Joint UNESCO-GIZ initiative to initiate discussions around quality assurance and qualifications framework of TVET in Myanmar
After 50 years of isolation, Myanmar is today transitioning to a market-based economy with a strong potential for inclusive growth. Although the country has already undertaken a series of reforms, high youth unemployment still poses a daunting challenge and young people still lack the essential skills required by many occupational sectors. This is partly due to a weak technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system that is not yet able to respond to the needs articulated by enterprises.
As part of a week-long scoping mission organized by UNESCO and Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Borhene Chakroun, Section Chief of Youth, Literacy and Skills Development at UNESCO HQ, was invited as an expert to join the mission. A number of meetings and field visits were held with different key stakeholders and line Ministries.
This joint UNESCO-GIZ initiative aimed to explore areas of collaboration to support the Department of TVET of the Ministry of Education in developing a conceptual framework for an effective and harmonized quality assurance system for TVET qualifications. Only the acquisition of practical skills relating to various occupations will respond to the short-term and long-term demand for skills, and help achieve the sustainable development objectives of the country.
During the course of this week, GIZ and UNESCO had the opportunity to conduct field visits to different schools and training centers, such as the Government Technical High School Ywama and the Government Technology Institute in Insein, Yangon. Representatives from the Aung Myin Garment Training Center and the Bogard Lingerie Yangon Limited training center were also able to share their insights and perspectives on the demands and needs of the garment sector.
On the last day of the mission, 18 May 2018, a seminar was organized with around 30 participants from the government, educational institutions, the private sector and development agencies, that UNESCO and GIZ experts engaged with during the week on developing a harmonized assistance system for TVET qualifications. The event gave Mr Chakroun the opportunity to share his own international experience in reinforcing quality assurance of TVET, and most of all, after an intensive week share his own observations and recommendations on the range of next steps that can be taken to promote the development of TVET in Myanmar.
This UNESCO-GIZ mission is likely to be the first of a series to be organized during the upcoming year, as part of a collective effort to promote Sustainable Development Goal 8: decent work and economic growth.