower schools Schools National and sub-national levels National Education System, National Education Law & National Education Strategic Plan
SUMMARY 31 The following three complementary and linked Strategy 3: strategies and programmes will be implemented to Advocacy and communication achieve the four principles listed in the Conceptual Programme: Framework for Basic Education Reforms. Advocacy and communication programme Strategy 1: Programme Component 1: Strengthening policy, legislation and systems Basic education reforms communication campaign to build awareness among key stakeholders Programme: regarding what the basic education reforms involve Basic education policy, legislation and systems and how they will improve classroom teaching and programme student learning achievement Programme Component 1: Programme Component 2: Decision Making in Schools and Townships Policy Monitoring reform implementation challenges and to enable head teachers and PTAs to support stakeholder perceptions in order to understand implementation of basic education reforms and to and address any unexpected barriers hindering the improve student learning achievement successful implementation of the basic education reforms End Outcome (by 2021): End Outcome (by 2021): Head teachers and PTAs are empowered and Education stakeholders across the country are enabled by the Decision Making in Schools and aware of and support the National Education Townships Policy to improve classroom teaching Strategic Plan and student learning achievement Strategy 2: Strengthening partnerships Programme: Basic education partnerships programme Programme Component 1: Development of a partnership mechanism to support the participation of different education service providers in the basic education reforms, such as monastic, private sector and community- based schools, schools funded by non-governmental organisations and those managed under ethnic education systems End Outcome (by 2021): Increased participation by different education service providers and partner organisations in the basic education sub-sector
32 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 10.3 • Basic education – access, quality and education system. A number of other types of inclusion non-government basic education schools are also recognised by the NEL. Increasing access to quality basic education is vital for Myanmar’s growth and equity. The NEL (2014) Despite the reform achievements over the last recognises the right of all citizens to education, and few years the basic education system continues in particular free, compulsory primary education. to face major challenges relating to school access, The law also: mandates the establishment of an retention, inclusion, equity and quality assurance of education quality assurance system; extends the education standards. basic education system to 13 years (including a Kindergarten year); allows for the learning of The following three complementary and natioanlities’ languages and culture, and the use of linked strategies and programmes will be natioanlities’ languages as a classroom language; implemented to achieve the Transformational Shift provides a definition of, as well as a commitment to, for basic education. inclusive education and commits to a decentralised
SUMMARY 33 Strategy 1: Strategy 2: Enable universal access to free basic education Support compulsory and inclusive education Programme: Programme: Universal access to basic education programme Compulsory and inclusive education programme Programme Component 1: Programme Component 1: School census and mapping baseline in all Strengthening compulsory primary education preschools and basic education schools to establish (pilot) through testing mechanisms and processes a sound evidence base upon which education to enrol, return and retain children in schools with managers can address access gaps and identify high numbers of students dropping out schools for expansion and upgrading, especially in Programme Component 2: disadvantaged areas Supporting at-risk students for equitable access Programme Component 2: to basic education through remedial education, Expansion of existing schools, upgrading of schools stipends and school feeding to address the and construction of new schools, with a special (opportunity) costs of schooling for children from focus in less-developed areas to make middle and poor families high school education more accessible to all Programme Component 3: Programme Component 3: Promote access for children with special education- Provision of teaching and learning materials al needs packages for basic education schools and students, prioritising schools in disadvantaged areas End Outcomes (by 2021): Students complete primary, middle and high school End Outcome (by 2021): level All children, boys and girls, access primary, middle Drop-out students are supported to re-enroll and and high schools stay in school Strategy 3: Improve school quality through a national school-based quality assurance system Programme: School quality improvement programme Programme Component 1: Development of a national School Quality Standards Assurance Framework (SQSAF) that sets out minimum quality standards across all aspects of the school environment in preschools and basic education schools Programme Component 2: School improvement planning against the School Quality Standards Assurance Framework (SQSAF) and linked funding of School Improvement Plans through school quality grants Programme Component 3: School leadership and management training to build the capacity of school leaders to improve teaching and learning, practise decentralised decision making and increase parental and community involvement in schools End Outcome (by 2021): Significant improvements experienced by students in their school and classroom learning environment
34 NATIONAL EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–21 10.4 • Basic education curriculum and employability skills) and higher order thinking A quality basic education curriculum is a critical skills. building block for Myanmar’s socio-economic Importantly, the new curriculum must reduce the development and it is an essential pre-requisite content to a manageable level to ensure that there is for the provision of quality education and the sufficient time: (a) for teachers to adequately cover improvement of student learning achievement. the full curriculum within each academic year; and A key curriculum reform challenge is to develop (b) for students to understand new concepts and and successfully implement a new basic education to develop higher order thinking skills appropriate curriculum at primary, middle and high school for Myanmar’s modern economy and changing levels that is more relevant to all students, thereby society needs. motivating them stay in school and complete basic The following three complementary and linked education. strategies and programmes will be implemented The new curriculum must focus on 21st century to achieve the Transformational Shift for basic skills, soft skills (including personal development education curriculum. Strategy 1: Strategy 2: Redesign the basic education curriculum Build the professional capacity of Curriculum emphasising 21st century skills Development Teams Programme: Programme: Basic education curriculum reform programme Curriculum capacity development programme Programme Component 1: Programme Component 1: Prepare the new curriculum design for basic Teacher training on the new basic education education with greater focus on learning concepts, curriculum problem-solving processes and understanding of Programme Component 2: basic principles and reasons behind the knowledge Capacity development of Curriculum Development Programme Component 2: Teams Development and finalisation of curriculum materials to enable a more interactive style of Programme Component 3: classroom teaching and learning Capacity development for curriculum developers of nationalities’ languages in states and regions, Programme Component 3: supported by Curriculum Development Teams Development of curriculum for nationalities’ languages to support and uphold the languages, literature, culture, arts, customs, heritage and End Outcomes (by 2021): traditions of all nationalities Curriculum Development Teams apply competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) to develop a new basic education curriculum and linked curriculum End Outcomes (by 2021): materials, that incorporates 21st century skills, soft Students appreciate and respond to a more relevant skills and higher order thinking skills basic education curriculum that emphasizes 21st century skills Basic education teacher competencies are applied to teach the new curriculum following orientation Teachers and students actively and successfully use training new curriculum materials, including textbooks and teachers’ guides
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