June 12, 2017
New textbooks for first-grade students that were developed with JICA’s technical cooperation have been distributed to primary schools throughout Myanmar, which is advancing democratization, for the beginning of the school year, which started on June 1.
Myanmar underwent a transition from military rule to democratic government in 2011, and training human resources to build a new state is an urgent issue. Over many years, JICA has supported, in Myanmar, the promotion of the child-centered approach, which employs teaching/learning methods that emphasize learning by the child him/herself. However, because the textbooks formerly used in classrooms were developed nearly two decades ago, when those textbooks were used, there was a tendency to return to a rote style of learning.
Since 2014, JICA has supported, through the Project for Curriculum Reform at Primary Level of Basic Education (CREATE), the development of new textbooks in all subjects (Myanmar language, English, arithmetic, science, social studies, physical education, morals and civics, life skills, music and art) for all grades (one to five) at the primary level as a part of the education reform being carried out by the Government of Myanmar. Beginning with the new school year on June 1, approximately 1.3 million first-graders throughout Myanmar have started their learning with the new textbooks.
The new textbooks are designed for each student to learn to observe things with their own eyes, think, communicate and cooperate with each other in order to improve their own lives and society. The textbooks also aim to stimulate the spirit of curiosity and fun learning, while maintaining values that have been nurtured by the people of Myanmar, and respecting diversity. The teachers do not merely transmit knowledge but are required to promote independent student learning. To that end, teacher guides for all subjects were also developed and distributed to the teachers, and training for existing teachers as well as teacher training colleges was carried out throughout the country.
Under the CREATE project, approximately 40 Japanese education experts with vast experience in Japan and overseas provide multifaceted technical support in various areas such as subject content, effective teaching/learning methods, textbook editing and design, teacher training and assessment in order to establish the education system, with which the next generation of Myanmar will be created.
JICA will continue supporting the nation-building of Myanmar through improvement in quality of education, including the curriculum revision.