UNESCO receives additional USD 2.25 million from Australia to support teacher education reform in Myanmar

UNESCO receives additional USD 2.25 million from Australia to support teacher education reform in Myanmar

Ms Esther Sainsbury of the Australian Embassy in Myanmar presents a gift to teacher educators of Kyaukphyu Education College. ©UNESCO/A. Tam

Phase II of the Strengthening Pre-Service Teacher Education in Myanmar (STEM) project has recently received an additional USD 2,250,000 from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). This amount for the next two years, comes after the completion of Phase I of the project, which was also financially supported by DFAT with an amount of USD 2,500,000.

In addition to DFAT, the Phase II of the project is supported by the Government of Finland with  EUR 3,250,000 and USD 500,000 from the multi-donor fund under the Capacity Development for Education (CapED) programme of UNESCO.

Started in 2014, the STEM project aims at improving the Myanmar pre-service teacher education system through policy and institutional capacity development. The project is contributing to both the upstream and downstream work of improving pre-service teacher education in Myanmar and in line with relevant Government priorities in the Myanmar National Education Strategic Plan 2016-2021.

As a key component of the government’s teacher education reform is to upgrade the current two-year diploma programme to a four-year teacher education degree programme, UNESCO Project Office in Myanmar has been actively working towards transforming the teacher education curriculum into a competency-based one. The STEM project is currently focusing on supporting the Ministry of Education (MoE) and its curriculum core team in drafting 14 subject and learning area syllabi and the corresponding student teacher textbooks and teacher educator guides for the first year of the new Education College (EC) degree. An online learning portal prototype is being tested and developed in order to create knowledge platforms and networks among ECs.

Moreover, UNESCO Project Office in Myanmar is supporting a MoE-assigned working group in drafting a Teacher Competency Standards Framework (TCSF), which articulates the expectations for what a teacher should know and be able to do in the classroom. Further support is also provided regarding the management of ECs, including the calculation of teacher needs and costing for the roll-out of the 4-year EC degree. Mainstreaming of inclusion and equity issues in policy and curriculum development also constitutes an important component of all outcome areas of the STEM project.