Strengthening Pre-Service Teacher Education in Myanmar (STEM) Project – Final Evaluation Report and 2019/20 Narrative Report

Strengthening Pre-Service Teacher Education in Myanmar (STEM) Project – Final Evaluation Report and 2019/20 Narrative Report

Since 2014, UNESCO has been supporting teacher education and management reforms in Myanmar through the Strengthening Pre-Service Teacher Education in Myanmar (STEM) project. Alongside the completion of the Narrative Report (2019/20), a final independent evaluation of STEM Phase II was completed over the period June to August 2020. The evaluation was done completely remotely due to the challenges and restrictions associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Icon-Institute Consulting Group, with Simon Broek serving as the lead evaluator, conducted the evaluation and submitted their final report to UNESCO Myanmar in September 2020.

The final evaluation is the second external evaluation of STEM Phase II, following a mid-term evaluation conducted in the first half of 2019 by Oxford Policy Management. According to Icon-Institute ‘STEM Phase II is highly relevant to the national and international context, and has facilitated major changes in the teacher education system’. The evaluation found that the activities supported by STEM are well-designed and responsive to beneficiary needs, and that the STEM project team has been effective in their response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. However, implementation of the project activities was challenged by an inadequate understanding of key concepts in teacher education among beneficiaries as well as low absorptive capacity. Moreover, there is a need for greater capacity building in equity and inclusion and accelerated progress in the development of comprehensive teacher polices.

UNESCO Myanmar commissioned the narrative report and final evaluation to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the progress, challenges and lessons learnt during STEM Phase II. The evaluation consisted of desk studies, focus group discussions, surveys and interviews with a number of diverse stakeholders. The recommendations presented in both the narrative report and final evaluation are intended to guide the design and delivery of STEM Phase III, which commenced on 01 July 2020. UNESCO Myanmar is currently in the process of drafting the management response to the recommendations.

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About the STEM project

The STEM project has been in existence for a little over six years. Phase I was launched in July 2014 with support from the Government of Australia; the second phase, funded by the Governments of Australia, Finland and the United Kingdom, commenced in January 2017 and came to an end in June 2020. On 01 July 2020, STEM entered Phase III through 2023, under a multi-partner trust fund with the Government of Finland joining a basket fund. STEM works in partnership with the Ministry of Education (Department of Higher Education) to address four (4) critical issues in pre-service teacher education. These are:

  1. formulating a policy framework of pre-service teacher education and providing technical advice on developing teacher policies and a teacher-competency standards framework;
  2. improving the system and operations of ECs by restructuring and redesigning the curriculum and building networks for knowledge and experience sharing;
  3. developing the institutional and human-resource management capacities of ECs;
  4. mainstreaming inclusion and equity issues in pre-service teacher education.


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