100 private schools applied to operate in Yangon’

100 private schools applied to operate in Yangon’

Date
Monday, 04 May 2015

Media Type
The Nation (Online)

Approximately 100 applications to open private schools in Yangon Regions were submitted in the 2015-2016 academic year, according to the Kyimyintaing Township Basic Education Department in Yangon.

An official from the department said: "There are approximately 100 applications to open the private schools in Yangon. We will announce the names of the permitted schools before they open."

Myanmar’s private school law was passed on December 2, 2011, by the Union Parliament. According to the law, private schools have been allowed to open since the 2012-2013 academic year. A teacher who wants to work at a private school must apply to register under the private school law.

There are 160 private schools nationwide.

A person involved in the application process for a private school said: "The list of schools permitted should have been announced earlier so that we can arrange student enrollment and registering. Since we don't know whether the school is permitted or not, we cannot accept the students' enrollment."

Demand for a seat at private schools has been on the rise due to dismal education services by the public sector. Myanmar’s most repeated motto under President Thein Sein is: "Building a modern developed nation through education".

The effect of shortfalls in education and infrastructure on Myanmar's economy was singled out recently in separate reports compiled by two international agencies. The Asia Development Bank (ADB) said that Myanmar still faces several development challenges, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and human capital, despite having made significant progress in implementing economic reforms.

In a March report, the ADB pointed to the high number of poorly educated and unskilled workers entering Myanmar's labour market. "This undercuts efforts to achieve inclusive economic growth and threatens to trap the economy in a model that adds little value and depends heavily on exploiting natural resources," the report said.

The ADB's key findings were echoed in the World Bank's first investment climate assessment on Myanmar, which was released at the end of March. Many of the firms surveyed said Myanmar's education system is unable to meet the needs of the country's economy as it modernises. Workers lack up-to-date knowledge, while almost all respondents said infrastructure weaknesses, especially power outages, were affecting their businesses.

According to Oxford Business Group's summary in a new report on Myanmar, spending on education rose to just under Ks1.4 trillion (US$1.3 billion), from Ks1.1 trillion ($1 billion) last year, with some of the funds to be set aside for hiring an additional 50,000 teachers. In a separate move, the country's free schooling system will be extended to include higher education this year, in a bid to boost the number of graduates entering the workplace. The budget also approved resources for university stipends and scholarships as well as financial support for students attending technical institutions, as part of a push to boost take-up of vocational courses.

University students have called for an increase in education budget up to 20 per cent of total as well as decentralisation. The new National Education Law is being drafted. Unesco in March participated in a national-level Pragmatic Education Reform Forum in Nay Pyi Taw. Following over six months of consultation with many stakeholders involved in education sector reform in Myanmar, Unesco developed two working papers on education legislation and education decentralisation. The papers were commissioned as an input to phase two of the in-depth analysis of Myanmar’s ongoing education sector review, which will be released in coming months.

Unesco brought in experts from a number of well-known institutions, such as the Hong Kong Institute of Education, the National Institute for Education (Singapore) and the GEMS Education Solution, who facilitated the consultations and provided technical advice to the government on education legislation, decentralisation and quality assurance. 
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Source: The Nation (Online)