Today, the European Union (EU) disbursed €37.625 million [59.693billion MMK] to further support education reform in Myanmar. The grant is paid earlier than planned to help the Government address the exceptional needs that arose due to COVID-19 and ensure a safe return to school for all children. Government efforts to improve the quality of education and vocational training throughout the country will also continue. This is the third payment from a total of €221 million (MMK 382 billion) provided by the European Union to increase access to quality education for all in Myanmar.
Union Minister for Education Dr Myo Thein Gyi said: “The European Union is a trusted partner. Its support will help us make sure that every child in Myanmar has access to education post COVID-19. At the same time, we will be able to continue our reform and roll out our new curricula.”
"The re-opening of schools has been debated throughout the world. I am encouraged by the Government’s efforts to make schools safe ‘post COVID-19’ for all children in Myanmar, while keeping the pace for the ambitious reform of the education sector,” said EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt.
“We need to make sure that children are not left behind during this crisis. Their continued access to education and vocational training will be key to sustainable recovery and to our ability to prevent and better respond to such threats as a global pandemic in the future,” he added.
The Ministry of Education has prepared for the re-opening of schools on 21st of July by planning for additional classrooms, introducing shifts in schools, and procedures for school meals and transport. Teachers will learn the new curriculum online through the Myanmar Education Development Platform. To support the management of more digital teaching resources, preparations are underway to provide tablets to schools and teachers. Importantly, the Ministry of Education will evaluate the situation of each school individually and adapt to local situations.
As part of its EUR 221 million grant to the Ministry of Education, EU assistance includes:
The EU programme is facilitating the implementation of core reforms in the National Education Strategic Plan 2016-2021, focusing on equal access to better quality secondary education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET). It supports the Ministry of Education in modernising curricula, teaching methods and assessment systems in secondary education and TVET, to ensure that they are more responsive to the needs of the labour market and to increase completion rates. It also aims at improving quality, transparency and accountability in the public finance management (PFM) and budget oversight systems, to support more effective delivery of education services.
The EU further supports education in the ethnic areas with an additional EUR 20 million grant (MMK 35 billion). This project promotes the collaboration between the Ministry of Education and ethnic education providers.
The present EU program in support of education, related to the COVID-19 response, is part of the overall COVID-19 related assistance by the EU. This includes a specific program for garment workers for EUR 5 million (MMK 7.9 billion), a contribution to a livelihood program with EUR 14.6 million (MMK 23 billion), a project with the National Health Laboratory EUR 5.2 million (MMK 8.2 billion), debt suspension by EU member states EUR 87 million (USD 100 Million), humanitarian aid for EUR 2 million (MMK 3.1 billion), and various other initiatives
The disbursement followed an Education Sector Reform Policy Dialogue meeting between the Government and the European Union, in particular on the plans for re-opening schools as well as access to education in Rakhine State and public financial management.