Finland signs agreement with UNESCO to continue support for teacher education in Myanmar

Finland signs agreement with UNESCO to continue support for teacher education in Myanmar

On 21 May 2020, the Finnish Ambassador to Myanmar, H.E. Riikka Laatu, and UNESCO signed an agreement to support Phase 3 of the Strengthening Pre-Service Teacher Education in Myanmar (STEM) programme. The agreement, which includes a pledge of 5 million euros in funding from Finland, enables UNESCO to continue its technical support to the Myanmar Ministry of Education in its teacher education reform efforts.

According to Ms. Laatu, her Government’s continued support of Myanmar’s education system is motivated by the Finland’s own experience. “We want to invest in teachers because they are key to improving learning results and building an inclusive education system. This has been a cornerstone of the success of our own education system,” she said.

Under the STEM Programme, UNESCO supports the Ministry of Education with technical and capacity-development assistance in four key areas:

  • Formulating a policy framework of pre-service teacher education and providing technical advice on developing teacher policies and a teacher-competency standards framework;
  • Improving the system and operations of education colleges by restructuring and redesigning the curriculum and building networks for knowledge and experience sharing;
  • Developing the institutional and human-resource management capacities of education colleges;
  • Mainstreaming inclusion and equity issues in teacher education.

“For the past six years, STEM has been achieving good results in building the foundation for the upgrade of the pre-service teacher education system to a four-year diploma programme,” said Sanna Takala, Counsellor for Development at the Finnish Embassy in Myanmar. “The ultimate success of all this work depends on the practical implementation in the next phase. We recognize the important role that STEM has in supporting the Ministry of Education in this reform and want to continue our support.”

UNESCO will begin implementation of Phase 3 of the project in July 2020. The Government of Finland will contribute 5 million euros to a multi-partner trust fund set up to fund Phase 3 through its scheduled completion in December 2023. To fully fund this project, UNESCO is seeking additional contributions to the trust fund from other partners.