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As children go back to school, adolescents and young people share their views on education

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YANGON, 31 May 2017 – As an estimated 5.1 million primary school children enrol in school this week, adolescents and young people shared their views on the issues that affect school enrolment rates.

In a UNICEF supported U Report poll issued last week*, adolescents and young people acknowledged the public education efforts of the Government this year, with 94 per cent of poll respondents confirming they were aware of the school enrolment week carried out from 24 to 31 May.

Yet, many also recognised the need to continue to reform the education system. 50 per cent of U Reporters said that the current education system does not support children to learn. 

“Myanmar faces a real challenge in ensuring that children everywhere – and not just in urban areas – gain from access to education,” said U Report Youth Content Group member Ma Pwint Phyu Thant.

Almost 15,000 U-reporters across the country were asked a series of questions, via Facebook, relating to education in Myanmar. More than 3200 U-Reporters, aged 13 to 25, responded to the poll.

 34 per cent of all respondents were aware of children in their community who were not enrolled in school; whilst in Kayah, Kayin, Rakhine, Kachin States and Ayeyarwaddy Region there was a higher rate of 50 per cent of respondents.

       Money, poverty and the family’s level of education were the main issues cited by U-reporters as preventing children from enrolling in school.

The poll was conducted through U-Report, a youth engagement tool launched by UNICEF in August 2016, which provides a platform for young people to raise their voices on issues that matter to them.

“It is quite shocking to me that nearly 50 per cent of U-Reporters in some States and Regions said children in their community do not go to school”, said Ko Kyaw Si Thu Tun, a member of the U-Report Youth Content Group.

When asked their views on what prevents children from learning in school, U-Reporters put at the top of the list: ‘poor education system’, ‘schools do not support children to think’ and ‘poor teaching methods’.

Opinions of U-reporters do not differ from the key issues identified in the 2012 Comprehensive Education Sector Review led by the Ministry of Education, and now prioritised in the National Education Strategic Plan launched in February by Myanmar’s State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.  The Plan includes a common policy framework which sets the strategic directions for the next five years; a clear road map for guiding all investments in the sector, both domestic and international; and a vehicle for coordinated implementation efforts. 

“Everyone has a role to play in Myanmar’s education reform.  The U Report platform is an innovative way to seek the views of key beneficiaries of education - adolescents and young people - on their experiences of the education system.  It can help mobilise their creativity and energy in support of the current education reforms towards an inclusive and equitable education system” concludes UNICEF Representative to Myanmar Mr. Bertrand Bainvel. 




About U Report

U-Report was launched in Myanmar on 18 August 2016.  Already almost 15,000 U-Reporters have registered through Facebook and the numbers are growing every day.

To join U-Report go to

*To access and utilize U-report poll results go to


About UNICEF in Myanmar

UNICEF has been working with the Government and the people of Myanmar since 1950. In partnership with the Government and the civil society, UNICEF’s current focus of work aims at reducing child mortality, improving access and quality of education and protecting children from violence, abuse and exploitation. For more information about UNICEF and its work in Myanmar. 

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For more information, please contact:

Alison Rhodes, Chief, Advocacy, Partnership and Communication Section, UNICEF Myanmar, (+95) 1 2305960-69,

Htet Htet Oo, Communication Officer, Advocacy, Partnerships and Communication Section, UNICEF Myanmar, (+95) 09250075238, 



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