Myanmar: Alternative education policy in the works

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Over the next three months, the Ministry of Education will draw up a policy plan to reach potential students who are currently unable to access school, have special needs, are based in conflict areas or are the children of migrant workers.

“We believe education ought to be accessible to all children,” said U Khine Mye, director general for the Department of Alternative Education.

U Khine Mye described the policy framework as the main test for his department, which was established on October 1.

U Thein Lwin, a member of the National Network for Education Reform, called on the government to ensure the policy works in conjunction with local efforts.

“[The policy framework] importantly needs to grant support and authority to organisations which are working the field of alternative education. They need help to educate more children,” he said.

Myanmar has been trying to open up its education system since 2011, making it more accessible to children. But dropout rates among school-age children remain high, according to the Ministry of Education. According to data from the occupation portion of the 2014 census, more than one in five children between the ages of 10 and 17 in Myanmar go to work instead of school.

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