August 18, 2016

Introduction of new kindergarten syllabus postponed to next academic year

A classroom with good pupil teacher ratio. Photo: ATK
A classroom with good pupil teacher ratio. Photo: ATK

A NEW curriculum encouraging creative thinking among kindergarteners has been postponed to be introduced in the 2017-18 academic year, according to the Ministry of Education.
“The major challenge of the programme is a lack of funds to expand room facilities for kindergarten students under the new system. The ministry needs to construct over 70,000 special rooms on a national scale,” said Union Education Minister Dr Myo Thein Gyi at a meeting in Mandalay on Saturday.
He added that it has been difficult to launch the new syllabus, which is designed with child-centred teaching methods, including lessons on painting, drawing and handcrafts, this academic year.
The ministry also needs more primary level teachers.
A headmistress at a basic education high school in Mandalay said: “There are not enough teachers to educate many kids in the schools as we have only three teachers who have already received special training to teach kindergarten students.”
The Ministry of Education has been trying to change the education system over the last few years to provide improved education services to citizens.  Currently, students receive primary-level education for five years, middle school for four years and high school for two years.
There are approximately 500,000 primary school students, over 300,000 middle school students and around 950,000 high school students across Mandalay. The pupil-teacher ratios in the region are 1:23 at the primary level, 1:28 for middle school and 1:21 for high school.
According to one education consultant, there are approximately 1.5 million kindergarten students across the nation.—Aung Thant Khaing


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