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Myanmar’s Deputy Minister of Education joins UNESCO Capacity Building for Education for All (CapEFA) Donor Coordination Meeting

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05.03.2013

Yangon, 1 March 2013 – On 28 February 2013, Dr. Myo Myint, Deputy Minister for Education in Myanmar, joined the Capacity Building for Education for All (CapEFA) Donor Coordination Meeting at UNESCO Paris Headquarters via videoconference from the UNESCO Yangon Project Office. UNESCO Director-General, Ms. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Assistant-Director General for Education, Mr. Qian Tang, representatives from CapEFA donor countries, and education sector specialists were present at the one-day meeting, which was convened to discuss the CapEFA programme activities and results of 2012.

UNESCO’s CapEFA programme, which was initiated in 2003 with support from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, aims to enhance national capacities of selected countries within the key areas of sector-wide policy and planning, literacy, teachers, and TVET to improve and increase educational opportunities. Myanmar was identified as a priority country for CapEFA support to sector-wide policy and planning in 2012. Through the CapEFA programme, UNESCO is currently assisting the government in conducting a Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR), which started in August 2012. UNESCO also supported the last education review in Myanmar over a decade ago, in 1992.

In his remarks, Dr. Myo Myint expressed his gratitude towards UNESCO and CapEFA donors and stressed the timeliness of CapEFA support at this critical juncture in Myanmar’s history when major education reforms are underway. Dr. Myo Myint explained the CESR’s three-phase approach, which will result in a strategic, costed sector plan, and spoke of the full national ownership of the CESR process. “Myanmar is striving to raise the standard of education,” he said, “as it fully realizes that education is the best investment for current and future generations and in bridging socio-economic development gaps among various states and regions in Myanmar.”

With a wide range of contributing stakeholders, including representatives from the 13 ministries involved in education and the international community, the CESR is characterized by its inclusive and participatory approach – an approach, according to Dr. Myo Myint, that has made it a model for the government to follow in other sectors as well. Dr. Myo Myint also highlighted that the CESR is not just a series of reports, but also a series of steps to build the capacity of government actors in policy-formation, planning, and management as they will be taking ownership of the implementation of the plan. As the Deputy Minister stated, “It is in key areas for capacity-building, such as training in policy, legislation and management and EMIS, that UNESCO’s expertise and technical assistance is extremely valuable.”

In 2013, UNESCO will continue its efforts to strengthen sector-wide education policy-formation in Myanmar through the CapEFA programme. UNESCO will take a lead in supporting the policy legislation, management and financing component of Phase II of the CESR, with a focus on policy-formation and planning for decentralization. UNESCO, in partnership with other Development Partners, will also play a key role in the higher education and TVET components of the CESR Phase II.