May 26, 2017
New Grade 1 curriculum and its textbooks developed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) with support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be introduced in the upcoming academic year starting on June 1, 2017. Approximately 1.3 million new grade 1 primary school students across the country will learn with the new textbooks.
JICA has been supporting MOE in introduction of the new curriculum, particularly the development of new textbooks through "Project for Curriculum Reform at Primary Level of Basic Education (CREATE project)" since May 2014.
This is the first major revision of the curriculum in almost 20 years. The new curriculum is intended to encourage students to learn actively and gain knowledge, values and skills necessary for them to lead a happy life and develop the nation. The textbooks are colorful with many pictures and designed in a way that learning is fun and linked with students' life. Detailed teacher's guides for each subject were also developed, so that teachers can effectively teach the new curriculum with Child-Centered Approach.
The textbooks and teacher's guides were developed by Curriculum Development Teams assigned by MOE with technical guidance of around 40 Japanese and overseas curriculum experts as well as over 60 Myanmar academics. The textbooks were reviewed and approved by the National Curriculum Committee formed by the National Education Policy Commission. The new primary education curriculum is comprised of 9 subjects (10 learning areas) namely Myanmar, English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Morality and Civics, Life Skills, Physical Education, and Arts (Performing Arts and Visual Arts); in addition to Local Curriculum, which will be developed by each State and Regional Government.
In preparation of the introduction of the new G1 curriculum, JICA technically supported a series of training which were conducted by MOE. The first training started in January 2017 with the Supervisor Training for education officers from townships, districts, and states/regions, and the ministerial officials from the concerned departments at the Central level. Following the Supervisor Training, nation-wide In-service Teacher Training (INSET) to introduce the new curriculum to in-service teachers was conducted from 23 January to 26 May in a 4-layer-cascade approach: central training, state/region level training, district/township level training, and school family level training. Through the INSET, all primary teachers who teach G1 from all schools, including monastic schools, private schools, and other schools that use the government curriculum have been trained on the new curriculum and how to facilitate students' learning with the new curriculum.
Pre-service training (PRESET) for lecturers and students at the Education Colleges to learn about the new curriculum is also planned and the central training will start on 29 May 2017.
The new curriculum and textbooks are expected to level up quality of learning in primary education nationwide, and pave the ground of much needed human resources development for the nation building of Myanmar.