The Role of Education in Peacebuilding Country Report: Myanmar
The report on Education and Peacebuilding in Myanmar is part of the work of the Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, which is co-led by the Universities of Amsterdam, Sussex and Ulster, and supported by UNICEF’s Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy (PBEA) programme. This two-year partnership with UNICEF (mid 2014 - mid 2016) seeks to build knowledge on the relationship between education and peacebuilding in conflict-affected contexts. Our data collection and analysis has focused on two specific geographical regions: the wider Yangon area and Mon state. At present, there is a stark divide between the national peace process and education reform. New opportunities exist to make inclusion, conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding central pillars for further reform. Stronger reform is needed of existing language of instruction policies. The inability for children to use their mother tongues in schooling has been a grievance of various ethnic groups. There are concerns that bridging the parallel education systems and offering greater standardization may not acknowledge the particular needs, challenges and expected roles of teachers vis a vis their communities -teacher accountability might be better managed within the profession itself, and ideally at the level of the school or township. The gendered experiences and outcomes of schooling for boys and girls vary and must be better considered within policy and programming. Need for greater coherent policy development and institutional co-ordination at national and state level on youth issues, and to move beyond considering youth as a singular entity or as mere economic (f)actors.