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EU extends US$252 million to support Myanmar

Yangoon, Burma Times: The education budget support Programme of the European Union (EU) in Myanmar was launched on March 21 in the capital city. The EU’s support will contribute to equal access to better quality education for all students in Myanmar with US$252 million (more than K380 billion).

At the ceremony, education minister U Myo Thein Gyi said the grant signals that the EU “shares our Government’s ambition to dramatically improve the education outcomes in Myanmar.”

“Education is the best possible investment in our country’s democratic federal future. Since 2016, the Government has significantly increased budget allowance for the education sector every fiscal year. So, the EU support will also supplement the Government’s investment in education,” the minister said.

Ambassador Kristian Schmidt reiterated the EU’s strong commitment to support education reforms, saying that “we believe youth in Myanmar deserves better schools and training to free their potential.”

Between 2019 and 2022, the block will provide $200 million (more than K300 billion), through direct financial transfers to the education ministry budget, for the improvement of secondary education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET), as well as public finance management. A further $52 million (K80 billion) is allocated for technical expert assistance to the government in achieving these improvements.

The programme will assist the implementation of core reforms in the National Education Strategic Plan 2016-2021, focusing on equal access to better quality secondary education and TVET. It will support the efforts to modernise curricula, teaching methods and assessment systems in secondary education and TVET. It also aims at improving quality, transparency and accountability in the public finance management and budget oversight systems.

In addition, Brussels will invest $23 million (K35 billion) to specifically improve access to quality education in ethnic areas. This will help strengthen the quality of services delivered by existing ethnic education systems and build their capacity for policy advocacy on education in the peace process.

The Myanmar Investment Commission in April last year permitted foreigners to fully own and operate private schools teaching a curriculum prescribed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) or an international curriculum.

International service providers can make investments in basic education schools, technical, vocational and training schools, higher education schools, subject-based schools and private schools designated by the MOE.

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