Union Minister for Education Dr Myo Thien Gyi participated in the YouTube Live of publication of The COVID-19 Pandemic: Shocks to Education and Policy Responses, and an online panel discussion yesterday. The World Bank and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) jointly organized the online meeting.
World Bank’s Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Ms Victoria Kwakwa made an opening remark, and DFAT’s Ms Elizabeth Peak delivered a speech.
Mr Halsey Rogers and Ms Shwetlena Sabarwal, who compiled The COVID-19 Pandemic: Shocks to Education and Policy Responses, presented the facts that are included in the report. At the panel discussion moderated by Mr Toby Linden, Union Minister Dr Myo Thein Gyi said the importance of not losing learning opportunity due to COVID-19, non-discrimination, leaving no one behind and reducing dropout rate. He also discussed building a safe learning environment, schooling of vulnerable children, and building teachers’ capacities, which are part of the national education policy. The ministry annually provided stipend for more than 25,000 poor students’ education, he added.
He adds that it is important to invest more in education sector not to get dropout rate higher due to COVID-19. New curriculums and syllabuses that are in line with 21st Century skills were being drawn up. Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) were undertaken in February, before COVID-19 outbreak in Myanmar. The uses of School Stipend Database-STD, Communication for Management-C4M, Education Management Information System-EMIS and Staff Management System-SMS are very beneficial for effective management during COVID-19, he added. He also says opportunities for life-long quality learning must be created by combining classroom learning and online learning. Myanmar was conducting online trainings for teachers, and efforts for making online courses best are underway.
By changing curriculums and teaching methods, a better learning environment will be created for the students’ health and safe environment, not losing learning opportunities, avoiding crowding, following social distancing, lessening dropout rate and learning situation become normal. Tonga’s Education Minister and the Philippines’ Deputy Education Minister also participated in the web meeting. The meeting ended after Director of the World Bank Mr Jaime Saavedra’s concluding remarks.— MNA