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MONTHLY Education PULLOUT - JULY 2017

“Education is the passport to the future
– for tomorrow belongs to those
who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X
US Civil Rights Activist,
1925-1965
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Media skills — essential in
a transition to democracy
A career in journalism not only plays
the role of a watchdog over the
government and those in power but
also helps form a public opinion

TAZAR BHONE MYINT, Although the maximum number of students
ZAW MOE TUN (Magwe) accepted is 50, over 60 students were
tazarbhonemyint7@gmail.com accepted in this 2016-17 academic year.
zmt.zawmoe80@gmail.com “When I completed high school, I was

W
undecided which university to choose.
E are living in an information When I looked at the journalism course I
age. In our daily life, news starts found out that investigative reporting is
flowing in the moment we wake included. I am interested in it and I want to
up in the mornings. Our decision makings give the correct information to the public.
are being more and more influenced by And so, I ended up attending the journalism
what we read and see in the media. With course,” remarked Ko Htet Aung Phyo, a
latest technology and devices, news travels third-year student.
instantly from one end of the world to Media jobs are different from others in
another. that they have no regular fixed hours. Media Part-time students learn radio broadcasting course at the Myanmar Journalism Institute.  Photos: Supplied
This places more responsibility on those personnel have to be ready 24/7 to go to the
associated with media and journalism. news site and gather news. One journalist’s
They are not only required to disseminate presentation of the same news would differ
news on the spot, but also need to provide from another’s. There is a competition to be
as correct information as possible. Many the first to present the news, and so without
are now joining the media business, as an ardent desire, it would be difficult to
they have become aware that a career in work in the media.
journalism not only plays the role of a “Some parents don’t like a reporter’s
watchdog over the government and those in job. Reporters are the eyes and ears of the
power but also helps form a public opinion. public. There can be dangerous situations
There are a whole lot of prominent for reporters and some may even get
media training institutes around the arrested. Without strong interest, it
world. Although Myanmar can boast a would be advisable not to go for it. Also,
number of qualified media personnel, a one cannot become rich by pursuing a
government-recognized college, granting journalism career,” said Ko Su Min Ko, a
a degree in journalism, was opened only senior reporter from News Federal Times.
in 2007-08 academic year. The National
Management Degree College (NMDC) is in Private journalism schools
Botahtaung township, Yangon and run by There are also some local private
the Department of Higher Education under journalism schools. They are the Myanmar
the Ministry of Education. Journalism Institute (MJI), Yangon
“Minimum marks required to enter the Journalism School (YJS), Center for
college will vary depending on the number Myanmar Media Development (CMMD)
of applicants. This is the only journalism founded by Saya Maung Wuntha and
school which grants a degree. We accept Myanmar Media Development Center
every student across the nation who (MMDC) opened by the Forever Group.
wants to join us,” said Dr Zin Mar Kyaw, a Some of these schools run short courses in A teacher demonstrates video making lessons to a full-time student at the Myanmar Journalism Institute.
departmental head. rural areas.
One distinct feature of MJI is its one-
Requirements to attend a journalism year full-time or part-time diploma course.
course Foreign experts and well-experienced
Generally, a total of over 400 marks in the local journalists teach both theories and
matriculation exam is required to attend practical lessons to students attending
journalism course in Myanmar. Only 50 full time from various states and regions.
students a year are accepted. After four Part-time courses are for journalists with
years of study, one would be conferred with a minimum of one year’s experience in
a BA (Journalism) degree. If one passes their field. Starting from July 2014, the MJI
with distinctions in major subjects, they opened a part-time multimedia diploma
can attend a Master’s course, although this class with 15 students each from Yangon
cannot be attained locally yet. Countries and Mandalay.
like Hong Kong, China and England offer The MJI is financially supported
graduate degrees, and some organizations by Germany’s DW Akademie, France’s
like the Open Society offer scholarships. Canal France International, Sweden’s
Dr Moe Moe Aye, associate professor FOJO Media Institute and Denmark’s
from NMDC, said, “What is unique here International Media Support. Furthermore,
is that we have to learn media ethics and MJI’s partners contribute in one way or
media law as a separate subject. Editorial another – UNESCO approves the MJI
writing, which is important in journalism, curricula, the French embassy provides
is also included. Print and broadcast scholarships and the Forever Group donates
media are taught throughout the four-year necessary materials and broadcasts the
undergrad course.” class registration announcements for free.
Hundreds of applicants respond to the MJI training director U Sein Win
annual enrollment advertised in the papers. commented to The Myanmar Times U Ye Naing Moe, founder of Yangon Journalism School, and students at a journalism course closing ceremony.
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The Internews collaborates with foreign countries in giving short-term journalism classes.

EduCentre, “In order to develop widely pursued. and complex subject, so being
Myanmar media, the responsibility “Our country’s knowledge on able to speak and write is not
does not only lie with journalists, media and information is extremely enough to learn it. Only after
it also lies mainly with the low. When readers see one sentence years of theory and practice, one’s
government. It should see to it that in the paper, they should know how society and country will benefit
its ministries provide the necessary to differentiate whether it’s a fact or from it. Therefore, those who are
information. Obtaining news and just an opinion. In order to do that, enthusiastic in studying journalism
information must be legalized and it is compulsory that journalism should do so, so as to open the
efforts must be taken so that the should be sought after,” remarked eyes and ears of the public and
public have news awareness. In writer Ma Thida (Sanchaung). contribute to one’s nation. The Center for Myanmar Media Development holds journalism and photography classes in
most countries, there is something Journalism is an extensive Translation by Zaw Nyunt, Kyaw Soe Htet Yangon and in rural cities.
called the Classified Information
Act. In the United States, the
classified information becomes
public after a period of 20 years
since the time it was implemented.”
At the YJS, short-term basic
journalism course is currently
taught, including a one-month
journalistic writing class. Intensive
writing classes are held and talented
students are awarded journalism
prizes. This is a school that current
journalists rely upon. YJS has a
branch in Mandalay, the Mandalay
Journalism School, which offers
similar classes and courses.
The CMMD holds a one-month
journalism and a photography class
in Yangon, and this class is held
three times a year in rural cities,
according to Daw Lut Latt Soe,
daughter of Saya Maung Wuntha,
who spoke to The Myanmar Times
EduCentre.
MMDC has classes that teach
video filming and production,
including practical and theoretical
classes for techniques needed to
become a TV presenter.
In addition, another
organization, the Internews, is
collaborating with foreign countries
in giving short-term journalism
classes regarding peace and gender
issues.

Media vital for genuine
democracy
According to U Myint Kyaw, a
member of the Myanmar Press
Council, “News and media is
a crucial factor in any field.
Media is important not only for
a nation’s development but also
for transitioning into democracy.
Authoritarian countries utilize
media just to spread propaganda.
Media is vital for genuine
democracy.”
In reality, journalism is more
than eking out a living as it is linked
with maintaining law and order and
fortifying democracy. Myanmar
is currently transitioning to
democracy, so in order for the public
to truly gain their right to know
information, journalism should be
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Nurturing a new generation able
to compete on the world stage
Students at Myanmar Metropolitan College are encouraged to see education as beyond
possessing a piece of paper, to actually value the learning experience and to ensure that they are
able to apply what they have learnt to their real lives
TIN YADANAR TUN
tinyadanartun@mmtimes.com

B
Y studying a postgraduate
degree, one will develop
skills that will support
them through their daily life, such
as time management, research
work, presentation and writing
skills. Depending on the field of
expertise one is studying, they could
find themselves in small classes
and working closely with people
who also share their background,
allowing them to work within a team
with consideration for different
perspectives.
On the whole, postgraduate
careers have greater chance of
opportunities than those with lesser
qualifications. One’s postgraduate
subject area may make them stand
out from the person that has the
same graduate degree, but not the
passion for the particular area the
employer is looking for. Being able
to talk and relate one’s learning
experiences to a future postgraduate
career in an interview may not
guarantee the job, but may ease that
tricky interview one’s been dreading.
Oppositely, a postgraduate program
can be used as a conversion course
for those who wish to change career
directions, leading into a whole new Daw Khin Hnin Soe, founder and principal of Myanmar Metropolitan College.  Photo: Tin Yadanar Tun
path, regardless of the academic
choices one has made when they were
younger.
Being fuelled by a dream, being
successful in one’s career is a great
place to start. However, for most
postgraduate students, the fuel is the
desire to learn and contribute to their
field of expertise. For this month’s
EduCentre, we will focus on one of the
private colleges based in Yangon that
has undergraduate and postgraduate
Business programs for youths who
are looking towards improving their
career prospects.
The Myanmar Metropolitan
College (MMC), established in
2013, offers the Higher National
Diploma (HND) awarded by the
Scottish Qualifications Authority,
UK, for undergraduate level, and
Master of Business Administration
(MBA) awarded by MMC’s
partner, University of Business
and International Studies from
Switzerland, for postgraduate level.
At both undergraduate and
postgraduate levels, students
can study subjects in areas like
accounting, finance, economics,
management, marketing and
business IT.

Providing international-level
experience for students
“We also provide courses for soft
skills and industry-linked activities Learning comes alive at a seminar held by the Myanmar Metropolitan College.  Photo: Supplied
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to make the curriculum a more
holistic approach. We believe that
for every student, student’s life is the
most memorable part of their lives.
Most of us at MMC have university
experiences as students and lecturers
in foreign countries. So, our main
focus is to always keep on improving,
so that we can provide a similar
international-level experience for
our students in Myanmar, without
them having to go abroad,” said Daw
Khin Hnin Soe, MMC’s founder and
principal.
Almost all classes in MMC are
business related and there are
currently over 150 students for this
academic year, said Daw Khin Hnin
Soe.
“Marketing and management
classes are popular in our country
and most students attend those
classes. There are already over 70
students who had graduated with
HND and MBA at MMC. Here,
we believe in a holistic approach
towards education so that we can
develop not only in the subject
area but also soft skills including
thinking, self-directed learning and
research skills,” she said. The Myanmar Metropolitan College offers the Higher National Diploma awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, UK, and Master of Business Administration awarded by MMC’s
partner, University of Business and International Studies from Switzerland.  Photo: Supplied
Three unique approaches to
teaching in the world, and their self-directed
The principal added that the teaching learning level as lifelong learners.
methods at MMC focus on three Those are the three areas we focus
unique approaches: problem-based, when we hold academic meetings.
project-based and game-based. Through sharing of each other’s
“Based on our three teaching knowledge and experience, peer
methods, there is a yearly ‘MMC coaching, doing training and
Bazaar’ project for our undergraduate development activities as a team, I try
HND students. During the event, they to develop MMC academic faculty”,
have to produce hand-made products, she said.
set up stalls and sell them to the She also said, “For repatriate
public. Through such activities, they lecturers, they have experience in
learn about marketing, accounting, both Myanmar and international
sales concepts which they have to education sector. So, they understand
write in a report and present to the background and the kind of
lecturers as part of their assessment,” experience Myanmar students have
she said. and are able to use their international
For MBA students to have links experience to guide Myanmar
with business industries, the college students to an international
has ‘MMC Speaker Series,’ whereby standard.”
the speaker’s topic is tied to the Recently, MMC started an MBA
subject that they will be learning and program at their new campus in
students can see how the concepts Mandalay, and is also implementing
they learn in their subjects are to open a Bachelor’s degree program
applied in the workplace, said Daw from end of 2017 onwards, she added.
Khin Hnin Soe. The current fees will be from
“We also have ‘Student Life K2 million to K12 million per year
Activities’ in six different categories: at MMC depending on various
subject-related, general knowledge, programs.
English proficiency, sports and fun, The mission of MMC is to nurture
volunteering – MMC with Heart, a new generation that will contribute
and leadership and teamwork. By to the development of Myanmar and
participating in those activities, be able to compete on the world stage,
students learn about work-life said Daw Khin Hnin Soe.
balance and the importance “As such, we always remind
of leading a healthy lifestyle. our students to see education as
Students also gain knowledge not beyond possessing a piece of paper;
only from textbooks but also from to actually value the learning
others, and learn to work and live experience they get from their
as a community. And most of all, lecturers as well as from their peers;
we believe in always improving and to ensure that they are able
ourselves so that we can provide the to apply what they have learnt in
most conducive learning experience their programs at MMC to their
for our students,” she added. real lives. We also emphasize that
There are around 20 lecturers what they learn at MMC provides a
who come from three different solid foundation for them to further
backgrounds: repatriate lecturers like advance their own lifelong learning
herself, lecturers who used to teach in journey,” she said.
Myanmar government universities, Moreover, MMC has developed
and foreign lecturers. Based on their short video clips on Facebook and
backgrounds, they provide different YouTube, like “Q&A with MMC
learning experiences for the students, Lecturers,” where anyone can ask
she said. the lecturers any question under
the topic of education, and “MMC
Three areas focused during Career Talk,” the purpose of which
academic meetings is to provide information on
“As the principal, what I look for in various professions, such as their
lecturers is how well they perform responsibilities and requirements to
‘the art of teaching,’ how adaptable excel themselves in their respective
they are to the changing landscape professions.
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Government providing strong
leadership through the National
Education Strategic Plan
It is important that the public realize reforms will take time to deliver high-quality education
outcomes, says Australian Embassy's First Secretary (Education)
KYAW SOE HTET quickly. It will be important for the
kyawsoehtet100@gmail.com Myanmar government to be open Australian Embassy Myanmar

E
and transparent about how long Facebook:
DUCATION has always been change will take and the challenges www.facebook.com/
the backbone of a nation. they face. They’re starting from AustralianEmbassyMyanmar
It is a gateway for students a low base and implementing a
to realize their full potential, and number of large and complex Australia Awards Myanmar
contribute to the development reforms at the same time. It will email:
of the nation. Myanmar is not be turned around overnight and www.Australiaawards.
undergoing educational reforms, people need to know that.” myanmar@dfat.gov.au
and in February of this year, State
Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Improving access, completion and To apply online for Australia
launched the National Education learning for everyone Awards Scholarship:
Strategic Plan (NESP) (2016-21) Australia’s objective in educational www.oasis.dfat.gov.au
as a main roadmap to its changes. support is to improve access,
The ultimate responsibility for completion and learning for To learn more about Australian
educational development lies with everyone in Myanmar. Andrea universities and study options
the government, but international emphasized that one of the aims of in Australia:
assistance can help support their the Australian aid is equity – to see www.studyinAustralia.com
reform agenda by building capacity Andrea Cole, First Secretary (Education), Australian Embassy, Yangon.  Photo: Aung Khant that every boy, girl, woman and man
and improving quality. has access to a quality education For translation of academic
With the aim that people from provides an estimated A$25 million the next five years and they have without discrimination. qualifications:
Myanmar would become more in assistance annually and has already started implementation. Australia’s support for education www.internationaleducation.
aware of what Australia has been become one of the largest donors in Development partners are here is focused on improving basic gov.au
providing for this nation, The the education sector. to support them to implement education. With increased
Myanmar Times EduCentre had a Sharing her thoughts on the it. You can go a long way with education, living standards will For self-funding students to see
chance to talk at length with Andrea Myanmar government’s approach commitment. That’s often a first improve and poverty will be different course costs:
Cole, First Secretary (Education), to educational reforms, Andrea thing development partners are reduced. Where possible, Australia www.studyinaustralia.gov.au
Australian Embassy, Yangon, during said, “The NLD [National League looking for. supports the MoE to deliver
which she talked extensively about for Democracy] government “One of the challenges will be the education programs. Such
what Australia has been doing and the Ministry of Education managing expectations about how an approach not only ensures is Australia’s largest aid investment
concerning Myanmar’s education [MoE] are both very committed to long it takes to build capacity to Australia’s support reaches all totaling $84 million for the period
sector. improving the quality of education bring about changes and deliver government schools in the country of 2014-21. Under this project,
Education has been a key in Myanmar, and they are off to a high-quality education outcomes. but also ensures the ministry will school grants are provided by the
focus for Australia’s assistance to great start with the NESP. This plan There are high expectations of the be able to deliver quality services MoE twice a year to over 47,000
Myanmar since 2011. Australia sets out the vision for reforms over government to turn things around in future without the support of government and monastic schools
development partners. to reduce the financial burden on
Australia also provides support parents and communities. Student
to ethnic and monastic schools. stipends, starting from standard
Australia recognizes that many five, where the largest number of
children in Myanmar are receiving drop-outs begins, are provided to
schooling through non-government 158,000 underprivileged families in
education systems and believe all 55 townships, resulting so far in 97
children should have access to a percent of students with stipends
quality education regardless of staying in school.
where they live. The project also bolsters
As development partner and teaching methods in primary
co-chair of the Education Sector schools through a new teacher
Coordination Committee, Australia mentoring and school cluster
is also working with the United strengthening program. New
Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) primary school teachers – with less
to help the ministry ensure than three years’ experience in 80
assistance to the education sector townships – are being mentored by
is coordinated and in line with the 317 experienced educators. Within
NESP. four years, this project aims to go
national to benefit around 90,000
Four main educational themes teachers. The project also supports
In March, Australia committed early grade learning assessment and
a further $71.5 million over four intervention.
years (2017-20) to support the The second program is the
implementation of the new NESP. new Myanmar Education Quality
According to Andrea, there are Improvement Program (My-EQIP)
four main educational themes through which Australia will
that Australia is currently offering contribute $20 million over five
Myanmar. years (2017-21). It aims to build
The first is the Decentralizing the capacity of MoE to monitor
Funding to Schools Project, education reforms and improve
Teacher mentoring activity supporting primary school-level teachers with three years or less experience, funded under the Decentralizing implemented in partnership with
Funding to Schools Project in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Australia and the World Bank.  Photo: Supplied the MoE and the World Bank. This Continued on page 7
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Continued from page 6

education management. Scholarship Program provides
“My-EQIP will help drive Myanmar students scholarships to
effective and efficient education study in Australia. The program has
reforms,” remarked Andrea. provided a total of 270 awards since
“The government of Myanmar 2010; 55 scholarships have been
is investing significantly in awarded this year. The opportunity
education reform. Yet MoE’s to study in Australia provides access
information systems currently to world-class education, research
focus on administrative matters and training institutions. Australia’s
rather than quality. My-EQIP will qualifications are well-recognized
introduce better quality assurance and respected as many of its
systems and structures to help universities are at the cutting edge of
the government direct spending research and deliver knowledge and
towards reforms that are delivering skills for the 21st century. The 2016
the biggest improvements in International Student Survey states
learning outcomes.” the top three reasons for studying
The third is the Strengthening in Australia are, the reputation
Pre-Service Teacher Education of Australian qualifications, the
in Myanmar (STEM) Project reputation of the Australian
implemented by the United Nations education system as a whole, and
Educational, Scientific and Cultural personal safety and security.
Organization (UNESCO). With This is what Andrea had to
a funding of $2.5 million (2014- say to those interested in the
17), the program supports MoE Australian scholarships: “The first
to improve teacher education, thing is to ‘like’ our Australian
including developing the Teacher Embassy’s Facebook page [see box]
Competency Standards Framework, where there are details regarding
a new four-year curriculum to raise scholarships. Applications are open Australia’s Ambassador Nicholas Coppel observes student activities at Yankin Education College’s Practising Middle School supported
teacher education to international in February of each year and close through the Strengthening Pre-Service Teacher Education in Myanmar (STEM) Project.  Photos: Supplied
standards, and ICT capacity. in April. One thing to take caution is
that forms are accepted according to
World-class education, research Australian Standard Time, so those
and training institutions who are submitting applications
Finally, the Australia Awards on the last date should calculate
the time difference beforehand.
Information on this award program
will also be a part of education fairs
held in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi
Taw and Taunggyi. To check the
exact date of the fairs, remember to
visit our Facebook page.”
Applicants must be Myanmar
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: citizens, over 18 years of age and
Myo Lwin currently residing in Myanmar.
The scholarship awards will cover
Editor:
return air ticket, full tuition fees,
Clovis Santiago
contribution to living expenses,
Staff writers: health coverage and orientation.
Tazar Bhone Myint, Tin Yadanar Tun, The selection process has a strong
Kyaw Soe Htet, Aung Kyaw Nyunt, Ei focus on equity. Unlike other
Shwe Phyu scholarships, proof of English
proficiency is not required for
Contributors: Australian awards.
Zaw Moe Tun (Magwe), As Andrea explained, “We will
Thin Thin Hlaing provide you with one year of support
Photography: to improve your English and get
Tin Yadanar Tun, Aung Khant, AFP your IELTS [International English
Language Testing System] score to
Cover Photo: the required level. For us, this is an Australia Awards 2017 intake pre-departure briefing with Ambassador Nicholas Coppel.
Shutterstock important point to address about
Layout design: equality.”
In addition, Australia Awards
Ko Htway, Khin Zaw
Fellowship supports Myanmar
For feedback and enquiries, please contact
nationals to undertake short
c.santiago@mmtimes.com
professional development courses
and Endeavour program to obtain
their PhD degrees in Australia.
Contributors Regarding Australia’s future
plans, Andrea commented that
Welcome! Australia’s programs were only new;
Do you wish to gain popularity therefore, the focus over the next
together with the recently- couple of years is implementing
launched The Myanmar these programs successfully and
maintaining Australia’s excellent
Times EduCentre monthly
relationships with the government
education pullout? Here’s a
and development partners to ensure
chance for you. We are inviting Australia is always working together
contributors to send in their towards the same goal.
writings and opinion pieces on On program outreach, Andrea
education. Writers could also said, “We are already nationwide.
send in their photos to be used We achieve that by working through
as a byline. Please email your the Myanmar government system.
contribution to:
We could have never achieved that if
we didn’t work that way.”
c.santiago@mmtimes.com
Indeed, Myanmar is off to a great
*Note: Articles should not start with NESP, the government’s
exceed 1000 words. Publishing commitment and the support of
of these articles would be at the development partners, like
Australia, which is delivering
the discretion of the editors.
effective and sustainable aid in line
with the government’s priorities. Australia Awards students celebrating their success at Australian Parliament House, Canberra.
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GTHS providing
second chance to
school dropouts
Trainees are being effectively coached
using both theoretical and practical Students being trained at an electronic training course at Government Technical High School,
Magwe township.  Photos: Supplied

teaching methods for various courses
offered at the Government Technical High
Schools, with which they can earn a living
ZAW MOE TUN (Magwe) schools located in the provinces, as there are
zmt.zawmoe80@gmail.com not many reserved students there, U Soe Kyaw

A
Kyaw Khine, principal of GTHS (Pinpat), told
S job opportunities dwindle, schools The Myanmar Times EduCentre.
offering vocational education are Maung Thatti Phyo, a student who took an
indeed a welcome to youths who entrance exam at GTHS in Magwe Region,
did not complete their education for one lamented that, although he wanted to attend
reason or another. Myanmar has a number of the school, he couldn’t do so as he failed the
training classes for all purposes, but for school entrance exam.
dropouts, the Department of Technical and Students should be given equal
Vocational Education and Training (DTVET), opportunity, he muttered. He also told The
under the Ministry of Education, has opened Myanmar Times EduCentre that it was unfair
36 Government Technical High Schools entrance exam was not required for attending
(GTHS) in various states and regions. schools located in provinces, whereas it was
Youngsters interested in attending a GTHS required for Magwe schools.
need to pass the basic education middle One parent also pointed out that An engine repair demonstration being observed by students.
school or Grade 8. Initially, the entrance as attending a GTHS will bring in job
requirement was for students who are not over opportunities for the country, all students of these schools differ from one another, and second year exam result. Students who just
the age of 18; however, starting from the 2015- interested in continuing their studies at so are the major subjects taught at the schools. made the grades will be given certificates to
16 academic year, the age requirement was GTHS should be given equal entrance enter relevant worksites as skilful labourers,
removed, and anyone who has passed Grade 8, requirements. Montly stipend for students according to an announcement made by the
regardless of their age, can attend a GTHS. An Although GTHS are opened in various GTHS (Magwe) accepted only 150 out DTVET.
entrance exam will not be required to attend states and regions, the entrance requirements of around 350 students who applied for GTHS held their entrance exam for 2017-18
attending this school in 2015-16 academic academic year from May 8 to 23. However,
year, but held an entrance exam and accepted those schools that do not reach the number
160 out of 402 students in this current 2017-18 of estimated students extended the entrance
academic year. The government provides exam period to June 11. The exam tests
K30,000 per month for each student admitted students in English and Mathematics subjects.
to its schools throughout the academic year Students who complete the GTHS can work in
so that they would not face hardships in various factories as skillful workers.
pursuing their education, but only under
these conditions – students should not Short-term polytechnic courses for a living
wear long hair, not dye their hair, not wear Although students who did not pass Grade
earrings, attend school regularly and pass all 8 are not admitted at GTHS, short-term
exams. polytechnic courses are opened for students
Students are being effectively coached who had passed Grade 4. Courses include
using both theoretical and practical teaching servicing or maintaining farming mechanical
methods. products, diesel and petroleum engine
U Thet Naing, principal of GTHS (Magwe), maintenance, motor cycle maintenance,
explained that more than 25 student trainees home electrical grid connection and welding.
are attending each of the courses taught – Basic computer and land surveying courses
building technology, electronic technology, are taught to students who had passed Grade
machine technology, auto mechanics 8 and did not get entrance to GTHS, U Thet
technology, electrical technology and Naing, told The Myanmar Times EduCentre.
information technology – resulting in a total He said trainees are being taught with
of 166 students attending their designated goodwill and they learn vocational techniques
courses in the present 2017-18 academic year. by attending these short-term polytechnic
GTHS (Magwe) teaches six major courses with which they can earn a living.
subjects, but GTHS (Pinpat) teaches only He said they are making plans to get support
three. Opportunities granted to GTHS from others.
students also vary year by year. After final exams at GTHS, students will
GTHS students who passed their exams get one month on-the-job training (OJT) to
with flying colors in 2015-16 academic year practice what they had learnt. Though GTHS
had the opportunity to attend Government in different states and regions are producing
Technological Universities (GTU) directly skilled labourers, there are still hurdles
and those who just made the grades could linking them with relevant factories. It will
attend Government Technical Institutes be more successful if the government and
(GTI). But in 2017-18 academic year, GTHS regional authorities support GTHS students
students who passed their exams with flying being connected with factories and private
colors could only attend GTI, according to businessmen for their OJT, U Thet Naing
relevant institutes’ student selection policies. said.
Students must sit for high school exam as Translation by Kyaw Soe Htet,
Nothing like hands-on learning for students at a vehicle engine repair course. external students, regardless of their GTHS Win Thaw Tar and Khine Thazin Han
EduCentre

JULY 2017
LEARNING WITH 9

Being educated on
mobile applications
Possessing these apps would be beneficial,
although there are no training schools to teach
how to use them
Aung Kyaw Nyunt as they carry many benefits to Service (YBS) Official Application,
aungkyawnyunt28@gmail.com the user. If one does not have any the 39 Bite Pu Application and the

W
knowledge on how to use them, they Yangon Bus Report were created
ITH increased mobile will be left one step behind. by local developers. Those apps are
penetration rate in Some of the favorite online useful with handy information on bus
Myanmar, many mobile applications in Myanmar include lines network, available service and
applications, which can be used either Viber, Line, WeChat and MyChat bus routes. Using those applications,
offline or online, once connected which are used to connect with a passenger needs no assistance from
to the Internet, have emerged in each other, in addition to other anyone in traveling around Yangon.
the market. It has now become a applications from the social network Likewise, there are banking
necessity to be educated on these Facebook. applications to study bank services,
mobile apps. Following the new bus system health applications, agriculture and
Mobile applications are significant in Yangon Region, the Yangon Bus livestock applications for farmers and
weather forecast mobile applications.
Those applications can be
downloaded from Google Play Store
and Apple Store. Applications can
also be shared between Android users Mobile applications are significant as they carry many benefits to the user.  Photo: AFP
through Zapya.
how to start using them. Gmail accounts. In that case, a user
Learning by trial-and-error A certain level of English is without a Gmail account would face
Possessing these applications would required as the descriptions would some hurdles.
indeed be beneficial, although there be mostly in English. Only then Locally-developed applications are
are no training schools to teach how one can have full knowledge on a in Myanmar language and they will
to use them. One would have to learn specific application. Users can also be easy to use. It is also important that
only by trial-and-error. thoroughly learn how to use the apps developers create simple, easy-to-use
When downloading an app by sharing knowledge with other and user-friendly applications.
from Google Play Store, facts about users. There are some self-study books,
the application and how-to-use One should also be in the know on like how to use Facebook or Google,
explanations are described in English how to find the easiest way to register at local book stores and one can also
together with graphics. Some apps, an application. Some applications learn from them.
Mobile apps can be downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple Store.  Photo: AFP once downloaded, include tutorials on require that they be registered with Translation by Zaw Nyunt

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EduCentre

JULY 2017
10 LEARNING WITH

Modern-day varsity students
and their way of life
Today’s young people are different in their thinking, feelings and way of life from
those decades ago. Although it is common for kids in Myanmar, especially those
attending primary schools, to live under the strict guidance of parents, university
students have their own way of doing things. The Myanmar Times EduCentre talked
with some of them about their daily life, their styles and their social life, and this is
what they had to say:
THIN THIN HLAING
kawpatyote2050@gmail.com
  Photos: Supplied

Ma Ei Myo Thu
(third year Mathematics, Dagon University)

I love my school days, not because I love studying, but because I
want to meet with my friends. We sometimes act as Cupid when
a boy who is a friend of us falls in love with a girl. Girls love to
talk about their admirers. But they are quite secretive about their
relationships.
I often feel sleepy when I am studying, so I drink coffee not to
snooze off. But sometimes, this doesn’t work, and I go to sleep on
my desk. When I wake up, I study a bit and then sleep again. A bit of
sleep, a bit of study – that’s my way of studying.
I spend most of my pocket money on cosmetics and other needs.
The remainder I keep for my education. My mobile phone top-up
normally costs K3000 a week. I use my phone the moment I get up
from bed. I keep my phone in bed to check the time. If it’s too early
in the morning, I try to sleep again.
When I wake up, I look at myself in the mirror to check whether
my hair is messed up. I like my hair to be straight and waist-length.
I dyed my hair golden color once, but I didn’t like it, so one week
later, I dyed it black again. I like to wear bright red lipstick when I
go out. It makes me feel confident.
I love watching movies on TV channels and I cry when I see the
Maung Wai Moe Tun characters in them crying.
(third year Mechanical, West Yangon Technological When attending classes, we are allowed only to wear traditional
University) dresses. But in my free time, I choose clothes according to where I
am going. I like clothes that are elegant and that cover my essential
Young teens, my age, like to think only about what parts. If I hang out with my friends, I prefer wearing jeans that
makes us happy. We need teachers who can make a lot make me feel comfortable. I wear my traditional htamein (lady’s
of jokes so that we would enjoy studying from them. skirt), when I go outside with my elders.
But here, we have those sulky-looking teachers who
expect us to concentrate on their boring lectures!
I enjoy sitting at the canteen with my friends.
We talk about whatever funny experiences we had Ma Chan Nyein Nandar Oo
during our free time, and we all laugh together. We (second year Port and Harbour Engineering, Myanmar Maritime
never quarrel among us, even if one of us makes fun University)
of another. We tease each other a lot. We play the
guitar and sing together in the canteen. We pooled in I like all kinds of movies – romantic, action, cartoon, horror,
money to buy this guitar and keep it at the canteen to science fiction – and prefer the ones that have a sad ending.
play when we are free. Sometimes, after lunch or after If I were a film director, I want to make films that have a lot of
school, we play football on the road in front of the adventures and fighting. If I were a movie actress, I would wish
university. We try not to play football when the exams to be cast as very gentle.
are near. I like K-Pop very much and I’m still crazy about them. They
I never have enough time to do my practical make me recall my unforgettable childhood memories. I have
lessons. The one day a week practical lesson is been crazy about Super Junior Boy Band and Girls’ Generation
scheduled only in the mornings. They make us since I was in Grade 6. I would sing their Korean songs loudly
complete lessons from a very bulky book within three without understanding them and I would feel so happy.
months. The five chapters could take us ages to finish! My favourite place at school is the library as it is quiet and
On top of it, they do not give us time to explain things peaceful. Other places like the canteen are too noisy for me.
that we do not understand. So we sit for our exams I mostly buy notebooks and stationeries with beautiful
with the little knowledge we have. Out of sheer luck, I designs. I don’t get a chance to read books after school. But I
get a passing grade, and if very lucky, I get even better like books that help me develop mental strength like Writer
grades. Pe Myint’s Hnalonethar Aharya (Food for the Spirit) series.
I take part in students union and I am supposed to Sometimes, when I am bored I read fiction and comics.
present the difficulties faced by students to the school During the weekends, I teach kids from Grades 3 to 6
authorities. They never bother to fix the school’s restrooms free English language as a volunteer teacher at the School of
or toilets which are in a pitiable state. Sometimes, there’s Peaceful Coexistence in my hometown.
even no running water. Who is responsible for all of this?
No one tries to come and fix them.
EduCentre

JULY 2017
LEARNING WITH 11

Maung Phyo Thaw Htet
(second year Electrical Power, Maubin Technological University)

I don’t like going to school wearing a school uniform. Students are told
to wear longyi (traditional men’s wear) and white shirt. I prefer wearing
casual clothes like slacks and T-shirt. I also try to imitate movie stars and
their fashion styles. But I would be disheartened with my new fashion if my
style hasn’t improved. I usually use the mirror on an average of six times a
day.
I’m online as soon as I get up in the mornings. And then I take my daily
exercises. After that I go to school. I get very bored with my school lessons
that have to be memorized. They can teach the same lessons prescribed,
but their teaching method has to be changed. I prefer studying myself than
being taught. It will be beneficial if there is mutual discussion between
the teacher and the student, and not only one way from the teacher. We
also have to attend tuition classes after school hours, which are quite
unnecessary, if we were taught well in our class.
When our friends meet together we would all plan to skip our classes.
More so, if they are going to teach the same lessons that we have already
learnt. Depending on how much money we have, we would just roam about,
watch movies or go to cyber cafes. We would buy about 1GB data packet and
download our favorite movies. We have seen almost all movies, except those
locally produced. When I watch tragedies, I try not to cry as a man, but my
eyes usually well up with tears.
I like listening to songs through my earphones and singing along them
loudly at a place where nobody would be bothered with the noise.
My motto is a quotation by Albert Einstein: A clever person solves a
problem, but a wise person avoids it.

Maung Aung Myo Htut Ma Nay Chi Nway Nway
(first year History, Maubin University) (fourth year Electronic Communications, Magwe Technological
University)
I like expensive appliances. For example, I am crazy about electronic
devices and would want to own the most modern and updated mobile I note down the beauty tips broadcast on TV, and buy and apply
phone. I keep the Internet always on. whatever beauty products they recommend. I ask money from my
I listen to all kinds of songs. I like songs by local vocalist Hlwan Moe parents to buy clothes and accessories that are sold online. I have
as well as those by Shwe Htoo, a modern singer. I am not interested in a mutual agreement with my father – he would buy for me what I
playing guitar or singing, although I enjoy listening to music. want in return for my massaging him for 10 days. But I would not
I like long-sleeved shirts and tight trousers. I think I look good when bother him all the time.
I look myself in the mirror. My friends ask my advice when they are about to date
Most of my friends are guys. I am friendlier with my childhood someone. They ask me whether they should accept the person
friends than with others, because childhood friends know more about who courts them. I tell them to take time and think carefully
each other. Sometimes, I go to my friends if they do not come to me. before responding. They normally would not take my advice, and
Most of my friends on Facebook are adults. I only send friend go ahead to date whoever it is. But then, they come back to me
requests to those who already have many friends on their accounts, when they have a problem.
or are my mutual friends and those who are real-time friends of my As our school is situated in the city outskirts, we don’t have any
friends and not just friends online. I also send friend requests to those other option, except to go to our school canteen during our free
who use their real names and photos on their Facebook accounts. time or when I do not want to attend classes. Students need to meet
I hang out alone or together with my friends. I usually do not hang the required attendance percentage. They don’t provide enough or
out a lot, because you need to spend a lot of money. Instead, I stay home workable equipment for students to do practical work. We already
and help out with the household chores. made complaints without any response from them. Lectures are
boring. I have never been to the school library. Anyway, it doesn’t
matter as it is very small without any resources to use.
After I get back from school, I take a shower, have dinner
and then start watching any program available on TV. I try to
finish studying my lessons at school, so that I would not miss my
favorite program on TV. Although I sometimes intend to study at
home, I never could do it. At home, I just dump my school books
in a corner. One month before the exams, I would try to study
hard.
Translation by Zar Zar Soe and Win Thaw Tar
EduCentre

JULY 2017
12 LEARNING WITH

Hong Kong scholarships for
prospective high school students
The city-state would like to find ways to assist Myanmar’s educational reforms,
according to Eddie NG Hak-kim, Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS), Justice of the Peace (JP),
Secretary for Education Bureau of the Government of Hong Kong SAR, in an exclusive
interview with The Myanmar Times EduCentre on June 15.
EI SHWE PHYU Kong. There are five institutes of education
eishwephyummtime@gmail.com in Hong Kong. So, these are the additional
opportunities identified.
Reason for his visit to Myanmar: Then, in terms of the primary and
First, I was told about the idea and advocacy secondary school education we talked about
of China’s Belt and Road Initiative that would the importance of the teacher’s education
bring benefits to all the countries involved. and training. We talked about the content of
Second, Asia should be able to facilitate the education curriculum reform. I shared
younger generation to know each other about what Hong Kong had done on education
better. We try to work together, and for that reform regarding the senior secondary
reason, Hong Kong decided two years ago education. It is a major reform in Hong Kong.
that we should be in the area of education We cut it from seven years to six and inserted
to be able to contribute more directly with additional compulsory subjects of liberal
countries within ASEAN and identify areas of studies for building up common sense for
collaboration. the 21st and 22nd centuries. That way, young
This is my first trip to your country, my students will be able to be better equipped
first meeting with the Minister for Education, with the ability to manage uncertainty and
and the first time to be able to visit the Yangon adversity with confidence.
University, the University of Education, the And then, we talked in terms of supporting
University of Foreign Languages, vocational more for applying learning subjects, so that
training institutes, Singapore-Myanmar it will enrich the effectiveness and choices
Vocational Training Institute as well as a high of vocational and professional education.
school supported by the Yangon University Also, in terms of expanding students in cross
of Education. Hong Kong would like to offer culture, like the idea of sister schools. That
ASEAN countries, including Myanmar, will be like exchange and synergy between
scholarships, so that the maximum of high students and teachers, principals and
performing high school graduates can come leadership, parents and alumni.
to Hong Kong universities for further study. Union Minister for Education Dr Myo Thein Gyi and Hong Kong Secretary for Education Bureau Eddie NG Hak-kim
We are going to fund their four-year school during their first meeting in Yangon.  Photos: Supplied His opinion on the current situation of
fees and their economic needs. We might offer Myanmar education:
some living allowance as well. I can only say based on my limited two days’
As a first gesture of initiative, ten students visit. I admire the leadership at universities
each for every year of a three-year pilot here. They all share with us the sense of
project would benefit 30 students. While vision and mission. High school principals
they are in Hong Kong for the four-year and teachers are very dedicated and very
undergraduate study, they will also perform professional. They are patient. And I am
the cultural ambassador role as well as learn particularly impressed by the students I met.
Hong Kong’s culture, interfaith and mutual I have a sense that they have a wonderful
understanding. We also believe that we should attitude. To be super-active is even more
explore broader education (elementary, critical than just having skills and knowledge.
kindergarten, secondary, higher, vocational, The mindset and attitude would be even more
professional) collaboration between important. For that reason, I am sure, over
Myanmar’s Ministry of Education (MoE) and time, the students will do very well because
the secondary education of Hong Kong by they have all the ingredients to contribute and
signing an MoU. to reform. So, to me, I am very optimistic to
see a lot of things in progress.
On when an MoU could be signed:
We need to understand and identify the On the absence of bylaws, although the
general area of collaboration for mutual National Education Law was adopted in
benefit before signing the MoU. Once we sign September 2014 with an amendment law in
it, we will be able to launch the scholarship Officials from the Ministry of Education, led by the minister, meet with the Hong Kong Education Bureau June 2015:
program. So, these two days, in particular delegation, led by the education secretary. I did not have the opportunity to study it in
this afternoon, the solid meeting with the detail yet. But, the minister shared with me
Union Minister for Education is even more November of this year. We have to consider government, education bureau, together with the National Education Strategic Plan (2016-
important. We have been discussing a lot what Myanmar high school students would some partly-funded and other communities 2021). I am going to spend more time to study
of general issues. So, I will go back to report want to apply and the way to provide the will fund the whole program in the near it. In Hong Kong, we had the education reform
as well as show the education communities programs of their choice in Hong Kong. It future. started in the year 2000. It has taken 17 years
our full support. We are hopeful it will not takes a few months after submitting the to implement and complete it. So, these are
be too long that we’ll be able to sign the MoU applications for the selection process by Issues discussed with the minister: all good experiences to share, and then on
officially, and that we’ll be able to launch the the universities in Hong Kong. After that, Although extremely busy, he came to Yangon what the education trend is for the future.
scholarship programs in time, so that by next official nominations would be submitted to to meet with us. We openly discussed I mentioned a bit about it a couple of weeks
year, students will be able to come over to the government of Myanmar as well as the general issues like high school collaboration, ago in London. There was a global higher
Hong Kong. education bureau of Hong Kong to officially cooperation in higher education and growth education forum talking about how diversities
endorse it. This would select a maximum of of universities and aspirations. We shared can contribute to the cities – university cities.
Regarding the earliest date for offering ten names for the scholarships. I hope it will the present activities already being in place This is an example of a development plan. The
scholarships: be ready by September of next year. It will with the education universities here. Actually, minister was kind enough in giving me a full
If we complete the MoU by October 9, we can take about a year. This program will cover they are already being in touch regarding two set of the NESP document and I promise to
announce the scholarship around October or four years as full scholars. The Hong Kong field programs with two universities in Hong read it through when I go back.