On World Teachers' Day UNICEF and the Australian Embassy congratulate Myanmar Teachers for their role in Education Reforms
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Yangon, Myanmar, 5 October 2013 – In the run-up to World Teachers’ Day on 5 October, the Ministry of Education outlined its vision for building an inclusive education system that meets the needs of the people of Myanmar in a rapidly changing society at the Learning for All Ministerial Meeting held in New York last week as part of UN General Assembly proceedings. Speaking before UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, UN Special Envoy for Education, and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other dignitaries, H.E. Dr Myo Myint, Deputy Minister of Education, acknowledged the significant challenges facing the country’s education system, highlighting a broad plan for far-reaching reform already underway as part of the Ministry’s Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR).
‘The challenges are significant, but Government commitment to education is strong’, Dr Myo Myint said. ‘The sector review process is quantifying the challenges and building consensus for change. Strong Government leadership and a coordinated approach between all government departments, Development Partners and civil society will be the key to success’.
The Meeting, hosted by Australia and organised by the Global Partnership for Education as part of the UN Secretary-General’s ‘Education First’ global initiative, heard that - although progress is being made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for education - 900,000 children remain out of school in Myanmar.
Outlining the three key challenges, Dr Myo Myint noted the need for increased financing for education, development of inclusive education policies and legislation, and building institutional and human resource capacity. ‘While we have tripled our budget for education since 2011, we need to further increase our funding to reach the level of our ASEAN neighbours’, Dr Myo Myint said.
Myanmar, one of only six countries invited to present at the forum, was commended for promoting inclusion of all children in education - especially the most disadvantaged and those with disabilities, _ and for including peace-building as part of its education agenda.
Commending the leadership of the Ministry in undertaking the Review, UNICEF Representative in Myanmar, Mr Bertrand Bainvel, said ‘We are proud to support the CESR as a key vehicle for leveraging results for children, and ensuring all children in Myanmar, especially the most vulnerable, are able to enjoy their rights to quality education’.
Mr Michael Hassett, Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the Australian Embassy in Yangon, and co-Lead agency of the Joint Education Sector Working Group together with UNICEF, also commended Myanmar’s prioritization of education. ‘No country has succeeded in developing its economy and society without significantly investing in education. We see education as the cornerstone to building peace and prosperity in Myanmar’, Mr Hassett said.
The CESR which was launched in October 2012 with the support of UNICEF and Multi-Donor Education Fund partners, Australia, DFID, the European Union, Denmark and Norway, has completed a Rapid Assessment Report making key recommendations for reform across the education sector. Key initiatives which UNICEF and MDEF partners have been supporting under the Quality Basic Education Programme (QBEP) are recommended for scaling up nationwide. These include the expansion of the Township Education Management System (TEMIS), a key management tool for evidence-based planning. It also includes institutionalization of the Non-Formal Primary Equivalence Programme, which provides a second-chance at primary education for children otherwise not able to go to school due to poverty and other adverse family circumstances.
Under the CESR, UNICEF-MDEF and other development partners are currently supporting in-depth analytical studies which will shape strategic sector planning next year.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
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For more information, please contact:
Ye Lwin Oo, Communication Officer, Programme Communication and Information Section, UNICEF Myanmar, Tel: 01-230 5960 – 230 5969, Ext: 1448, firstname.lastname@example.org