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UNESCO and the Myanmar Ministry of Education organize workshop on the fundamentals of education planning, finance and decentralization 

29 May 2014, Yangon – Ninety participants from basic and higher education departments within Myanmar’s Ministry of Education and members of the Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR) and Education Promotion Implementation Committee (EPIC) Working Groups gathered for three days of knowledge-building and information-sharing on education planning, finance, and decentralization from 12-14 May 2014 at Diamond Jubilee Hall in Yangon.



Organized by the Ministry of Education and UNESCO, the workshop aimed to provide basic and higher education officials with an overview of key concepts and methodologies in education policy, planning, and finance with an emphasis on decentralization, laying the theoretical groundwork for future capacity development in these key reform areas. Workshop presentations also provided participants with a knowledge base to further inform discussions around the National Education Sector Plan, which the Ministry of Education will develop as Phase 3 of the Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR).

The workshop was facilitated by UNESCO Bangkok Education Policy and Reform (EPR) Unit Programme Specialists, Ms. Satoko Yano and Ms. Lina Benete, and Mr. Roger Chao Jr., Ms. Khin Khin Lwin, and Ms. Jamie Vinson from the UNESCO Yangon Project Office. Facilitators presented on fundamental concepts in education planning, finance and decentralization before leading participants in an exercise to identify training needs and priorities.

“It was a very exciting workshop and provided a good theoretical background,” said Dr. Tun Aung the Pro-Rector at Yangon Institute of Economics. “In my opinion, as a next step we need to hear about more examples from other countries. Discussing these case studies can help us decide on next steps for Myanmar as we move forward with education reform.”

Participants representing the EPIC Working Group on Applied Research agreed that the workshop provided a useful base to build upon further through hands-on trainings and exercises. “This has been an informative and applicable start,” said Dr. Aye Aye Myint from Yangon University, “and we look forward to further planning and budgeting training.”

Myanmar embarked on an ambitious education reform agenda following the change of government in 2011, and UNESCO is actively supporting the Ministry of Education in the reform process through its Capacity Development for Education for All (CapEFA) programme, which is targeted towards strengthening sector-wide policy and planning.

The 12-14 May 2014 workshop on planning, finance, and decentralization represented one activity made possible through CapEFA support, which has allowed UNESCO to provide ongoing capacity development and technical assistance to Myanmar’s Comprehensive Education Sector Review, particularly for the Policy, Legislation, Management, and Finance (PLMF) component.  

In the coming months, UNESCO, working closely with other Development Partners, will provide technical assistance for the development of Myanmar’s National Education Sector Plan and will develop, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Development Partners, a comprehensive plan to further strengthen the Ministry of Education’s capacity in effective education policy formation, planning, and financial management.