Focus points in the scan

The focus of the observation and interviews are those aspects that facilitate or enable students to learn and achieve the expected learning outcomes and results. The observations have been categorized in Intended learning outcomes & competences; curriculum & program; facilities; staff results and quality assurance. Based on these observations there have identified strong points, points to be strengthened and opportunities are listed. Finally recommendations are formulated aiming at strengthen agricultural education and an advise on how the Netherlands agricultural education can contribute to the development of education and training by the SAI.

Method of working

On request of the Directorate General Agro, Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, two Dutch educational experts went on a fact finding mission at State Agricultural Institutes (SAI) in Myanmar in order to analyse demands, capacities, constraints and opportunities for further strengthening of Agricultural Vocational Education in Myanmar, in cooperation with agricultural extension and the agrofood sector. Two TVET (technical Vocational Education and Training) schools were visited: SAI in Heho and in Pyinmana (Nay Pyi Taw). The experts had discussions with headmasters, teachers and students and observed the facilities and educational approaches of the schools. Also other stakeholders were interviewed from the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation; representatives from business and NGOs and the National Skills Standard Authority (NSSA) and last-but-not-least farms and rural areas were visited.

Conclusions and recommendations

The experts concluded that there is not yet an occupational standard available as a fundament for the SAI curriculum and as guideline for program development. Nevertheless the NSSA started with development of these standards for TVET. It is recommended to involve the agricultural sector, including education and extension, in this process.

It is recommended to identify competences related to occupations and bring them into the learning processes in order to get employees, extensionists and entrepreneurs who are competent and therefore can apply knowledge and achieved skills in the professional practice. This includes entrepreneurial competences. It is also necessary to develop knowledge and skills in regard to the agribusiness value chain. These are crucial for further development of the agro food sector in Myanmar. For a quick feasible start the experts firstly recommend to implement ‘practical research’, done by students in cooperation with companies. This can be done on the school farms, supervised by teachers. Secondly, for third year students school enterprises can be established aiming at achievement both technical, economical and entrepreneurial skills and competencies. Capacity building of teachers both in pedagogical didactical skills and actual sectoral skills is important and has to be organized parallel with the implementation of school student enterprises and ‘practical research attachments’. In the same time this assignments contribute to teachers own knowledge building. Identification of necessary teaching and learning materials is recommended. Also ICT infrastructure and hardware is important.

Finally the experts recommend to reconsider the instruction language. The experts are convinced that English is a constraint for the students learning process and efficiency. At the same time effective training and use of English in the program and in assignments is important.

Arie de Jong: (Ares University AS Wageningen is the Teacher Training faculty)
Teus Korevaar