The Teacher Competency Standards Working Group, which has been appointed by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Myanmar to develop a national Teacher Competency Standards Framework, met on 30 March 2016 to discuss and endorse a final draft of the Framework.
The Working Group is led by Dr. Aung Min, Retired Rector of Yangon University of Education and co-chaired by Dr. Aye Aye Myint, Pro-Rector of Yangon University of Education with members representing Yangon University of Education, Sagaing University of Education, the University for Development of the National Races, and Education Colleges.
Development of the Framework began in October 2015 and the final draft represents intensive effort by the Working Group and extensive consultation with a wide range of education stakeholders in Myanmar, who reviewed and contributed valuable feedback on early drafts.
Throughout the process, UNESCO has provided technical assistance as a component of the “Strengthening Pre-service Teacher Education in Myanmar” (STEM) project, made possible by the Australian government, which is supporting the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Myanmar to build capacity for pre-service teacher education reforms.
Recognizing the important role that teachers play in improving student learning outcomes, the Teacher Competency Standards Framework articulates the key characteristics and attributes of good teaching in Myanmar and what is expected of teachers’ professional practice at various stages in their professional development. Within the Framework, teacher competency standards are organized under four broad domains: professional knowledge and understanding; professional skills and practices; professional values and dispositions, and professional growth and development.
“The ultimate purpose of this Framework, we all agree, is to raise the standard for teachers in basic education,” said Dr. Aung Min, Retired Rector of the University of Yangon and Working Group Team Leader.
Dr. Aung Min stressed the importance of the standards in underpinning the design of policy and the development of curricula for teacher training programmes, emphasizing the need for a coherent understanding of the standards at all levels of the education sector to ensure successful implementation.
The Working Group has developed both a policy-level version of the Framework for decision-makers and curriculum developers as well as a technical implementation version, designed as a professional planning and learning tool, for pre-service and in-service teachers, principals, educational supervisors and teacher educators.
“While this has been a new exercise for Myanmar, the Working Group members have shown exceptional commitment to what is a challenging and time-intensive process; they have appreciated the opportunity to grow professionally while contributing to improving the quality of teaching in Myanmar. This aptitude and attitude has made it a pleasure to work with the Group.”” stated Ms. Susan Atkins, Teacher Education Specialist, who has been providing technical assistance since the outset of the process.
The next steps for finalizing the Framework include presentation to the Union Minister of Education and senior MoE officials as well as other education stakeholders and field testing in Myanmar’s basic education schools. The field tests will help determine if the standards are understandable and fit for purpose, allowing the Working Group, with support from UNESCO, to finalize the Teacher Competency Standards Framework based on the field testing results.