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Creativity is the key to success in the future,

and primary education is where teachers can bring
creativity in children at that level.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalem
11th President of India

MARCH 2017

There are 48 arts and science universities under the Ministry of Education in Myanmar. But law is only offered at 16 of them. Graduates who
obtain more than 65 marks in all five subjects in the final year of the course will be entitled to continue their studies in the Masters course
called LL.M. (Master of Law).

Walking the road to Rule of Law

The legal profession is essential for rule of law in reforming Myanmar and for the people
to live in full security in accordance with the laws

The former Supreme Court (now the Yangon Region High Court) on Pansodan Street, Yangon. Photo: Staff

TAZAR BHONE MYINT Myanmar and only those who obtain Education in Myanmar. But law is Kyaw Lwin. an application form to the Union
total marks of over 300 in their only offered at 16 of them. Graduates However, enrollment and paying Supreme Court.

YANMAR has for many matriculation exams are eligible who obtain more than 65 marks in all books charges will have to be After getting a degree, we can work
years been facing challenges to take law as a major subject. The five subjects in the final year of the personally made at Yangon University as legal interns at the chambers, said
with regards to the rule of exact entrance marks are not the course will be entitled to continue of Distance Education. second year law-major student Mg
law. same every year depending on the their studies in the Masters course You can take exams online after Aung Thu Hein.
Under the present government led universities located in regions and called LL.M. (Master of Law). asking for the questions. If you pass After working as an intern to any
by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi proclaiming states. If a person is keen to learn about an online exam, you will obtain the teacher for one year, one can submit
an agenda to instill rule of law in the In this 2016-17 curriculum year, the law, but not necessarily intent on degree. again an application for advocacy to
land, it is necessary for the people entrance mark for day universities practicing as a lawyer, there are Yangon University and Mandalay the Union Supreme Court with the
to abide by the laws. To do that, one is set at 350, while that for distance two training courses that provide a University produce thousands of law documents of apprenticeship and a
needs to know and understand it. learning is set at 300. There is no Diploma in Business Law. One is the graduates every year, but the number letter of recommendation from the
There is now a great need for other pre-condition for a day student law training course jointly conducted of law graduates from universities teacher.
more legal professionals to educate in a law major, but for a distance- by the Higher Education Department in other cities is small, said U Kyaw Within three months, one will be
and protect the people as to their learning student, he or she needs to and Legal Affairs Department, and Lwin. recognised as a lawyer if all required
legal rights and limits. The road to get more than 50 marks for English in the other is a training course offered The total number of day law qualifications are met.
becoming a legal practitioner begins the matriculation exams. by the Human Resources Department. students and distance law students A lawyer can begin prosecuting
at law schools. In distance learning, a law student One extraordinary thing is in Sittwe University in the 2016-17 cases at district courts for the first
If a student who has passed will have to do assignments and that you can learn the law subject academic year is only 76 students, three years of practice. After this
matriculation wants to be a legal attend a 10-day intensive course online only at Yangon Distance while in Yangon University, there are period, during which a lawyer must
professional, there are only two every year but a law-major day University where questions and 50 day law students and over 100 have had experience working in
routes in Myanmar either attending student will have to learn the law answers [interactive teachings] are distance law students this year. seven district courts, an application
day universities or distance university subjects throughout the university also conducted. One can learn the After getting an LL.B. (Bachelor to be made a High Court lawyer can
for five years majoring in law. semester. law subject as well as sit for exams of Law) degree, a law graduate be submitted to the Union Supreme
Law is one of the arts subjects There are 48 arts and science via online, said Sittwe Universitys will have to start working as an Court.
taught in universities across universities under the Ministry of Deputy Head of Law Department U apprentice lawyer after submitting You must have three years

MARCH 2017

application has been submitted, one National League for Democracy

can prosecute as a High Court lawyer. Central Executive Committee
A High Court lawyer, the highest member U Nyan Win said he had to
ranked in Myanmar, can prosecute in learn the law subject for five years
all courts in the country. around the year 1969. After four
In neighbouring countries of years, he got a B.A. (Law) degree
Myanmar and in others, one and when he continued to study for
can attend not only government another year, he obtained his LL.B.
universities but also other legal degree.
schools to become a lawyer or a legal Currently, students can obtain their
professional. degree with five continuous years of
Those from the legal community studying, he said. U Nyan Win urged
say if one gets a Barrister degree from the young people to take up the study
England, he or she can prosecute all of law.
over the world. For Myanmar lawyers Law is a very important subject.
to prosecute in other countries, he or Whether you earn a living by legal
she can only do so when permission profession or not, you must know
is granted by the respective nation the law.
after applying to register. Law is important for working,
The same holds true for lawyers contracting, international relations,
from other countries who want to and so on. Myanmar needs
work in Myanmar, as they will need to produce many young legal
to register at the Union Supreme professionals, U Nyan Win said.
Court. The legal profession is essential
Work opportunities are plenty in for rule of law in reforming
Myanmar for law graduates. There Myanmar and for the people to live
are private law firms, or even jobs in full security in accordance with
as legal advisors in companies, the the laws. Therefore, young people
media and high capital investment who will lead Myanmar in the future
projects. need to study the law, regardless of
Young people who will lead Myanmar in the future need to study the law. Photo: Shutterstock Universities across Myanmar are whether they are making a living
producing law graduates every year. with that profession or not.
experience with an advocate license. submitting an affidavit of a statement Court, said High Court Lawyer Daw There are over 40,000 advocates and In a democratic country, legal
You must have the experience of that you do not seek other jobs. With Khaing Sanda. over 11,000 high court lawyers now knowledge is something you must
prosecuting in seven district courts a recommendation for your good Documents like a household in Myanmar, according to statistics possess in order to uphold the rule of
which mustnt be the same. You need moral behavior, an application form certificate and birth place play a major taken from advocate registration law, and for lawful settling of unjust
recommendation letters from them. for high court lawyer will have to be role in being certified as a High Court numbers and high court lawyer systems and practices.
You must also take an oath by submitted to Nay Pyi Taw Supreme lawyer. Around two years after an registration numbers. Translation by Zaw Nyunt

Top 10
in the
1. Harvard University, US
2. University of Oxford, UK
3. University of Cambridge, UK
4. Yale University, US
5. New York University, US
6. Stanford University, US
7. London School of Economics
and Political Science, UK
8. University of Melbourne,
9. University of California,
Berkeley, US
10. Columbia University, US

(Based on the QS World University

Rankings by Subject 2016)

Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Myo Lwin

Editor: Clovis Santiago
Staff writers: Tazar Bhone Myint,
Thompson Chau, Ei Shwe Phyu,
Tin Yadanar Tun, Zay Yar Linn, Aung
Kyaw Nyunt

Contributors: Enno Drofenik,

Thin Thin Hlaing, Phyu Ei Ei Nwe

Photography: Aung Myin Ye Zaw,

Aung Khant, Naing Win Tun, Thiri Lu,
Aung Htay Hlaing, Shutterstock

Cover photo: Shutterstock

Layout design: Ko Htway, Khin
For feedback and enquiries, please contact

MARCH 2017

Studying at Asias twin cities

A number of scholarships and awards are offered by the Hong Kong government and by
education organisations to support foreign students to pursue their education in the territory

University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine campus. Photo: Facebook HKU Medicine

THOMPSON CHAU working in the knowledge economy an economic miracle that Thilawa established in 191012, is the oldest degree programs in Hong Kong. The
and beyond. and Dawei Special Economic Zones and leads the sector, being ranked targeted scholarships will cover full

ONG Kong and Singapore This months EduCentre focuses endeavour to repeat. 30th in the QS World University tuition fee of the students.
are both well-developed on what Hong Kong has to offer. The city boasts a number of Rankings 2015-16. As part of HKUs
economies with an advanced The higher education system in high-quality tertiary education 100th anniversary celebrations in Hong Kong PhD Fellowship
education system. Due to both the international financial centre institutions. There are eight public 2011-12, the university invited Daw Scheme
the quality of education system largely follows the United Kingdoms universities in Hong Kong. They Aung San Suu Kyi to speak to Hong The scheme aims to attract the best
and the upsides of studying at an due to historical relations. In recent are the University of Hong Kong, Kong citizens through televised and brightest students from around
international city, their university years, however, institutions in the the Chinese University of Hong transmission from Myanmar. It was the world to pursue PhD programs
programs have long attracted territory have switched their three- Kong, the Hong Kong University the first time Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Hong Kong. The Fellowship
students from neighbouring year degree programs to four years, of Science and Technology, City accepted an invitation of an Asian Scheme provides an annual stipend
countries. Apart from a much- a measure to integrate with the University of Hong Kong, the Hong university to conduct a dialogue of HK$240,000 (approximately
sought after city life, studying at American system. Studying in Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong since her release from house arrest. US$30,000) and a conference and
leading universities in the two cities Kong not only potentially provides a Kong Baptist University, Lingnan The Hong Kong University of research-related travel allowance of
offer the professional training, good English-speaking environment; University and the Education Science and Technology is arguably HK$10,000 (approximately US$1300)
multi-cultural environment and it is also a gateway to China. From University of Hong Kong. the most successful newcomer, per year for each awardee for a
international network which are the city centre, it may take less Out of the eight universities, reaching 28th in rank in the same period up to three years.
increasingly important for people than an hour to reach Shenzhen, theUniversity of Hong Kong (HKU), year and developing rapidly into
one of the leading institutions in the Belt and Road Scholarship
region and beyond. (Myanmar nationals: coming soon!)
A number of scholarships and Taking reference from the historic
awards are offered by the Hong Silk Road, the Belt and Road
Kong government and by education initiative provides a blueprint for
organisations to support foreign global economic development
students to pursue their education linking Asia up with the world.
in the territory. Students from The ASEAN and Myanmar have a
Myanmar are welcome to apply for pivotal role to play in the project.
the following scholarships: The scholarship is established
with a view to attracting more
The Hong Kong Special outstanding students from
Administrative Region (SAR) countries/regions along the Belt
Government Scholarship and Road (including Myanmar)
This scholarship recognises the to pursue first-year full-time
achievements of outstanding local undergraduate studies in Hong
and non-local students studying Kong. All awardees would receive
in the eight public universities a scholarship of up to HK$120,000
and several other institutions. (approximately US$15,385) per
The scholarship is HK$80,000 year to cover their tuition fees. In
(approximately US$10,300) per year addition, a bursary of HK$50,000
for non-local students. (approximately US$6410) per year
would be provided to financially
Targeted Scholarship Scheme needy awardees.The Scholarship
The scheme is part of the HKSAR is now open for Indonesia,
Government Scholarship Fund. Up Malaysia and Thailand, and will
to 10 targeted scholarships would be expanded to other countries in
be offered to first-year non-local ASEAN soon.
full-time students from ASEAN
University of Hong Kong Centenary Dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in May 2011. Photo: The University of Hong Kong countries, India and Korea, who Part 2 of this article will appear
Communications and Public Affairs Office are enrolled in publicly-funded in next months EduCentre.

MARCH 2017

Vocational skills - the way out of the

middle-income trap?
Education and training of young people is one of the most vital challenges every society is facing and struggling with
2016, when Education Minister have true significance when they value of vocational education and
Dapong Ratanasuwan and Labour are unified. Currently it seems that training, and second, progression
Minister Sirichai Distakul jointly different standards for professional routes between vocational
opened the conference with a qualification are existing side-by- training and the so-called tertiary
clear commitment to strengthen side. level of education need to be
vocational training in Thailand. improved either by enabling
The conference, which was 3. Dual vocational training graduates to enter university or by
co-organised by the Siam Cement schemes, which already exist, providing opportunities to deepen
Group, the coordinator for the could benefit from the (sector- the vocational knowledge for
Public Private Steering Committee specific) development of unified example in the form of a master
on Competitive Workforce and the countrywide curricula. craftsmanship.
Austrian Embassy, aimed at bringing At present curricula are based on
together experts to establish a individual arrangements between 6. While socio-economic
network, to identify the big issues companies and local schools; conditions vary among countries,
and to kick-start concrete follow-up however, this arrangement might a number of best practices in the
projects in this field. be an obstacle to countrywide field of vocational training are
While the conference did not recognition and transferability of transferable.
attempt to come up with formal acquired skills. The conference highlighted
conference conclusions, a common the example of the successful
understanding seemed to emerge 4. Thailand would benefit from cooperation, Austria launched
that a system-wide approach is expansion of existing dual with the Slovak Republic in 2009,
needed. The following points were vocational training schemes. which successfully introduced
stressed: These schemes could for a trial from scratch dual vocational
purpose even be expanded to training in the Slovak Republic.
1. Enhanced role of the business training at government institutions Initiated by the automotive industry
community for providing training, or with the armed forces. The and with conceptual input from
Graduates should be provided opportunities to deepen the vocational knowledge to enhance developing curricula and setting apprentice system creates a win-win Austrian partners, a pilot project
their job search. Photo: Staff
professional standards. partnership between students and quickly spread to other sectors. The
Only the industry will know, which companies. Students graduate with key factors for success were the
ENNO DROFENIK at a company and education in skills the workforce need and if a professional qualification and commitment of the Slovak Republic,
Ambassador of Austria to Thailand the classroom. The long tradition what is being taught is still relevant an employment perspective, while the adoption of the dual-training
has led to a wide acceptance of for todays working place; hence employers train future employees, system to prevailing circumstances

DUCATION and training are apprentices by private companies; switch from a supply-driven to who will contribute to the business and most importantly, successful
the backbone of every healthy about 80pc of Austrias small a demand-driven system. In the operation already during the capacity building by employer
economy. Policymakers around and medium enterprises train absence of one single institution training period. Key is the trust organisations, as different business
the world, including the government apprentices, and more than 90pc of representing the business interests gained from experience in the fact representations were brought
of Thailand, are very well aware the apprentices find employment it might be of benefit to bring that this partnership actually works. under one umbrella to organise this
of this fact and are therefore right after finishing their three-year existing business institution under new system together with public
increasingly putting their focus and training; in general at the company, a common platform or an umbrella 5. Increasing the attractiveness of authorities. During the conference
their resources into the training of which trained them. organisation. vocational training. in Bangkok, the ambassador of
a skilled workforce. It is commonly Parents very often wish for their Thailand to Austria was invited to
understood that only an increased, 2. Austrias model for a higher 2. Enhanced cooperation between children to pursue a general visit this project first-hand.
more productive workforce can lead technical vocational school, different government institutions. academic education instead of Education and training of young
the way out of the middle-income which combines schooling with This seems to be the difficult, but vocational training, which often people is one of the most vital
trap; infrastructure investment technical training in a laboratory also the most rewarding, area lacks social-status and is perceived challenges every society is facing
and in particular vocational training environment: for improvement. Undoubtedly, as a dead-end street. However, and struggling with. There are no
are the key factors for a successful After five years of studies, students potential seems to exist to reduce there are two powerful responses: easy answers and no quick-fix
transition from a low-value added graduate from these schools with a duplication and to increase First, the government needs to solutions. Nobody owns all the right
to a high-value added industrial solid professional training as well communication. Standards will only show a clear commitment to the answers.
production. as with the academic qualifications
In the case of Austria, vocational to enter university. While about half
training and a skilled workforce, of these graduates pursue a higher
in particular in mechanical academic education, the other half
engineering, range high on our of the graduates, who are in high
national agenda and are from the demand on the labour market, join
perspective of many observers the workforce. This model provides
the main reasons for our countrys up-to-date technical training, while
prosperity. ensuring that vocational training
Stories of foreign business is not a dead-end street, but opens
representatives abound, who many perspectives for the future.
marvel at the level of responsibility At present, Thailand rightly puts a
in Austrias industrial production, lot of importance on the vocational
which is being delegated -- training sector.
successfully -- to so-called blue Experts have started to introduce
collar workers. It is important to a number of reforms to make
note that 80 percent of Austrias vocational training more attractive
students at the age of 14 years for students and more relevant for
choose vocational training and the employers. Qualifications are
education over a general education. being standardised for different
This is a unique feature for an professional sectors, mandatory
OECD country, where the average qualifications are being introduced
ratio is 50pc. Austrias high ratio of and informally trained workers
vocational students is based on the are given the opportunity to have
following two pillars: their skills officially assessed and
1. Dual vocational training: Thailands commitment to further
A training system, which has improve its system of vocational
developed since medieval times in training was underlined during
Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the Thai-Austrian Conference
and in which the curriculum is on Vocational Education and
split up between in-house training Training in Bangkok on June 2,

MARCH 2017

The curriculum of Standard 2 students will be changed in the 2018-19 academic year, while the curriculum of Standard 3 students will be changed
in the 2019-20 academic year. For Standard 4 and Standard 5 students, the curriculum will change in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years

Myanmars basic education

curriculum gets a makeover
The duration for schooling was increased to be on par with international standards and the
new curriculum was drawn up to develop students in five sectors

Teachers have to consider a lot of possibilities teaching the new curricula. They have to focus all their attention on the children. Photo: Ei Shwe Phyu

EI SHWE PHYU academic year. 12 years of education after the in stages for students in the simultaneously. We are
The curriculum is changed completion of kindergarten. coming academic years, and considering changing the

YANMARS basic education in accordance with the National In the past, schooling begins the curriculum of Standard 2 curricula within a seven-year
curriculum is about 30 Education Law, to match at five, whereas other ASEAN students will be changed in the period, said Dr Khaing Myae, who
years old, with the last international standards, said countries begin at 6 years old, and 2018-19 academic year, while is in the committee to change the
amendment made in 1985. Widely Dr Khine Myae, former director a student will only have 11 years the curriculum of Standard 3 curriculum for basic education
considered to be out-of-date, general of the Department of of formal schooling. students will be changed in sector.
Myanmars education system is Education Research Bureau. The duration for schooling the 2019-20 academic year. Currently, experts and Ministry
left behind compared with the The National Education Law was was increased to be on par with For Standard 4 and Standard 5 of Education have agreed to this
international community. approved on September 30, 2014, international standards and the students, the curriculum will plan which needs to be submitted
Children grow up with less with its amendments approved new curriculum was drawn up to change in the 2020-21 and 2021- to the National Education Law
critical thinking skills under the on June 25, 2015. This educational develop five strengths physical, 22 academic years respectively. Policy Commission.
by-heart learning system which law was the very first of its kind in intellectual, moral, friendship Middle and high school Educational communities
no longer fits in with this age of Myanmar. and wealth. educations curricula will themselves want changes in the
technology. According to National Education The KG syllabus was drawn continue to be drawn with the education, but some do not want
Therefore, the Department of Law Chapter (5), section (16) (a), with the help of the United help of Asian Development Bank. those changes and want to stick to
Education Research Bureau under Basic Education is divided into Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) It takes 13 years to change the the current situation, said teacher
the Education Department started three levels, namely Primary and the primary syllabus was system if the curricula is changed Kyaw Wai Phyo.
drawing up a new curriculum Education, Middle School drawn with the help of Japan gradually, year after year. Our countrys education
in 2012. After three years, a new Education and High School International Cooperation Agency The curriculum changing condition is quite bad because of the
syllabus the KG standard Education. Under the government (JICA). period will be shorter if current education system. Changing
was introduced in the 2016-17 curriculum, a student will have The curriculum will be changed the system is carried out the current system is a must.

MARCH 2017

The Myanmar Times EduCentre talked

with U Soe Naing, leader of the drawing
curriculum group of Mathematics
for primary education. U Soe Naing
is also a lecturer from the Method of
Teaching Mathematics Department of
U Soe Naing, leader of the drawing curriculum group of Mathematics for primary
education. Photo: Ei Shwe Phyu
Thingangyun Education College.
On the difference between for primary education first to draw a going to be activity-based, unnecessary. both teach well to the pupils, and to
the new curriculum for new curriculum. I was head of training and the tasks are performed share knowledge. We have submitted
Mathematics and the old in teaching children with child-centered immediately after the lesson: On the kind of preparations this issue to the responsible persons,
curriculum: teaching methods before and was also As the new methods will have children teachers have to take in order and told them that if the child-focused
The new curriculum for Mathematics is in-charge of Mathematics. involvement, it is absolutely impossible to be able to teach with the teaching system is to be executed in a
not very different from the old one. The We also consult the opinions of to teach outside the class for 30 minutes, new teaching methods: class with a low capacity, it will surely
new curriculum is based on the child- experts of countries like Japan and or an hour like before. You cannot do The teachers have to keep their succeed. Otherwise, its going to be a
centered teaching approach. Teachers Singapore and other ASEAN countries. that anymore. We have to administer shoulders to the wheel. They will have struggle.
will guide the students and they create We read these curricula and compare the subjects that the children will have to think about: How will I teach this
subjects and opportunities for the them with ours. We have to learn the to learn in school, and then the children book? Or what kind of equipment do I His opinion on whether
students and help them to get answer. development of other countries and themselves will use their own thinking need? What will be taught by grouping the current child-focused
Children will get to participate in every set the frame of the kind of curricula and present the materials that they have the children? They have to consider teaching system is a failure
step, and this will help them remember we will write based on what we have managed to obtain themselves. a lot of possibilities. To put it simply, for the students:
what they have learnt. learnt. Experts and curriculum groups they have to focus all their attention To call it a failure is too harsh.
So, it is different from the old from the government side will edit the On whether the new on the children. If there is something Whats happening now is that the
method. In the old method, teachers draft curriculum. teaching methods are already that they are lacking, then that will be teachers and the children now know
write arithmetic on the black- When our Mathematics was eradicating the tuition system: carried on to the children. about the child-focused teaching.
boards. Children calculate them. reviewed, we discovered that out Well, I think we have to wait and see. I They cannot be thinking like in We, as teachers, have to fill in the
Thats all. Now, we will do it with children are very weak in thinking. This cannot tell you exactly what will happen. the old days, Oh, these lessons were necessary gaps that will be there
the approach that allows children to is because of weakness in geometry. We need the support of the government taught since I was young for many when we start a trial for child-focused
participate. So, we have written a new curriculum for the new methods in our basic years, and it should be a piece of teaching. Im not saying that this will
where children must be familiar with education sector, and also the support of cake now. Teachers must read my be a hundred percent success. I think
On whether the new curricula geometry. the parents, and citizens. handy guidebook carefully. I have it will be successful to a certain degree.
is being drawn up because the In writing the curriculum, we In Japan, they have used teaching written that guidebook, and in it, There are just many factors, and it also
old curricula is outdated: have to divide into four sections methods that are centralised on I have written every single lesson depends on the development of ones
Lets look at the Mathematics section. -- figure system, measurement children and has been very effective. and chapter. So, I think it will be nation. This answer will be different if
In our Mathematics, four curriculum system, geometry and mathematical I think we have to take some time. convenient for the teachers. our nation were one of the richest. But,
sections will not be changed because demonstration. A lesson can be The question of whether tuition will were struggling and crawling up to the
they are also being used internationally. completed after many rounds of become unnecessary or not, is not On differences between the ladder of success, so there is bound to
We re-use these four curriculum sections editing. Then experts and professors something that I can answer with old and the new teaching be difficulties.
but with different approaches. For examine whether it is suitable for confidence because we have never system, as both are focused If responsible authorities can
example, if 5 is the sum total of 2 and 3, 5 children or not and finally they tried out this new method before. Only on concentrating on the arrange the system in a correct
can also be the sum total of adding 3 and approve if it is suitable. We have got the after a month or two after trying this children: manner, and there is a foundation
2, and also adding 1 and 4. We do it this approval from the National Curriculum new method, can we say what will Whats happening right now in schools built on the child-focused teaching
way for children to think. Children were Committee formed by the Education happen, and if these tuitions can teach is that the kind of child-focused area, and the new teaching method
not being supported to think like that Policy Commission. the children, as we do, then it will be teaching that we want is for a class is heading to a great direction, then
before. exceedingly beneficial for them. with a few pupils: about 30 or 40 per without a doubt, I can visualise the
On whether the new teaching But, I want to say that if the class. But, right now, the number is 60 child-focused teaching in the new
On the process of drawing up a methods will eliminate the schools can teach all the necessary to 70 pupils in a class, in our regions. teaching method to be a success.
curriculum: need for tuition, as the new materials covered with all the required When the number is that high, its Translation by Khine Thazin Han,
We have to learn the old curriculum mathematics curriculum is equipment, then extra classes are extremely difficult for a teacher to Win Thaw Tar and Kyaw Soe Htet

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MARCH 2017

Gymboree Play
& Music Myanmar
The school is unique in that it creates an
environment of play and learning for kids
by listening to music, singing and getting
involved in musical play activities
stimulate brain activity and literally first three years of life have a
TIN YADANAR TUN help to grow the brain. profound impact on their future.
Songs support childrens language The brain is most active in

USICAL experience in early skills and memory by making it the first three years and it will
childhood has the power easier to learn and remember grow to 80 percent of its adult
to impact every area of a information such as the alphabet, size. Its essential that parents
childs development, according to your name and address or states of and caregivers nurture a childs
scientific research. the Union. development during those pivotal
Interest in the intellectual Gymboree Play & Music Myanmar years, said Xiao Wei Song, general
benefits of musical experiences is the only school in Yangon that manager of Gymboree Play & Music
continues to be the subject of much creates an environment of play Myanmar.
research. The impact of music on and learning for kids by listening to Developmentally-appropriate
cognitive development points to two music, singing, rocking, bouncing, activities, songs and games are
areas of learning, namely language dancing and getting involved in designed to give freedom for
development and memory. musical play activities together with individual growth and non- Gymboree offers an array of developmentally-appropriate play, music and art classes to be
enjoyed by parents and children. Photos: Supplied
The benefits of music in early their parents. competitive activities in all class
childhood are perhaps most obvious Gymboree Play & Music began in levels. Recognised for a unique
in the area of physical development. 1976 when Joan Barnes, a mother approach to parent involvement, successful adults, she added. In that environment, children
Research findings show that from Marin County, California, the centres programs encourage Gymboree Myanmar opened five can learn social skills, practice
infants have memory for songs started her own program with participation in and understanding different classes named play and sharing, explore new thoughts and
heard in the uteri and can perceive a safe, fun place featuring age- of each childs development, she learn, music, art, school skills and make friends while parents also
and recognise many aspects of appropriate activities for parents said. sports which are open to children can develop networks with other
music, including changes in melodic and young children to play together. Our program directors from 0 to 60 months. Almost all parents and learn new songs and
contours, temporal patterning, pitch It expanded to more than 700 collaborate with national child classes are held for only 45 minutes activities to share with the children.
and timbre. Gymboree Play & Music locations development experts and have per day in a week. Play is a powerful thing for
Moreover, infants as young as throughout the United States and developed class curriculum to The most popular class in our children and parent involvement
seven months can differentiate in nearly 40 countries in Central ensure our programs provide the school is play and learn classes and and guidance in playing plays an
between a familiar piece of music and South America, Africa, Asia and best support and early enrichment we encourage development through important role in childrens social
and a novel one, indicating the Europe. education to children and parents. play and learning with our seven- and cognitive development, said
ability to form long-term memory of Gymboree Play & Music Myanmar And we focus on the whole level program designed to support Xiao Wei Song.
the music they have heard. School opened in February 2015 and child to help children acquire the your childs growth at his or her own Music class is also one of parents
The sequences and patterns of is attended by children from over key ingredients like motor skills, individual pace, said Xiao Wei Song. favourite classes and children who
melody and rhythm found in songs, 300 families. social skills and self-esteem that Gymboree offers an array of participate in early childhood music
combined with interactive musical The relationships and they need in order to grow up to developmentally-appropriate play, classes have a unique opportunity
play between parent and child, experiences children have in the be confident, happy, creative and music and art classes to be enjoyed to grow socially and emotionally
by parents and children. through the intimate connections
Creative activities, equipment, they make as part of shared music
toys and props change from class experiences with parents, caregivers
to class to ensure maximum and peers.
challenges for children, whether In music classes, the children
four weeks or four years of age. can listen and also play more
Trained Gymboree teachers than twenty kinds of musical
facilitate activities for parents to instruments including the wave
experience with their child and drum, giggle gymbo, microphone,
introduce children to parallel play xylophone, scarves and play balls.
activities that will eventually evolve Nothing inspires the imagination
into cooperative, self-initiated play. quite like art. At Gymborees art
Through theme-related activities, class, children are able to enhance
Gymboree supports the child that is their creative spirit and have a
beginning to pretend, and supplies positive means for self-expression.
the parents with ideas on how to They can unleash their
engage in pretend play. imagination in a world of hands-on
Not only can a Gymboree slide discovery with painting, sculpting,
and tunnel set-up provide space drawing, collage, song, dress-up
for motor activity in the childs and other imaginative activities to
mind, it can become a submarine provide self-confidence and learn
under the sea to crawl through more artistic skills.
or a monkey island at the zoo to Gymboree also opens free gym
climb on. classes which encourages students
Gymboree toys and props like to play to develop fitness and social
balls, hoops, scarves, beanbags and skills.
bubbles serve as tools to enhance a One class session for any subject
childs pretend play and his ability can range from US$19 to $33
to problem-solving and connect depending on the package.
Recognised for a unique approach to parent involvement, the centres programs encourage participation in and understanding of each childs development. with peers.

MARCH 2017

Freeing the
teachers to break
free from rote
If teachers have enough free time and
are not made to do things that are not
concerned with teaching, they may be
able to try different ways of teaching
that will help children break free from
parrot-fashion learning
Teachers always arrive earlier than students but are always late to go back home as they need to check whether all the children are safe
when they leave the school. Photo: Aung Myin Ye Zaw
to be absent from school.
ZAY YAR LINN Teachers always arrive earlier
than students but are always late to

E haveheard all the time go back home as they need to check
that teaching methods whether all the children are safe
and school curriculums when they leave the school.
require modernisation and the Besides teaching, school teachers
countrys education system will also have many other duties;
have to change as a whole. their schedules are always filled
We all have to accept that our with meetings called by township
academic standard is very low, and education offices and short or long-
the whole education sector needs to period training.
change because the current system They cant fully enjoy the
is not good, not appropriate and not summer vacation and December
flexible. or Thadingyut holidays as most
So what should we change first? It of their time they have to attend
is to change parrot-fashion learning trainings and seminars.
methods that are still deeply-rooted When it comes to national
in the countrys education system. activities such as census project
It is a good thing for children to be and elections, school teachers are
taught by different teaching methods also responsible for serving as
which can help develop their brain data collectors and polling station
and increase thinking skills. officers. When there are national
It is a responsibility of teachers to ceremonies, school teachers also
teach students to understand lessons have to be on duty to welcome
by using alternative methods that government senior officers.
will encourage students to use their It means that school teachers
own thinking skills, instead of parrot- have taken on responsibilities for so
fashion learning. many matters that are not directly
But replacing the deeply-rooted related to teaching, all while having
parrot fashion learning method might to ensure they complete the course
be a challenge for teachers who can of study before the end of the school
barely manage between teaching time year.
and school curriculum throughout It is with this background that it is
the academic year. understandable why many will find
The fact is that time is a very it challenging to give up the deeply-
essential thing for primary school rooted parrot-fashion method. If
teachers. No matter what kind teachers have enough free time and
of educational reforms are being are not made to do things that are
carried out, it wont produce any not concerned with teaching, they
good results if teachers are unable may be able to try different ways
to manage their time. We also of teaching that will help children
have to take into consideration the break free from parrot-fashion
travelling time between home and learning.
school. School teachers are at top of the
For a teacher who has been living list of people who are demanding
in a suburban area, it may take for educational reforms as many
at least one hour to get to school have had bitter experiences with the
which is located in the downtown education system which is based on
area. There may be delays such as parrot-fashion learning.
traffic congestion, or when the bus The goal of educational reform
breaks down. which is to be free from parrot-
Despite being civil servants, fashion learning will be surely
school teachers are different achieved if school teachers have the
from those who are working in opportunity to fully concentrate on
other governmental organisations teaching, and also when there is a
where daily work is based on better transportation system. Creating
documentation. School teachers more time for teaching is vital in the
deal with children who are human. educational reforming process and
Even if they feel sick, it can must be carried out first.
sometimes be difficult for teachers Translation by Zar Zar Soe

MARCH 2017

Experts from local universities with 20 foreign experts held discussions at the International Conference on Regional ILBCs 11th arts and science fair aims to develop the critical thinking power of the students in the fields of arts and
Perspectives on Population, Development and Environment. Photo: Aung Khant science. Photo: Naing Win Tun

Yangon. and their universities. Shwe Gone Plaza, Bahan township, Yangon.
Education in Brief This event was jointly organised by This event was jointly organised by Goethe International teachers with doctorates will
University of Yangon, Australian National Institute and the German Academic Exchange conduct a course on political science, global
EI SHWE PHYU University and The Crawford Fund for a Food Service (DAAD). economics and humanities.
Secure World. More than 10 universities in Germany were University graduates are eligible to apply.
Discussions on new curriculum for Experts from local universities with 20 featured and officials gave presentations on The duration of the course is 4.5 months
primary schools in progress foreign experts held discussions on the basis detailed information for study in Germany. and applicants will have to take an entrance
Discussions on the introduction of a new of three main subjects -- population density, exam and undergo an interview. Those who
primary curriculum have been ongoing since development and environment. ILBCs 11th Arts and Science Fair pass shall be allowed to attend the course.
January 16. International Language & Business Centres Those who complete the course will be given
Supervisor-level discussions (first and Yangon University of Educations (ILBC) 11th Arts and Science Fair took place on a certificate.
second time) on the introduction of a new 22nd annual paying homage to January 29 at ILBC school on Laydaunt Kan There are a total of 16 spots for candidates
primary curriculum and central-level
teachers Road in Tarmwe township. to attend the course which will begin in
discussions (first and second time) on new Yangon University of Education which The objectives of the Arts and Science Fair June 2017. A second course will be opened in
standard 1curriculum took place at the annually produces primary school teachers are: to develop the critical thinking power of August 2017 and applications will be open in
General Administration Training Centre in held its 22nd anniversary ceremony by paying the students in the fields of arts and science, June.
Mingaladon township. homage to teachers on January 28 at the to encourage students to do practical work
Regional or state-level, township-level and schools Learning Hub. only after they have done their calculations Telenors 31st Net Monday Program
school-levels discussion will be continued in More than K100 million was received to theoretically, to strengthen their belief celebrated in Pyay Technological
March, April and May. fund the ceremony which was dedicated to that success can only be achieved through
KG-12 education has been introduced in deceased teachers. Food offering to monks the combination of theory and practice in Telenors 31st Net Monday Program was
the 2016-17 academic year. There are up to was also made on the morning of the all study areas, to encourage students to celebrated in Pyay Technological University in
1.2 million KG students who are attending ceremony. base their work on theory and strive for Bago Region on January 23.
more than 45,000 primary schools across the Yangon University of Education received perfection in their creations, and to enable Representatives from Telenor talked about
country. The Best Regional University awarded by students to make choices in their future ways to seek opportunities that would be
European Business Assembly on December 20, businesses, employing the skills learnt at beneficial to advocacy by using internet access
International monograph reading 2016. Serving rector Dr Aye Aye Myint was also school. efficiently.
event on population density, awarded Best Manager of the Year. The essence of the Arts and Science Fair is Telenor hopes that its Net Monday Program
development and environment to enable students to apply what is learnt at 2017 will benefit more than 5000 students.
An international monograph reading First German Education Fair held school into real life situations. With more than 7200 towers nationwide,
event on subjects of population density, The First German Education Fair was held Telenor is a major provider of mobile and
development and environment was held on February 4 at Rose Garden Hotel to educate Parami Institute opened internet services in Myanmar.
from February 2 to 3 at University of the public on Germanys education system Parami Institute opened on January 7 at Translation by Zar Zar Soe

More than 10 universities in Germany were featured at the first German Education Fair. Photo: Thiri Lu Opening ceremony for Parami Institute. Photo: Supplied

MARCH 2017

Students and parents welcome

new exam system
In the new system, students have to take new approaches and
methods to prepare for the exams

Under the previous school exam system, students have to study only a few lessons, but under the government exam system, students have to study more. Photo: Staff

THIN THIN HLAING, Previously, students from the standard student from Basic which was changed to government be certain of a students quality.
PHYU EI EI NWE fourth and eighth standards had to Education High School 2, South exam system, the students have In the past, the exam results of
take their monthly and final exams Dagon township, Yangon, also to take an exam which covers all all basic education standards were
according to the schedule of the shared about her preparation for lessons from the beginning to the announced with the actual marks

HE final exams in all the basic individual schools, but in the new the eighth standard. end of the academic year. that the student got in the exam.
education grades except the system, they take it in accordance Im now attending the Most of the students parents I prefer exam results by marks
matriculation exam were with the government exam system. seventh standard. As the eighth also like the change from school over exam results by grade. Because
previously evaluated by the school So, students have had to take standard exam is going to be exam system to government I can know the exact level of my
exam system, but it has been three new approaches and methods to the government exam system, exam system in fourth and eighth child in the whole class if exam
years since the final exams of the prepare for the new exams. I have been attending English standards. results are announced by marks.
fourth and eighth standards were Although there are students that grammar classes, and Myanmar My daughter is in grade six now. But now I can know just the average
changed to the government exam could keep up with the new exam composition-writing classes. The government exam system was position of my child, whether its
system. system, there were also students In the government exam introduced when she was in grade Grade A, B, C or D under the new
In the previous school exam that are struggling. system, we cant just study two four. I used to have to tell her to exam results, said Ma Soe Soe
system, the basic education An eighth standard student sets of questions like before, so Im study, even when she was in grade Than.
students including matriculation from Basic Education High School going to put in more effort. three. Grade A is for marks between 80
classes were ranked first, second, 1, Mayangone township, Yangon, Under the previous school exam But when she was in grade four, and 100, Grade B for 60 to 79, Grade
third and so on depending on the spoke about his experience with system, students have to study we did not need to ask her to study. C for 40 to 59, and Grade D is for
marks they scored. the new system. only a few lessons taught in the She tried hard by herself. She those who obtained less than 40
But, in the academic year of In the seventh standard, we class, but under the government continued to try hard in grade five marks.
2015-16, most of the basic education had a monthly exam. We could exam system, students have to and grade six. Therefore, I prefer While there are those who may
schools switched from the numeric just study the materials for that study more. the government exam system, prefer the older system, most have
ranking system to the grading month. But, now at the eighth With the school exam system, said Ma Soe Soe Than, mother of a welcomed the new government
system using letters A, B, C and D. standard, we have to study all the the students (Basic Education student from Basic Education High exam system as it encourages
During the current academic year materials that were taught from Level except matriculation) have School 4, Sanchaung township, students to learn their lessons in
of 2016-17, all the basic education the beginning until the end of the to answer the lessons taught from Yangon. full.
schools in Myanmar have been semester. There is a lot to study, so the end of December during the But there are also parents who Translation by Kyaw Soe Htet,
using this new grading system for it is quite difficult, he said. final exam. However, in the final criticise the use of Grade in Khine Thazin Han and Win Thaw Tar
exam results. Aye Mi Khant, a seventh exam of grade four and grade eight exam results as it is difficult to

MARCH 2017

Drawing up a career as a graphic designer

Having basic painting knowledge will enable a designer to learn up skills as he or she will be
familiar with colour theories, perspective, light and tone and composition

Future graphic designers engrossed in their studies at the Art Bar Creative Studio. Photo Supplied

AUNG KYAW NYUNT Assembler Computer Centre which with colour theories, perspective, complete a Graphic Design Course more emerging media agencies, job
currently offer Graphic Design light and tone and composition. starting from the fundamentals. opportunities for graphic designers

EING a graphic designer is courses in Myanmar are the places This will enable the designer to Using Photoshop and designing are increasing.
one of the most appropriate to go. use specialised softwares to create creations by Illustrator are taught If one has plans to work
careers for young people who First, before learning Graphic designs. at this level. The next stage is abroad, it is advisable to hold an
want to use computer software to Designing, one should have prior A would-be graphic designer also Photoshop Advance Level in which internationally-recognised degree
bring life to their imagination and basic knowledge of painting and needs to be well-versed in Adobe Digital Photo Editing can be learnt. and certificate. Among international
artistic skills. English, which is the language used Software package including Adobe In Photoshop Advance level, the designing certificates which are
For those who want to learn on software packages, self-study Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and focus of training is on professional well-recognised is the Adobe
but have no idea where to start, training e-videos, eBooks and online Adobe InDesign. Other graphic creation practices and on-the-job Certified Expert (ACE) Certificate,
the Art Bar Creative Studio, KMD tutorials. softwares like CorelDraw and 3D methods using Photoshop. which is included in the Graphic
Institute, Forever Group, Myanmar Having basic painting knowledge Software are also necessary to be In Myanmar, you can sign up Design teaching syllabus of other
Media Development Centre, MCC will enable a designer to learn up explored. for these trainings in diploma countries.
Computer Training Centre and skills as he or she will be familiar On a basic level, one should courses offered by Forever Group If one is planning to study in
and Myanmar Media Development countries like the United Kingdom
Centre. or Singapore, it will be necessary
After attending those courses, one to make preparations by ensuring
can then join a relevant firm to get that one possesses the four skills
an On-the-Job Training. in English language through IELTS
It will be more effective if one or TOEFL, computer skills, strong
has a chance to learn with teachers creativity, painting knowledge
who can share their knowledge and other required documents
on artwork and projects when and certificates set by the specific
attending training courses. Only schools. There are many education
then one will be able to solve real agencies which provide online
problems he or she is going to face examination services.
at work. A professional graphic designer,
Estimated fees for graphic design after passing through different
courses are about K100,000 for levels of training courses and
basic level and about K250,000 schools, can work as an in-house
for professional level. For those designer in Myanmar, with a salary
interested in learning 3D Software, of around K500,000 and can reach
fees range from K200,000 to US$1000 if the job is in an agency.
K300,000. In foreign countries, the
Job opportunities for a average yearly salary of an Art
professional graphic designer vary, Director can be up to $75,000 and
and one can get a job with online a Senior Designer can earn nearly
shopping sites, printed media, as much as an Art Director. The
online media, in the advertising line salary for a Creative Director
and in business webpage developing can be between $100,000 and
where good imagination will get $150,000 a year.
A professional graphic designer can easily work as an in-house designer in Myanmar. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing one far. Moreover, with more and Translation by Zaw Nyunt