Myanmar Speaker Series: The road ahead on education reform: What comes next for Myanmar?
After gaining independence from British rule, the education system in Myanmar was a model of excellence in the Asia-Pacific. Many believed the country was heading the way of other Asian Tigers at the time. It did not. The protracted armed conflicts in the ethnic states of Myanmar since the 1950s have resulted in displacement and huge disruptions in education service delivery in these regions. During the 1960s, the education sector was turned upside-down. Not only was education severely underfunded, but also teaching became a job that lacked the satisfaction and prestige previously enjoyed, leading to the decline of the system as a whole. Given the years of isolation and academic suppression, the pedagogy of the public education system, including higher institutions at all levels, still relies heavily on rote memorization, and neglects proof of understanding or critical thinking, both of which are central to research training.(more…)