The Myanmar Ministry of Education (MOE) and UNESCO jointly organized a high-level consultation meeting on strengthening the country’s Education Management Information System (EMIS), convened by Union Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Zaw Min Aung as Meeting Chairperson and attended by senior MOE officials, UNESCO Specialists and Development Partners, on 16 March 2015 at the Ministry of Education in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.
Facilitated by Mr. James Shoobridge, UNESCO’s EMIS Expert, the meeting discussed the EMIS Strategic Plan for 2016-2021, developed by UNESCO in close consultation with MOE, and its upcoming implementation arrangements, a key activity being the establishment of a high-level EMIS Steering Committee to approve the EMIS Strategic Plan and oversee implementation progress.
Emphasizing that the development of EMIS is a policy priority for MOE, Dr. Zaw Min Aung, Union Deputy Minister of Education, affirmed the ministry’s strong ownership of the EMIS Strategic Plan and expressed appreciation for the technical assistance that UNESCO has provided thus far in developing Myanmar’s EMIS. He welcomed UNESCO’s continued support throughout the implementation process of the EMIS Strategic Plan.
Senior MOE officials also called for EMIS to be strongly featured as a key programme in the National Education Sector Plan 2016-2021, currently being drafted, and pointed to the need for training to ensure that MOE officials are technically prepared to implement the EMIS Strategic Plan. Mr. Sardar Umar Alam, Head of UNESCO Myanmar, reiterated that UNESCO stands ready to support MOE’s capacity building efforts and that institutional capacity development has been included as an integral feature in the EMIS Strategic Plan.
Australian Aid, a Development Partner that participated in the meeting, also expressed support for the EMIS Strategic Plan and its upcoming implementation activities. As Ms. Edwina Betts, Education Specialist (Development Assistance), highlighted, “a well-functioning EMIS is vital to the larger system of monitoring and evaluation within the Myanmar education sector, which in turn is necessary for evidence-based policy making.”
UNESCO will also provide technical assistance to MOE in the development of budget proposals on EMIS-related programming for submission as part of the overall education budget proposal in the second half of 2015.
Under the auspices of the Capacity Development for Education for All (CapEFA) programme, UNESCO has been supporting the Myanmar MOE in capacity building and technical assistance for sector-wide policy and planning since 2012. The strengthening of Myanmar’s EMIS is a flagship project under this portfolio that is aimed at improving the quality of education statistics for informed decision-making, monitoring and evaluation.