Programme strategy

MEC started in 2013 and was designed to support education outside of the government sector – to provide educational opportunities for some of the hardest to reach communities in the country and strengthen civil society participation in the education sector in Myanmar.

The design of the programme was deliberately broad – including objectives in improving access, quality and inclusion in education across the sectors of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), Basic Education, Non-Formal Education (NFE), Inclusive Education and Education in Emergencies (EiE). The programme combined goals in extending service delivery, strengthening of civil society organisations, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing and promoting civil society participation in policy reform. Read the original programme strategy here.

The programme started with large projects implemented by three INGOs in ECCD, NFE and monastic education. In 2014 MEC commenced partnerships with an additional 13 local civil society organisations to support them to play a stronger role in the education sector. As of December 2015, MEC programmes were providing education for over 290,000 children across all states and regions of the country. Through networks established over the last two years civil society organisations have been able to better participate in the education sector, for instance in the consultations on the National Education Law (NEL) and National Education Sector Plan (NESP).

But with very broad, diverse objectives it was difficult to make a coherent, sustainable strategy.

The revised MEC strategy (March 2016), has a clearer strategy and theory of change, and is more targeted towards the hardest-to-reach children as well as sustainable (systemic) approaches to education. The strategy also has adapted to the changing context reflecting the MEC’s plans for engagement with the peace process and democratic transition in Myanmar.

This updated strategy shifts MEC’s focus to strengthening ethnic and monastic systems, with a substantially increased focus on policy engagement and coherence between education systems. The program approach is based around principals of inclusion and local ownership to drive durable improvements in the quality of teaching and learning. Read the complete revised strategy document here.


The overarching MEC programme goal is: complementary education systems provide the hardest to reach children with access to quality, accredited education and contribute to a coherent, inclusive national education system.

To achieve this goal the MEC Strategy has two outcomes that will be supported through two distinct but linked, components:


Outcome 1: System Strengthening will involve working with selected established complementary education systems to strengthen the quality and inclusivity of education.

The objective has two parts:

  • A: Improved retention, completion and learning outcomes in ethnic and monastic schools; and
  • B: Ethnic and monastic schools are able to demonstrate progress towards a level of parity with   
        government schools.

Outcome 2: Changing Policy and Practice will involve working with diverse stakeholders (government, political parties, monastic and ethnic leaders, civil society and media) to address the key policy barriers to effective education for hard-to-reach and ethnic children and to achieve a diverse but coherent and equitable education system. 

The objective is: positive changes in policy and practice to address barriers to education and enable a more coherent, inclusive national education system.