Education in Myanmar - Statistics & Facts

The Southeast Asian country of Myanmar was famed for its educational achievements until the 1960s. Prior to the military coups, nearly 90 percent of its population was literate. The educational system was adversely affected by the coup d’états in 1962 and 1988, with academic spaces being targeted by the military to curb student protests and uprisings. This resulted in a setback in the higher education of most students. Due to the prolonged higher education disruption by the military regime, this system had to be supplemented by privately operated tutoring programs.

However, as of 2011, the education system has undergone several reforms with the end of the military coup. Today, the education system consists of five segments: early childhood care and development (ECCD); basic education; alternative education; technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and higher education. Basic education was further divided into three phases: the primary segment (years one to five); the lower secondary segment (years six to ten) and the higher secondary segment (years eleven to twelve). The GDP contribution of the social and administrative sector increased in 2017, reaching about 2.92 trillion Myanmar kyat. In the academic year of 2016, the pupil to teacher ratio in primary education was one teacher for every 22 students.

A declining trend emerged between 2013 and 2016. This began with a reduction in the number of primary schools, as well as in the number of primary school teachers and students. However, in the same period, the number of lower and upper secondary institutions increased - as did the number of teachers and students. Furthermore, the number of students who passed the matriculation exams in 2016 was the highest it had been in a five-year period. In 2016, the popular choice of study majors was computer science and medicine. Almost 16 thousand, and over 12 thousand students respectively, were enrolled in these higher education fields. Thusly, these study majors produced the highest number of graduates.

Despite this apparent progress, there is more to be made for the Ministry of Education regarding the development of illiteracy among adults in Myanmar. This figure amounted to nearly ten million in 2016. The National Education Strategic Plan 2016-2021 was a step towards rectifying the situation, nonetheless, it still faces challenges. One of which is the high cost of implementation, which requires government expenditure of over two billion dollars per annum. The second challenge is attempting to make the decision-making process more inclusive, while increasing the participation levels of members of the academic sphere, civic organizations and the ethnic minorities.

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Education in Myanmar

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Employment in education

Higher education

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