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.

Seminar for Shan National Education Policy & Planning

It is an honor for Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) to support the Seminar for Shan National Education Policy and Planning as a part of Strategic Facilitation Fund (SFF) 2016. It was organized by Center for Rural Education & Development (CRED)/RDFSS in Shan Pittaka Monestry from 19 to 21 December 2016.

The main objectives of the seminar are

1.To review existing education system and develop Shan National Education Policy
2.To promote the exchange of ideas and experiences among education providers developing ethnic complementary education system.
3.To share experience and knowledge on the complementary education system among ethnic groups

MEC Partnership Program Manager, Naw Olive, gave opening remark on the importance of the complementary education and briefly introduces the new strategy of MEC.

Education Coalitions Meet to Discuss Strategic Directions in Asia and South Pacific

In November 2016 the Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) participated in the workshop “Consolidating our Gains to Better Advance Transformative Education and Lifelong learning for all” organized by ASPBAE in Bangkok.

The two day Regional Strategic Planning Workshop is the culmination of The Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) consultations in November 2016. The Regional Strategic Planning Workshop deliberated and built consensus on the future priorities and directions of ASPBAE, with the engaged participation of more than 100 participants.

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Dr. Thein Lwin chairman of the Thinking Classroom Foundation (TCF) and of the National Network for Education Reform (NNER) has been re-confirmed as member of the Executive Council and delivered a speech on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the future of Education in Myanmar.

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Participating to the event has been an opportunity for learning and strengthening the relations with a vibrant and active civil society movement that will be central in developing education in the region.

About ASPBAE

ASPBAE is a regional association of more than 200 organizations and individuals. It works towards promoting quality education for all and transformative and liberating, life-long adult education and learning. ASPBAE is a network of organizations and individuals involved in formal and non-formal adult education, working with and through NGOs, community organizations, government agencies, universities, trade unions, indigenous people, women’s organizations, the media, and other institutions of civil society across the Asia Pacific (http://www.aspbae.org/).

First National Education Conference: Children with Intellectual Disabilities

Aiming to seek educational opportunities for the children with intellectual disabilities in cooperation with government departments and stakeholders, Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) cosponsored the first National Education conference for children with intellectual disabilities in Myanmar took place in Nay Pyi Taw on 23rd Nov 2016.

It is an honor for Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) to support the conference through Myanmar Special Education Association (MSEA).

State Consellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke at the opening ceremony of the conference. Present at the ceremony were Vice-President U Henry Van Thio, Union Ministers, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman, deputy ministers, departmental heads and members of the Myanmar diplomatic corps. Also in attendance were resident representatives of UNs, NGOs, INGOs, children with intellectural disabilities, the disabled, organizations for the disabled and invited guests.

The conference intends to find out the ways for education access to children with intellectual disabilities.