National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education

National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education
The Government of the
     Republic of the Union of Myanmar
          Ministry of Education

National Education
Strategic Plan 2016-21
National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education
National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education
The Government of the
      Republic of the Union of Myanmar
           Ministry of Education

 National Education
Strategic Plan 2016-21
National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education

          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

                                           Education pathways
                                           for work and lifelong
                                                      Page 52
National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education
SUMMARY      3

          2                                       General background
   Country context                                  on Myanmar’s
                                                   education system
         Page 8
                                                        Page 10

                            Key challenges of
                               the current
                            education system
                                  Page 16

        The nine
Transformational Shifts                            Main sub-sectors
  to achieve the NESP                                of the NESP
                                                        Page 26
        Page 24

         12                        13
                          Phased implementation
  Financing the NESP
                               of the NESP
        Page 54
                                  Page 55
National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education


    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
National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education
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
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
                                                           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
National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education
National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education
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.
National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 - Summary - Ministry of Education

    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
                                                            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

     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)

     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;
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.

     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.

     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.

     • 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.
                                                            • 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.
• 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.

     7.0 • Principles that informed drafting the NESP

     The NESP has been developed through applying the following best practice principles in strategic

     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

                                                                   Group Reports
               CESR Phases                                              (2)
               1 & 2 Reports

                                                                                   Educ. Law (2014)
                                           strategic plan
                                                                                    & Amendment
       Reform priorities of                                                               (3)
        the government

                                                      9 NESP
                                                    Action Plans

     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.

     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
                      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
                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

          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
                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
                                          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

     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
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

     Strategy 3:                                         Strategy 4:
     Improve preschool quality to better prepare         Implement quality kindergarten education
     children for primary school
     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.

     Diagram 10.1: Conceptual framework for Basic Education Reforms

                                    President, State Counsellor, Parliament

           MOE implementing departments, state, region, district & township education offices         Dynamic

                                  Head teachers, Parent Teacher Associations

                                                                                                Citizens & Civil Society

                                                Access, Quality                                       Enabling
                                                 & Inclusion                                     township & school-
                                                                                                   based decision-
                                                                                                    making policy

                             Teacher                  1                  Basic
                            Education             Improved
                               and             student learning
                           Management            achievement

                                             Student Assessment
                                                     and                                                 4
                                                                                                    to empower


                                        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
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
                                                         regarding what the basic education reforms involve
    Basic education policy, legislation and systems
                                                         and how they will improve classroom teaching and
                                                         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

    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

    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

     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

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

     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
         new curriculum materials, including textbooks and
         teachers’ guides
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