Wed 29 Sep 2004
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Myanmar has been implementing another new four-year short-term special education promotion plan since the current 2004-05 academic year in a bid to keep pace with the education standard of the Southeast Asian countries, latest official reports said.
A master plan is being worked out for higher education learning which includes upgrading of educational facilities through exchange of syllabuses, study tours and students with universities internationally.
Under the master plan, cooperation programs between Myanmar’s Pathein University and Japan’s National Institute of Technology and Evaluation on biological research, and between the country’s Myitkyina University and Japan’s Tokyo University on other research are being carried out.
Besides, Myanmar and Thailand are also cooperating for the first time in the education sector with the Siam University of Thailand offering Myanmar students to study in the institution for higher learning.
The move helps globalization educationally and will also help Myanmar students keep pace with the international education standard.
Under the new four-year special plan, Myanmar is projected to upgrade nearly 6,000 basic education schools and add over 21,000 more teachers following the successful implementation of the previous national education promotion special four-year plan which lasted from 2000-01 to 2003-04.
As a result of that plan, the education gap between urban and rural regions and between border and remote areas can be narrowed down markedly. During that four-year plan period, a total of 4,788 post primary schools have been opened and 1,257 basic education schools upgraded.
Ever since 1988, the government has been placing emphasis on education sector development. Thanks to its efforts, the number of universities and basic education schools has respectively increased to 154 and 40,505 now from 32 and 33,747 in 1988, while the number of university students and
basic education ones has respectively grown to 900,000 and 7.55 million from 138,000 and 5. 24 million.
The teacher strength for university registered 17,000 now, while that of basic education schools 224,000.
Meanwhile, the schooling program for school-going-age children has also been implemented since 1999-2000 and the school enrollment rate has risen from 91 percent then to 96.56 percent in the whole country this year and 97.6 percent of 233 projected townships, figures show.
In its education development endeavors, Myanmar has also paid attention to wiping out illiteracy. According to the latest development in the sector, Myanmar’s literacy rate has grown higher so far this year through a summer literacy campaign, attaining 93.3 percent with more than 255,000 illiterates becoming literates during the year.
Myanmar’s literacy rate had grown from 91.4 percent in 2001 to 91.8 percent in 2002 and then to 92.2 percent in 2003, while its average school enrollment rate increased from 92.5 percent in 2001 to 93.7 percent in 2002 and then to 95.05 percent in 2003, according to official statistics.
Myanmar targets to attain a literacy rate of 95.5 percent in the next three years through literacy programs which mostly cover remote border areas where many ethnic groups were denied for many years access to having the skill to read and write.
Besides the short-term education promotion programs, Myanmar has also been implementing a 30-year long-term plan for basic education starting 2001-02 in six phases each lasting for five years, aiming at bringing about rapid development of qualified human resources to meet the challenge of the present knowledge age.