Education System in Myanmar :
Self-Evaluation and Future Plans
The education structure of Myanmar is divided into Administration Structure and Academic Structure.
Policies and administrative guidance on education are laid down by the National Education Committee chaired by the Union Minister for Education.
3.1.1 National Education Committee
The national level coordinating decision-making body is called the National Education Committee which is chaired by the Union Minister for Education. This committee was organized by the new government. The committee facilitates the development of an education system, which is compatible with the traditional, cultural and social values of the nation and which will keep up with the economic and political aspirations of the nation.
22.214.171.124 Basic Education Sub-sector
All basic education schools are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. The administration and management of basic education is undertaken by the three Departments of Basic Education and the Department of Educational Planning and Training in accordance with the directives of the statutory bodies and organizations: Basic Education Council, Basic Education Curriculum, Syllabus and Textbook Committee, and Teacher Education Supervisory Committee.
126.96.36.199.1 Basic Education Council
In accord with the Basic Education Law (1973) the Basic Education Council chaired by Deputy Minister for Education was formed. The functions of the Basic Education Council are as follows:-
(a) To provide guidelines in accord with the education policies for the following:
(1) Planning of teaching in basic education in line with vocational education, and higher education
(2) Teacher Education
(3) Capacity building of in-service teachers
(4) Identification of Qualification of Teacher, Registration and Maintaining of Teachers’ Dignity
(5) Curriculums and syllabuses
(7) School Library and Museum
(8) Opening of new basic education schools, Closing of Schools, Upgrading of Schools, Management and Inspection of Schools
(9) Identification of measures to have access to basic education by all citizens by the state in collaboration with community
(10) Providing compulsory education by level at suitable time
(b) To review and reform all basic education activities to be in line with Policy and for the benefit of the development of the Nation and
(c) To carry out all the instructions given by the Government
188.8.131.52.2 Basic Education Curriculum, Syllabus and Textbook Committee
This committee was formed under the supervision of Basic Education Council. It is chaired by Director-General of Basic Education. Its functions are as follows:
(a) In accord with the guidance of Basic Education Council:-
(1) To develop, review and revise Basic Education Curriculums and Syllabuses
(2) To write and publish textbooks
(3) To produce teaching and learning materials
(4) To summit recommendations and proposals for administering examinations
(b) Development of Curriculums and Syllabuses
(1) The group of Subject and groups based subject nature can be formed.
(2) Regional based curriculum team can be formed.
(c) Writing of textbooks
(1) Small working groups can be formed for writing, reviewing, and approving textbooks.
(2) For the development of activities of the working groups, revision must be made in accord with the guidelines of Basic Education Council.
184.108.40.206.3 Teacher Education Supervisory Committee
This committee was formed under the supervision of Basic Education Council. It is chaired by the Director General of Basic Education and its functions are as follows:
(a) To carry out the following with the guidance of Basic Education Council and in accord with the Basic Education Law and rules and regulations;
(1) Development and revision of teacher education curriculums and syllabuses
(2) Offering teacher training courses
(3) Writing of textbooks for teacher education and accrediting and prescribing of textbooks
(4) Administering examinations for teacher training courses
(5) Capacity building of in-service teachers
(6) Identification of qualification of teachers
(7) Registration of teachers
(8) Maintaining the teachers’ dignity
(b) To carry out TORs mentioned in the (a) (1) (3) and (4) in collaboration with Basic Education Curriculum and Textbook Committee and to form small working groups if necessary.
(c) To give recommendations for opening new teacher training schools and colleges, closing teacher training institutions, producing qualified teachers occasionally
(d) To supervise the activities concerning improvement of teaching, modernization, provision of sufficient teaching and learning materials, development of teaching and learning materials by trainees and conducting research by teacher educators
(e) To form inspection teams in accord with requirement to inspect the teacher training institutions
Note: These facts are derived from Basic Education Law (1973). It still exists but not in line with present situation any more.
220.127.116.11.4 Basic Education Schools
There are 2,351 Basic Education High Schools, 3,121 Basic Education Middle Schools, 6,553 Basic Education Post-Primary Schools and 28,967 Basic Education Primary Schools, totaling 40,992 basic education schools. There are altogether 273,516 teachers, teaching 8,200,595 students at basic education schools. There are also 21 private schools in formal basic education. The Private Schools Registration Law has been enacted by the Parliament (Pyi Htaung Su Hluttaw).
18.104.22.168 Higher Education Sub-sector
Under the National Education Committee, administrative and academic policy matters relating to higher education are managed by the two councils chaired by the Union Minister for Education. They are the Universities’ Central Council and the Council of University Academic Bodies.
22.214.171.124.1 Universities’ Central Council
The Universities’ Central Council is principally responsible for broad policy and co-ordination of the work of higher education institutions.
126.96.36.199.2 Council of University Academic Bodies
The Council of University Academic Bodies is responsible for the adoption of academic regulations and co-ordination of academic work.
188.8.131.52.3 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
There are 163 higher education institutions under 13 different ministries in Myanmar, out of which 66 are under the Ministry of Education. The number of higher education institutions has been expanded from 32 in 1988 to 163 in 2012. The following table indicates the number of higher education institutions under 13 ministries in the 2011-2012 Academic Year.
Table 1. Number of Higher Education Institutions under 13 Ministries in 2011-2012 AY
|3||Science and Technology||61|
|6||Environmental Conservation and Forestry||1|
|7||Agriculture and Irrigation||1|
|8||Livestock Breeding & Fisheries||1|
|10||Union Civil Service Board||1|
Source: Department of Higher Education (Lower Myanmar), MOE (2012)
3.2 Academic Structure
There are basic education sector and higher education sector in the academic structure of education system in Myanmar.
3.2.1 Basic Education Sub-sector
Only 22% of three-to-five years aged population in 2011 benefits from public and private day care services. The entry age for the formal school system is 5. The Basic Education system is 5-4-2-system consisting of five-year schooling (grade 1 to 5) for primary level, four-year schooling (grade 6 to 9) for lower secondary level and two-year schooling (grade 10 to 11) for upper secondary level.
Table 2. Academic Structure of Basic Education System
|Level||No. of Years||Age||Grade|
|Primary||Lower||3||5+ to 7+||1 to 4|
|Upper||2||8+ to 9+||4 to 5|
|Secondary||Lower||4||10+ to 13+||6 to 9|
|Upper||2||14+ to 15+||10 to 11|
Source: Department of Educational Planning and Training, MOE
The students have to take the matriculation examination at the end of the upper secondary level.
3.2.2 Higher Education Sub-sector
The Myanmar higher education system consists of 3-1-2 structure – 3 years for the Bachelor Degree, 1 year for the Qualifying class and 2 years for the Master’s Degree. Starting from the 2011 – 2012 academic year, the 3-year degree courses will be expanded to 4-year-degree courses by adding one more academic year in all universities and colleges under the Ministry of Education so that the higher education system will have 4-1-3 structure. In order to be compatible with the new degree courses, new curriculums and syllabuses that are in line with those of the universities in ASEAN countries have been prepared by the respective Boards of Studies.
Fig. 3 Proposed Academic Structure of Education System in Myanmar
3.3Myanar Academy of Arts and Science
TMyanmar Academy of Arts & Science was established in August, 1999 with 24 academicians. At present there are altogether 22 members in this Academy, comprising intelligentias and experts from each academic field. Its structure is illustrated in the following diagram:
Fig. 4 Structure of Myanmar Academy of Arts and Science
1. To create opportunities for intelligentsias to support in building a peaceful modern developed nation with their knowledge, skills, talent and expertise.
2. To conduct applied researches that can serve the interests of the nation.
3. To make plans that nurture experts in natural sciences and social sciences who can make contributions to the development of the nation.
4. To create a firm base for natural sciences and social sciences which the nation is in need of.
5. To make plans for the sustainable development of skills and expertise of its peoples which contribute to the nation building.
3.3.3Contribution of Myanmar Academy of Arts and Science to the Education Sector and the State
Myanmar Academy of Arts and Science has made a lot of contributions in building a peaceful modern developed nation. Seminars are held once every two years to disseminate knowledge. 56 seminars have been held up to August, 2009. Members of Myanmar Academy of Arts & Science have made a lot of contributions in
1. training post-graduate students, supervising theses and acting as external examiners and referees for doctoral degree candidates and actively conducting their own researches
2. taking part in National Convention held in 2007
3. participating in drawing up the Constitution in 2007
4. rendering their services in National Defence College
5. joining in the study of changes in eco-systems after Nargis Disaster and
6. assessing 85 research papers before they were transferred to the State.