September, 2019, Nay Pyi Taw: In the context of important reforms being implemented in Myanmar’s education sector, Monastic and ethnic basic education providers are excluded due to a number of reasons. Recently, the Ministry of Education (MoE), with the technical and financial support from UNICEF has committed to developing for CPD Framework to guide the development of a comprehensive, equity focused CPD programme for all teachers in Myanmar.
MEC and its partners received an official invitation from UNICEF and MoE to participate in this process, once in the National Policy Seminar on 2 Aug in Yangon and recently in the validation workshop on 30 Sep 2019. Relevant representatives from MEDG, MNEC and KTWG/KED together with MEC leadership turned up and discussed about the means of cooperation and coloration for future implications for teachers from monastic and ethnic basic education providers. It sounds encouraging seeing that the scope of CPD framework would include teachers working in monastic schools and ethnic schools.
They key Points were discussed and presented to the Technical working group.
1) How will the Ministry of Education take the leadership to make comprehensive consultations with Monastic and ethnic basic education providers (who are not currently recognized by MoE) for joint costed plan?
2) How will the Ministry of Education conduct Needs Assessment Exercise and Comprehensive Gaps Analysis in monastic and ethnic schools while there are also monastic and ethnic education CPD programs? – MNEC has PRESET and INSET teacher training and Boh Htaw Education Empowerment Program, for KTWG/KED there are two years PRESET and INSET teacher training programs and for MEDG 1 year education program and accredited Yaung Zin module? Are these monastic and ethnic current
CPD programs also going to be assessed and analyzed?
3) How monastic and ethic teachers can be recognized and accredited?
Basically, the discussions points and feedback from different groups will be well-taken and considered by the Technical working group and revised accordingly. Then, it will be presented to MoE for further process. The process will be completed before end of 2019 and roll out beyond 2020. it’s still vague in terms of way forward. However, we can still be positive because this initiative could be just the new dawn of MEPP soon and in near future to have more cooperation and collaboration of MoE with monastic and ethnic basic education providers to some degrees and later to be more inclusive in the national education reforms.
Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) and representatives from ethnic partners’ BBCD staffs participated in a 6 week long MTB-MLE course in Chiang Mai, Thailand from July 24 to Aug 2, 2019.
The course was organized in partnership with SIL & Payap University and Language Institute. Two workshops were done consecutively starting with the MTB-MLE workshop followed by the Integrating cultural arts into education workshop. The main purpose of this course was to build participants’ capacity on MTB-MLE and learn how to develop different learning materials for better learning outcomes.
The participants were equipped with the knowledge, skills and value on the theory of MTB-MLE and practical session were conducted for material development. During the course, each of the language group produced language progression plan, big books, busy pictures, listening stories, songs and other skills to develop different materials for teaching and learning which are essential for the MTB-MLE program. The language groups would go back to their own organization and share their knowledge and skills with other staff. The newly developed materials would be tested in the communities to check whether they are appropriate for the children.
MEC supported the ethnic partners’ staffs to attend the course and expects them to carry forward their learning to the field. Moreover, when the staffs are back in their organization, MEC will follow up their activities by conducting field visits during book testing.
(Along with continuing support to four key complementary providers, and following a comprehensive research and design phase, MEC established five new partnerships for the delivery of capacity development in Mother Tongue Based – Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE). Through the initiative, which works with a broader base of mother tongue education providers, MEC has continued to contribute to the progression of multi-lingual education practices, capacity and policy in Myanmar.)
Invitation to submit Expression of Interest (EoI) for MEC Initiative of ‘Capacity Development for Quality Teaching-Learning in Multilingual Contexts’
MEC will implement an initiative of “Capacity Development to Improve Teaching/ Learning in Multilingual Education Contexts’. This will involve a needs analysis with prospective partners followed by a 3 year programme of sequenced mentoring and support according to individual needs. There will also be opportunities for the participating partners to collaborate on research and advocacy in relation to ‘multilingual education’ and ‘effective education for multilingual contexts.
The deadline for EOI application is on 15 December 2017.
The Strategic Facilitation Fund (SFF) is designed as a flexible fund to support a broad base of stakeholders in non-government education systems to access technical assistance and engage in evidence based policy dialogue, to trial innovative approaches and to explore opportunities for sustainable programs, in alignment with MEC priority areas. Funding is designed to support specific activities, not long-term education programs.
MEC strategy 2016-2020, and this funding opportunity, will focus on support to complementary (ethnic and monastic) basic education systems. Three areas are prioritized and applicants are requested to specify which area they intend to apply to between: 1. Policy engagement for Education Reform, 2.Ethnic Education networking and collaboration, and 3.Education driven Innovation.
The deadline for application is on 31 December 2017.
MEC team conducted an internal workshop in Bagan from 21-22 June 2017. Revised partnership management guidelines, policy engagement strategy, and MERL framework were shared and presented with all staff.
Throughout the workshop, team members had a sound understanding of the purpose, priorities, and interventions of the ethnic and monastic education partners towards education systems strengthening. The team identified priority areas of technical support for partners working on the complementary education systems in order to deliver strategic support. At the end of the workshop, roles and functions of the MEC team are reexamined in contributing towards education systems strengthening.
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.