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Myanmar EFA Mid-Decade Assessment Report: More focus needed on monitoring and capacity building


Substantial progress towards achieving the Education for All (EFA) goals has been made in Myanmar, the national EFA Mid-Decade Assessment report which reviews the country's achievements and challenges in meeting EFA showed.


However, a number of challenges remain, including reducing the number of Grade 1 drop outs and the need for implementation of more effective technical measurements to better assess education in the country.

Among the South-East Asian countries participating in the EFA MDA, Myanmar is one of the first to complete its national report, which also focuses on analyzing disparities in meeting the EFA goals at the sub-national level. The report also offers recommendations of policies and strategies to reach the unreached and disadvantaged groups in education.  

According to the report, the number of children with Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) coverage has increased, with surveys pointing to an improvement in quality of ECCE programmes with regards to health, language, social, behavioral and observational development and cognitive and learning skills. Thus, children build greater self-confidence and are better prepared for primary education.

However, the report notes that there is a need for more data from the private-sector, NGO and community-based centres through the implementation of the Education Management Information System (EMIS), which collects, analyzes and reports on ECCE data.

Grade 1 dropout rate remains high as is the number of out-of-school children. To address these issues, Myanmar has initiated the School Enrolment Week activities in 1999/2000, which have been effective in increasing the number of school-age children going to school.

Regarding gender, the report states that the gap between the number of boys and girls enrolled in primary and secondary education is small. The combined enrolment ratio of girls in basic education for the 2005/2006 was 62.25 percent. According to the report, there is a requirement of comparative studies to assess gender issues using gender lens and gender analysis in order to assess existing programmes in both formal and non-formal education systems. However, a key area to address is ensuring that gender stereotypes are not displayed in contents of textbooks, and that a gender perspective should be adopted when reviewing educational materials.

Other areas that require further attention are non-formal education, building the capacity of personnel in programme development and coordination management for effective literacy assessment, and having an updated national definition of basic and functional literacy.

To reach the unreached, Myanmar has organized a number of programmes to address different areas and levels of education. In 2000, Myanmar initiated the Extended and Continuous Education and Learning for Out-of-School Children (EXCEL) programme. To support lifelong learning, basic life skills have been integrated into primary and secondary education curricula. The Inclusive Education programme commenced in 2004, encompassing mobile schools, post-primary schools, special programmes for over-aged children, for border areas, monastic schools, voluntary programmes for orphans, voluntary night schools and Non-Formal Primary Education (NFPE) programmes.

The underlying challenge as stated in the Myanmar EFA MDA national report is, "to enhance collaborative efforts among all education partners to ensure that learning fully serves as a catalyst for social equity and for development of individuals with a broad vision."

Myanmar's EFA Mid-Decade Assessment Report 2007 was a collaboration involving Myanmar nationals representing 13 different ministries, UN Agencies, NGOs, INGOs, the EFA Working Groups, Technical Team and EFA Report Writing Team.

The Office of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics Regional Advisor for Asia-Pacific (AIMS-UIS Unit), UNESCO Bangkok has been coordinating the conduct of the EFA MDA throughout the region. The Unit has also developed technical guidelines and analytical frameworks in analyzing disparities and has provided trainings to MOE staff in various countries related to the MDA. For more information about the MDA, please visit our webpage.

Download the full version of the Myanmar EFA MDA national report: Part 1(pdf/1.1MB) and Part 2 (pdf/917KB)