© UNICEF Myanmar/2013/Ko Kyaw Kyaw Win

Education helps provide Myanmar’s children with opportunities to fulfil their potential and is critical to all aspects of social development. Education is the bedrock of a country’s economy, good governance, gender equality, identity and culture.

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Myanmar’s constitution guarantees access to free and compulsory primary education to all children, however, low levels of investment in the education sector have prevented the achievement of quality basic education for many children. According to the 2013 National Millennium Development Goal Report, it is considered unlikely that the country will achieve targets related to universal primary education (MDG 2 and MDG 3).

Valuable efforts are being made to strengthen the education sector in Myanmar. Compared to 2012, public spending in education in 2014 has increased by 49%. In addition, the government is leading a Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR) to better understand the current status of education and is developing a National Education Sector Plan (NESP), which will guide the implementation of policies and programmes.

UNICEF supports the achievement of Basic Education and Gender Equality for all children in Myanmar. Our core work is focused around the donor-funded Quality Basic Education Programme (QBEP). In addition, UNICEF works to enhance social cohesion through the Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy (PBEA) initiative.

Quality Basic Education Programme

QBEP aims to support the Government of Myanmar to improve access to quality school readiness and primary level education for all children in Myanmar by:

  1. Ensuring that national education policies and plans are inclusive and informed; and

  2. Delivering quality education services to children in 34 core townships throughout the country. These townships were selected according to equity-based criteria, the main priority being to reach the most disadvantaged children and communities.

The Myanmar Quality Basic Education Programme (QBEP) is supported by the Multi Donor Education Fund (MDEF), comprising Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Norway and the United Kingdom, and by UNICEF in partnership with the Government of Myanmar.

To find out more about QBEP’s work click here

Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy

For decades Myanmar has been beset by multiple conflicts and communal violence resulting in in large-scale internal and cross border displacement and insecurity, which has had a profoundly negative impact on the state of Myanmar’s education. 

The Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy (PBEA) initiative is a global partnership between UNICEF, the Government of the Netherlands, the national governments of 14 participating countries and other key supporters. The PBEA team in Myanmar works to engage diverse education stakeholder groups in the Comprehensive Education Sector Reform process in order to strengthen trust between the government and ethnic minority armed groups.

To find out more about PBEA’s work click here




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