Vocational education and training
Title: Promotion of vocational education and training in Myanmar
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning and Finance
Overall term: 2017 to 2019
Myanmar is one of the least developed countries in the world. Economic development is constrained by many factors, such as inadequate infrastructure, low education levels and the ongoing fighting between armed ethnic minority groups and government forces. The National League for Democracy, which won an absolute majority in the 2015 elections, is continuing the reform process which began in 2011. In the reforms, the promotion of vocational education and training is seen as an essential pillar for creating income-generating and employment opportunities for the young generation.
Only 10 per cent of young people from any year group currently obtain a secondary school-leaving certificate, enabling them to meet the requirements for participation in most vocational training programmes. Workers in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have little access to formal opportunities for education and training. Training facilities are poorly equipped; the training programmes are often unsuited to the fast-growing and modernising labour market. To date, the private sector has not been systematically involved in developing and implementing vocational education. After the previous government’s meticulously laid groundwork, an ambitious national strategy was formulated for the education sector. The new government is currently attempting to create the necessary legislation and institutional structures.
The provision of vocational training and certification facilities for employment has been improved in selected regions of Myanmar.
The project supports the responsible ministries in Myanmar in improving the strategic, conceptual and regulatory framework for vocational education. The project strengthens the National Skill Standards Authority and training at the teacher professional training centre in Baelin, near Mandalay. Locally, the project supports selected vocational training institutes in developing and implementing training and professional development programmes geared to the labour market. Key implementation partners are the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population; the Ministry of Industry and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
In the four pilot regions of Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi (Shan State) and Sinde (Bago Region), the project supports seven vocational training centres to develop and implement employment-oriented vocational training and professional development programmes. Almost all of the vocational schools chosen are close to industrial areas and focus on the commercial-technical sector. Along with efforts to improve technical training, the introduction of modern school management systems is a major focus. The vocational schools are supported in close cooperation with KfW Development Bank; the bank will provide the technical institutes with the required equipment. As part of the working groups for education, and in particular for vocational education and training, the project supports the Ministry of Education with donor coordination and interministerial cooperation.
Since 2012, the project has given significant momentum to the process of reforming the vocational education system. The project has trained 1,200 teachers, school directors, employees of the ministries responsible for vocational education, as well as representatives of industry and the private sector. They are now putting innovative approaches into practice – modern teaching methods, methods for cooperation with the private sector, improved institutional structures, improved management of vocational schools and other changes. In cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, for example, a system for assessing and certifying workers on the basis of labour market-oriented standards has been tested. 17 assessment centres have been accredited and 14 sector committees have been established with private sector involvement. In addition, 40 inspectors and over 100 assessors have been trained. During the pilot phase, 1,000 workers have been certified as semi-skilled workers (level-1), in accordance with professional standards. 14 additional standards, including those for skilled workers, are under development.