40th Session of UNESCO Conference Speech by H.E. Prof. Dr Myo Thein Gyi, Union Minister for Education of Myanmar (14 November, 2019)

Date : 15 November, 2019

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Good Morning Mr President, Madam Director General, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Government and the people of Myanmar, I would like to congratulate Excellency Mr. Altay Cengizer for being elected as President of the 40th Session of the UNESCO General Conference.

In Myanmar, the Ministry of Education has been implementing the National Education Strategic Plan – NESP (2016-2021) and the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan – MSDP (2018-2030). To ensure success, our Government has increased the government expenditure on education every year.

In order to increase equitable and non-discriminatory access to quality education, significantly reduce drop-out rates and improve completion rates of Basic Education, the Ministry has carried out the free basic education programs and provided free textbooks.

One of the prominent educational reforms is that the basic education system has been transformed to a new KG+12 programme. Developing the new curriculums equipped with the 21st century skills will complete for all Grades in 2022.

From 2016 to 2019, new schools were opened and new school buildings constructed. As a result, the number of students at all levels increases every year.

The Ministry has also implemented the education recommendations put forward by the late H.E. Kofi Annans in the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. We would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the late H.E. Kofi Annans and thank the Advisory Commission.

The Ministry pays attention to children in disadvantaged and marginalized areas as well as promotes inclusive education. Non-formal education and adult literacy programmes are carried out throughout the year.

It encourages Ethnic Languages, and 54 languages are taught in respective schools. It continuously expands the quality of TVET by offering competency-based short modular courses to meet the local labour market needs.

The Ministry has been implementing a higher education reform process which encourages research and innovation. The Ministry is going to upgrade the 2-year education colleges to the 4-year education degree colleges. It is planning to update the higher education curriculums, pedagogies and offer new programmes, focusing on local needs. Members of Teachers’ Union and Students’ Unions are cooperating with the universities for quality learning.

The Rectors’ committee, which was organized in April 2018, is working together with the Ministry to build capacity of our universities. In the Culture sector, Bagan, our unique cultural landscape with ancient monuments, was inscribed in the World Heritage list in the 43rd World Heritage Committee meeting in July, 2019. At this point, please allow me to take the opportunity to thank UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee for their support. We would also like to express our appreciation to UNESCO for the technical support to the development of News Media Law (2014), Broadcasting Law (2015), National Heritage Law (2019), EMIS, STEM, IQA, International Hydrological Programme and other projects.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has presented its candidature for the first time to the Executive Board of UNESCO, representing the group of ASEAN and Pacific States for the term of 2019-2023. The candidature of Myanmar to the Executive Board reaffirms our commitment to ensure Quality Education of SDG4 and join hands with the ongoing efforts of its Executive Board and steering the organization work for quality learning.

In conclusion, the demand for high-level knowledge, skills, attitudes and values will grow in the 21st Century. So the Ministry of Education is strengthening the existing education system and improving the learning outcomes for all to enable them to face the challenges for the better future. We are also determined to cooperate regionally and internationally for peace, stability and sustainable development of the World. Thank you very much.

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