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Implementing agencies

UNDP – funded project executed by UNESCO

UNESCO, HDI – III (MYA/99/004)
123, Natmauk Rd, Yangon
Tel. (951) 548 812
Fax: (951) 545 647


Myanmar Education Research Bureau

Myanmar Literacy Resource Centre
426, Pyay Road, Yangon
Tel.  951 531468
Fax: 951 525049


Literacy situation

The basic literacy rate in the country is estimated around 83% in 2000.  However, functional literacy rate may be substantially lower, due to the poor quality of primary education.  According to a sample survey of 2001, more than 25% of children drop out before they reach the fifth grade, and so there is a large number of semi-literate in the country.


Buddhist monasteries have been the traditional sites for NFE and lifelong learnng in Myanmar since there is a moastery in every village.  Non-formal education in Myanmar is hampered by a weak infrastructure and delivery system, and very little funds are allocated under the government budget.


CLC initiatives and features

CLCs have been set up with the support of APPEAL and UNDP in rural areas to provide alternative learning opportunities for children, women and men. The focus of the ‘Improving Access of Children, Women and Men of Poorest Communities to Primary Education for All Project’ under the Human Development Initiative (HDI) Programme, is primarily on the poorest areas of 11 project townships in Myanmar where CLC activities are linked with primary school activities as well as kindergartens.


Seven CLCs were established in 1994 under the first phase of the HDI Programme, and additional 31 CLCs were later established. The 38 CLCs currently in operation cover a total population of approximately 50,000 in poor rural communities.  A recent innovative development has been the formation of clusters whereby one CLC serves a cluster of villages.  Up to October 2001, there are 71 CLCs by APPEAL – UNDP and 200 CLCs by Myanmar Literacy Resource Centre.  Non-formal Primary Education Programme (NFPE) as an innovation had been jointly implemented at eleven project townships by APPEAL-UNDP and Myanmar Education Research Bureau. 



Most CLCs have small libraries and functional literacy programmes linked with skills training.  In particular, income generation programmes with particular focus on agriculture have been conducted including livestock, fertilizer use and integrated farming with help of the local agriculture cooperation.  The teaching of cultural activities, such as traditional songs and dances, has also been promoted through the CLCs.  There has also been a strong emphasis on capacity building and this has been achieved through the training of personnel in the CLC Management Committees. 


Strengths and weaknesses

CLCs are found to be an effective approach for community empowerment through direct planning and management by the community people.  This process of participatory management has built the capacity of personnel working with CLCs.  In the mean time, poverty, especially lack of funds, is the main obstacle encountered by the community to sustain CLCs.  


Future plans

The CLCs are proposed to be strengthened through:

• Replicating the CLC model in other locations.
• Raising additional funds and mobilize technical support and resources, such as facilities, equipment, teaching materials and supplies.
• Providing more basic skills training to various interest groups.
• Strengthening coordination with various organizations, and establish a firm institutional network of CLCs.