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March 30, 2020

Foreign Assistance to Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Myanmar

Regional Technical and Vocational Education and Training—2017 held in Nay Pyi Taw.
Regional Technical and Vocational Education and Training—2017 held in Nay Pyi Taw.

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at her meetings with the people all over the country, has been urging young people to take up vocational training to learn a trade or occupation which will better enable them to get employment and a means of livelihood for themselves and their families. She has also pointed out the important role of TVET and the need to further develop TVET in her “Foreword” to the National Education Strategic Plan – which covers all areas of Education including Vocational and Technical Education. In line with the NESP, the Ministry of Education has been exerting efforts to upgrade the TVET system to deliver quality Technical Vocational Education and Training for producing capable and competent Technicians and Skilled workers needed in all sectors of the Economy. The International community is also contributing in no small way, assistance related to enhancing Human Resources Development of Myanmar, including assistance to upgrade it’s TVET system.
The TVET Sector in Myanmar, according to the National Education Law, spans both “Formal” and the “Non-formal” education systems comprising of the TVET Institutions under the MOE, all Vocational and Skills Development programs and Institutions under other concerned Ministries as well as in the Private Sector. Hence, contribution or aid by any foreign country could perhaps also be provided to the Ministries implementing TVET Programs as well as private sector TVET Centres according to priority needs.
Such aid and assistance should be aligned to the Goals of the TVET in the NESP. One of the Strategies in the NESP relating to the area of TVET, is to expand access to TVET for various target groups including disadvantaged populations and people with disabilities. The Program Components of the Strategy is to undertake competency based modular short courses to increase access to TVET.
As mentioned above, the Strategy and Program Component, regarding the conducting of Short Modular Courses for skilled occupations training for disadvantaged populations has been prioritized in the NESP. There are a vast number of young school dropouts of low educational attainment, especially in the rural areas who are unskilled and underemployed. Providing opportunities for them to attend Short Modular Courses , as described in the TVET Strategy, will help such young people to progressively acquire the skills of their chosen occupation.
For that matter the National Skills Standards Authority (NSSA) of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population has been developing Occupational Skills Standards at four levels targeted at conducting the whole course from less skilled worker through skilled and advanced skilled worker to Supervisor cum Technician in the form of short courses linked vertically to each other; with work experience interspersed between each level. Such skills training contributes to the practical acquisition of occupational skills. The Occupational Competency Standards developed are based on ASEAN and international standards and hence are also conducive to the mobility throughout ASEAN, of the skilled workers trained on the basis of these Standards.
It would contribute much to the quality assurance of the Short TVET courses if the OCS were to be used by all the TVET Facilities whether in the “Formal” or “Non-formal “ TVET system, both by Public and Private Sector, throughout Myanmar.
Perhaps the contributions of the donor countries to the development of TVET in Myanmar, would better serve our purpose if directed towards our TVET Strategy and program as outlined in our National Education Strategic Plan and tied to Occupational Competency Standards developed by NSSA formed under the 2013 Employment and Skills Development Law.

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