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Teaching upgrade plan to start in December

A pilot programme to upgrade education colleges will begin in December 2018 at two colleges, according to U Aung Aung Min, deputy director general of the Department of Higher Education.

The programme aims to upgrade teaching quality by increasing teacher qualifications, in line with the National Education Strategic Plan (2016-2021).

Part of the plan is to upgrade the current two-year teaching diploma programme at educational colleges to a four-year full degree programme.

The curriculum will also be revised and new educational colleges will deliver a more advanced degree upon completion of the four years.

“The updated curriculums are ready, so we need to start the pilot programme this December,” U Aung Aung Min said on Sunday.

“The programme will begin at two colleges. We are currently considering implementing it at one Yangon college and one Mandalay college, or both in the Yangon Region,” he added.

There are 25 education colleges across the country which the ministry plans to upgrade so these can provide a more advanced degree than the current diploma programme, but resources have been insufficient up to this point.

“Once we start the pilot programme with the 2018 freshman class, the degree programme may begin in 2019,” U Aung Aung Min said. “We are currently inviting experts from foreign countries. Then, the department has to work on textbooks to reflect the changes in the curriculum.”

Local and foreign experts are working to upgrade educational colleges to offer degree programmes. Universities from London, Switzerland and Finland are providing technical support, while Australia and Finland are providing most of the financial support.

The upgrade to degree colleges will take place within three years, and all of the education colleges will be upgraded to degree colleges by the 2020-2021 academic year, U Myo Thein Gyi, minister for Education, said at a basic education seminar in December in Nay Pyi Taw.

To jumpstart the programme, four colleges will be upgraded to degree colleges in 2018-2019 and eight the following academic year. The remaining 13 colleges will become education colleges in the 2020-2021 academic years, the minister added.

According to the Comprehensive Education Sector Reform report released in March 2013, the academic year of Myanmar education colleges are shorter than in other ASEAN countries. Students only need to attend college for one or two years to become primary school and middle school teachers, the report said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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