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Myanmar in Southeast Asia has addressed the importance of Technical Vocational Education and Training for creating skilled labour. Many policy reforms have been underway (1).

Myanmar is one of the least developed countries in the world. Economic development is constrained by many factors, such as inadequate infrastructure, low education levels and the ongoing fighting between armed ethnic minority groups and government forces (2). The country, primarily an agriculture-based country, has started a series of economic and social reforms to vigorously develop vocational education over recent years. The Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Myanmar comes in the two levels of secondary vocational education and higher vocational education. The government technical high schools and the government technical institutes double as public vocational education institutions. Besides, Myanmar cooperates with other countries in establishing a number of international cooperative vocational education institutions. The Government of Myanmar guarantees the quality of vocational education through legislation, the national qualifications framework, and national certification and quality assurance committee in the main. However, Myanmar still faces grave challenges in management, capital investment, quality assurance, and school-enterprise cooperation in vocational education (3).

The National League for Democracy, which won an absolute majority in the 2015 elections, is continuing the reform process which began in 2011. In the reforms, the promotion of Technical Vocational Education and Training is seen as an essential pillar for creating income-generating and employment opportunities for the young generation (2).

Photo by Giz

TVET Will be Critical for Producing a Sustainable and Skilled Workforce

In July 2019 they celebrated World Youth Skills Day in Yangon. Students from the Government Technical Institute and vocational schools across the country unveiled their designs. They showed projects like a remote-controlled robot that detects dangerous chemicals, automated traffic lights, a water-debris cleaning system, and an autonomous lawnmower. The projects focused on current challenges faced throughout the country, including intense motor gridlock, contaminated water supplies and violent conflict. To not only deal with the obstacles of today but also those of the future, the Ministry of Education needs to look beyond mainstream paths to education. Revitalizing the Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector will be critical for producing a sustainable and skilled workforce. (4)

Today the economic growth is strong by regional and global standards but is slowing. Myanmar’s economy grew at 6.8 per cent in 2017/18, driven by strong performance in domestic trade and telecommunications, but offset by slowing growth in manufacturing, construction and transport sectors. Economic growth is set to recover to 6.6 per cent by 2020/21, driven by an expected pickup in foreign and domestic investment responding to recent government policy measures. The government’s policy intent was reflected in recent reforms including implementation of the new Myanmar Companies Law, the opening of the insurance sector and wholesale and retail markets to foreign players, services sector liberalization, and loosening restrictions on foreign bank lending (5).

The promotion of Technical Vocational Education and Training is still important for Myanmar for creating income-generating and employment opportunities for the young generation.


  1. Cho Tin Tun Kirkpatrick, Myanmar Technical and Vocational Education Training System and Policy Reform, researchgate 2017
  2. Eiko Kauffmann, Promotion of vocational education and training in Myanmar, Giz 2017
  3. Bin Bai and Qiuchen Wu, Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Myanmar, Springer 2019
  4. Hnin Su Wai, Technical and Vocational Education and Training crucial for a 21st-century workforce in Myanmar, UNESCO Myanmar, 2019
  5. World Bank Apr 08, 2019.

Lucubrate Magazine November 2019

The picture of the top of the article: study and repair machinery, by AungMyintMyat

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Karl Skaar
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