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February 26, 2018

Myanmar’s first graders receive first new curriculum in 20 years

Children learn lessons at a school.  Photo: Supplied by JICA

MORE than one million first grade schoolchildren will receive new textbooks starting this month based on a curriculum developed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) since 2014.
The joint MOE-JICA project, called the project for Curriculum Reform at Primary Level of Basic Education (CREATE), is the first major reform of Myanmar’s first grade curriculum in about 20 years.
The textbooks are colorful with many pictures and designed to be accessible and attractive to young children. The textbooks will be delivered with detailed teacher’s guides for each subject.
The CREATE project was developed by 40 Japanese and overseas curriculum experts and more than 60 Myanmar academics.
The textbooks were reviewed and approved by the National Curriculum Committee formed by the National Education Policy Commission.
The new primary education curriculum includes 10 subjects: Myanmar, English, mathematics, science, social studies, morality and civics, life skills, physical education, performing arts and visual arts. The national curriculum will be taught alongside a local curriculum, which will be developed by each State and Regional Government.
JICA prepared for the introduction of the curriculum by organizing a series of MOE trainings for township, district, state and region education officials. Union ministry officials also attended trainings.
Following these managerial sessions, the educational reformers hosted in-service trainings for teachers across the nation from 23 January to 26 May.
These trainings were offered at the Union level, the state and region level, the township level and school and family level training. The in-service trainings reached teachers from all categories of grade one schools including monastic and private schools.
The reform group also organized curriculum trainings at Myanmar’s education colleges so that it is the basis of teacher training programs in academia.—GNLM


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