Myanmar’s parliament approves proposal to assess quality of private schools

YANGON, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) — The House of Nationalities (upper house) of Myanmar has approved a proposal to assess the quality and credibility of certificates of private schools, parliament sources said on Thursday.

Private schools are conducting the courses in affiliation with overseas universities, education foundations or in their own curriculum.

Supporting the proposal, parliament member U Hla San told the house Wednesday that while foreign universities and colleges neglected the certificates of Myanmar’s academic institutions, the potential learners for overseas education should have a guarantee for their investment.

He asked the Ministry of Education to officially scrutinize the credibility of certificates issued by foreign universities or private schools.

Agreeing to the proposal, another parliament member U Khin Win said as some students did not get enough exam scores to attend the government universities, they sought to join private universities which allowed lower marks than their state-owned counterparts.

Finding that private schools are run unofficially with their own courses, he suggested that the Ministry of Education and the private education sector scrutinize the capacities of private schools for registration.

Speaking in favor of the proposal, Deputy Minister of Education U Win Maw Tun said that at every level of education, there shall be a program of quality assessment and quality assurance. He reaffirmed that the ministry is trying to ensure good education services with systematic registration of private schools and scrutinizing process on such schools.

Myanmar enacted the Private School Law at the end of 2011, allowing private schools to operate in the country.

The law basically stipulates that private schools shall teach subjects similar to the curriculum prescribed in state schools, while allowing them to teach additional subjects so as to eliminate private tuition.

Starting from 2012-13 academic year, there has been over 160 private schools in operation across the nation.

To mobilize the teachers, Myanmar formed a private teachers’ union in May 2012 to seek knowledge and experience from foreign experts and to help raise private teachers’ qualification to an international standard.

Official statistics show that the number of state-operated basic education schools in the country amounted to over 41,000, with more than 8.1 million students and 270,000 teachers.

In the higher education sector, there has been over 160 universities and colleges opened, boosting the number of higher education institution by five times than before.

Source: Xinhuanet

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