August 20, 2016

The essential ingredient to successful education reform

IT is safe to say that the advent of the Information Age has had a deep impact on education, propelling institutions to use data technologies to monitor their progress and performance in the processes of teaching and learning.
Successive governments set high expectations by spouting empty slogans. Chants about educational improvement in the absence of action plans are pleasing to the ear, but they are, in fact, a sheer waste of time. Furthermore, the assessment systems now in place are no more than memory tests. We have all witnessed how the country’s narrow education has, for generations, failed to empower students to meet the needs of a competitive workforce.
Frankly speaking, our country is not yet attuned to the practices of education management and education leadership. Despite higher pass rates, the learning needs of students in schools across the country are still acute. There is solid evidence that effective management and leadership in education makes a difference in improving learning and teaching.
Before reforming the education system, policymakers and educators need to do their homework and set a clear agenda. They should keep in mind that putting good teachers into a bad
system is as wasteful as putting bad teachers into a good system. They must also realise that establishing favourable conditions that enable teachers to enhance their professional development is critical to the successful learning of students.
On the whole, the success of Myanmar’s education reform will remain a remote dream unless teachers play a central role in the process.


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