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Myanmar’s Vice President highlights the importance of investing in teachers at World Teachers’ Day Celebration

Vice President U Myint Swe delivering opening remarks at Myanmar's 2016 World Teachers' Day Celebration


Vice President U Myint Swe opened Myanmar’s World Teachers’ Day celebration on October 5, in Nay Pyi Taw, where Union Ministers, Directors-General, Rectors, teachers, students and Development Partners were in attendance. In addition to the Vice President, speeches were delivered by Dr. Kyi Shwin, Secretary General of Myanmar National Commission for UNESCO, and Dr. Win Tun, Director General of the Department of Education Research, Planning and Training. The event also featured an awards ceremony for outstanding education officials, principals and teachers from across Myanmar.

In his address, the Vice President’s discussed this year’s global World Teachers’ Day theme, ‘Valuing teachers, improving their status,’ and its significance to Myanmar’s context, stating that teachers are at the heart of Myanmar’s nation building process and are therefore an essential resource to invest in. He emphasized that teachers transmit not only knowledge and skills to the next generation of citizens, but morals and values as well. He noted that because teachers “act and live as role models for students,” valuing teachers and upgrading their skills is a priority. UNESCO is supporting the Myanmar Government on reform of the teacher education system.

First Lady Daw Su Su Lwin presents an award to Dr. Thein Lwin, Retired Head of Department (Psychology), Yangon University of Education

UNESCO’s Strengthening Pre-Service Teacher Education in Myanmar (STEM) project is providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Education for several initiatives designed to improve teacher quality. One key initiative is upgrading Myanmar’s 23 Education Colleges to 4-year degree granting institutions with a new, competency-based curriculum. UNESCO’s STEM project is also assisting the Ministry of Education in the development of a Teacher Competency Standards Framework which, once finalized, will serve as a professional development tool and quality assurance mechanism for teachers—outlining what a quality teacher should know and be able to do.

Following the Vice President’s remarks, a joint message from UNESCO, the ILO, UNICEF, UNDP and Education International was delivered by Dr. Kyi Shwin, Secretary General of Myanmar National Commission for UNESCO. The statement celebrated the progress made since the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers and urged all nations to redouble their efforts to further enhance the status of teachers through continuous training opportunities and adequate pay. It is these endeavors to increase teacher status and quality that will make it possible to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4—“inclusive and equitable quality education” and “lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

For more information on the STEM Project, please contact Dr. Dagny Fosen, Teacher Education Specialist, at