Backgrounder: Basic Education Bill

By The Ananda on January 31, 2019

National Education Law was enacted in September, 2014, and the law to amend the National Education Law was approved in June, 2015. As an organic law of the education sector, it requires other pieces of legislation for the basic education sector, technical and vocational education sector and the higher education sector. During the first parliamentary term (2011-2016), the government submitted the bills on technical and vocational education sector, basic education sector, science, technology and innovation sector and private education sector to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (combined house). During the current term of the parliament, the Science, Technology and Innovation Law was promulgated in June, 2018, but Technical and Vocational Education Bill, Higher Education Bill and Private Education Bill have not submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw by the government yet. Although the government had sent the Basic Education Bill to the parliament, either house of the parliament has yet to open the debate. It is up to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker where to start the bill discussions: the Pyithu Hluttaw or the Amyotha Hluttaw.

The vision set by the government for the basic education sector is “to enable all children to have access to and complete the basic education of good quality”, to create sound foundations for technical and vocational education and training” and “to ensure sound foundations for the pursuit of higher education” as the Ministry of Education introduced the National Education Strategic Plan (2016-2021) in 2016 following the enactment of the National Education Law. Strengthening policies, laws and systems for realization of strategic reforms is stated as a strategy in the summary of the strategic plan. The strategy may not be the only driving force for the formulation and submission of this bill, but it is safe to say that there is a link between the education strategic plan and the bill.

Among the top priorities for the basic education sector stated in the National Strategic Plan initiated by the government includes involvement of the Region/State governments in the curriculum development. Promotion of ethnic language, literature and culture is on the list of priorities. Regarding the curriculum development, the bill feature provisions of forming the Union-level Curriculum and Textbook Committee and Region/State working committees to reflect NESP.

Moreover, formation of education committees at various levels for decentralizing the education sector management as mentioned in the National Education Law and the National Education Strategic Plan are also stated in the bill.

The bill text [in Burmese language] is available here.Write to us if you would like to share your opinions!