4th Reflection & Learning Workshop

MEC invited all current (12) partners to participate in the 4th and Final MEC Reflection and Learning Workshop, with the aim of learning from the three years collaboration and celebrate successes. The workshop was conducted from 15 to 16 May at Inya Lake Hotel in Yangon.

Throughout the 2-day workshop, MEC partners contributed comments to the last version of the Final Evaluation before its finalization. Partners had better knowledge of each other’s successes and each partner presented the sustainability plan of their project to prove that they are ready to conclude MEC funded projects. This workshop concludes the first phase of MEC which aimed at working with Civil Society organizations before the beginning of a new phase that will be strengthening ethnic and monastic education systems, with a sustainability increased focus on policy engagement and coherence between education systems.

Ms. Jay from AusAID, one of the key donors of MEC, closed the event. She said, “We strongly believe that education is the key to unlock the potential of individuals and of society as a whole. It is the means to realize the potential of all boys and girls, men and women, regardless of where they live. As a more coherent and inclusive education system evolves, there will be opportunities for valuable learning from ethnic systems, in particular, multilingual education and community-based school management. We believe this will help strengthen education policy and provision as a whole. ”

MEC expresses its appreciation, congratulations, and thanks to all the partners for the last three years of collaboration and achievement. The most important take away from this partnership is that there is no unique solution, methodology or practice that makes a project a success, but it is a combination of all of them. It includes the professionalism, the passion and the energy of everyone.

Second Seminar on Shan National Education Policy and Planning

Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) funded the Second Seminar on Shan National Education Policy and Planning organized by the Centre for Rural Education & Development (CRED) as a part of MEC Strategic Facilitation Fund (SFF).

This seminar provided a space for participants to discuss and share experiences as well as develop consensus on how to address barriers to education in Shan State from 25 to 26 February 2017.

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During the two-day seminar, the discussions and issues raised from the previous seminar conducted in December 2016 were revised, vision, mission, and objectives for the Shan National Education Strategic Planning were established and, suggestions and proposals to organize a Shan National Education Committee (SNEC) representing all education groups in Shan State were gathered.

All of the participants agreed that CRED will take the initiative and role of facilitating more meetings, conferences and advocacy activities on the topic. Professor Sai Naw Khay said, “We need a governing body to present our Shan education activities.”

The members of SNEC will be nominated by each organization in 2017. A sub-committee, Curriculum Development Committee, under SNEC will be appointed one year after the formation of SNEC. Moreover, a draft Shan National Education Policy will be developed in that timeframe.  The various Shan curricula will be integrated and utilized through grade 11 within 5 years as the long term activity.

Ven. Dr. Khammai Dhammasami said, “Motivation and patience for the long journey towards implementing the Shan Education Program will be needed in the long run.”

Luncheon with Australian MPs to discuss: “Education as a tool to achieve peace”

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017

A delegation of Australian Members of Parliament (MP) is currently visiting Myanmar invited by Save the Children Australia. During the visit, they will engage with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), International NGOs, and key Ministers from the Myanmar Government.

In this framework, it has been an honor for the Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) to facilitate a luncheon with the delegates at Zephyr Restaurant, Sein Lann So Pyay Garden in Yangon on 16 Jan. The discussion intended to shed light on the complexities surrounding the role of education in the peace process, but also the opportunities that can come from it. The discussion facilitated by Daw Aye Aye, MEC Advocacy Manager has been possible thanks to the active and generous participation of three guest speakers.

Daw Aye Aye Htun, Pyoe Pin Education Consultant, underlined the complexities and opportunities of discussing education in the peace process. She pointed out that education offers a common ground to seek partial agreements on specific issues that would benefit all children, thus offering a common ground and an opportunity to achieve peace. This is the reason why it would be important that discussions around Ethnic education recognition would start before the peace dialogue is concluded and that Peace should be included in the development of the legal and policy framework for education.

Dr. Thein Lwin, Chairman of the National Network for Education Reform (NNER) focused on the role of Civil Society in promoting education for peace and mentioned how Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) often have sound solutions and knowledge that can be a great resource in the education reform process. Government should ensure a meaningful participation of CSOs, including students’ and teachers’ unions, not only to make sure there is a broad acceptance of the reform, but also to take advantage of their knowledge and competences in shaping it.

Finally, Sai Sam Kham, Executive Director of Metta Development Foundation, highlighted the challenges of the democratization process and the role of education. The intervention has been part of a very engaging dialogue with all the delegates that acknowledged that Myanmar is currently undergoing a process of nation building that is by nature very complex. Education can play an important role in shaping a common identity, but could also harm the process if perceived as partisan. For this reason, education should be used as a tool to celebrate diversities and different cultures with the view of achieving a common dream. A dream that could be shaped around democracy, federalism and freedom, by all the groups and peoples living in the country.

The discussion has been a good opportunity for the delegates to deepen their knowledge on the education sector and the peace process in Myanmar. After the meetings in Yangon the delegation proceeded to Nayi Piy Taw and will continue to Rakhine state.