Recent Framework of TVET Teacher Education in a Country on the Path to Reform: An Analyses of Myanmar's Critical Challenges

Recent Framework of TVET Teacher Education in a Country on the Path to Reform: An Analyses of Myanmar's Critical Challenges

Frank Bünning (Otto von Guericke University, Germany) and Ulrike Schmidt (Otto von Guericke University, Germany)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1811-2.ch005
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Abstract

This chapter discussed TVET teacher education in Myanmar on the threshold of the 21st century; a qualitative analysis of the present state of the art. Recent status of Myanmar's TVET system was highlighted and the chapter strongly maintained that qualified and motivated teachers and instructors are key for effective learning and are as well at the heart of TVET quality. The chapter provided a comprehensive problem scenario with regard to TVET teacher training; to mention a few, that there is a low awareness for the relevance of TVET in general and with respect to its potential to develop a country's skilled and semi-skilled workers. In comparison to university degrees, graduating from training courses at vocational institutions is not perceived as a valuable career option. Lastly, this chapter attempts to add to the collection of vocational education and training research by consulting a case in Myanmar – a country which currently possesses only a sparse amount of data in this field.
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Introduction

Too many vocational teachers and instructors enter their classroom and workshops without the benefit of a pedagogical background, although “the effectiveness of any education system also strongly depends on the quality of interactions and relationships that occur between the teachers and students” (UNESCO-UNEVOC, 2012a, p.5). Encouraged by the internationally recognised importance of pedagogical teacher training within the development of technical and vocational education and training; this work deals with an investigation on TVET teacher’s capacities regarding the implementation of pedagogic methods and didactics. Pursuing the answer to the question which teaching methodologies Myanmar’s vocational teacher utilise, qualitative data has been gathered by conducting interviews and observations with a target group consisting of teachers. The information was complemented by further details provided by experts like TVET teacher trainers, development advisors and school principals. Current trends in TVET and widely acknowledged notions as well as prevalent theories drawn from other Asian-pacific case studies furthermore served to underpin the collected insights gained by means of a field research. Likewise, this chapter attempts to add to the collection of vocational education and training research by consulting a case in Myanmar – a country which currently possesses only a sparse amount of data in this field.

Initial Situation in Myanmar

Country on the Rise

Without a doubt Myanmar has a huge development potential, not only because of its rich resources (Si Thu, 2011, p.157). Recently, the country’s business climate is flourishing with an estimated growth of 7.7% in 2014, which will - according to anticipations - increase to 8.3% in fiscal 2015 (Devex, 2015). As Myanmar’s economy has already embarked on a substantial upswing, the targets of the labour market concerning TVET systems are the development of a demand-driven TVET system and with it the widening of access to the labour marketfor workers as well as the quality assurance in TVET (ILO, 2014). However, holding rank 150 out of 187 countries in the 2014 Human Development Index (HDI) and with only ordinary progress towards the MDGs1, Myanmar is classified by the United Nations as country with low human development (UNDP, 2014).

Since Myanmar’s democratic elections in 2011 the constitution of a new civilian government opened up politics and economy so that the European Union was given a chance to resume its efforts (GIZ, 2012). With the opening of the country many economic sanctions were abolished and hence economy and industry have begun to grow increasingly. This has encouraged a multilateral international development cooperation which in the first place mostly aims at technical and financial cooperation. In terms of funding in TVET, it refers to the contribution of international partners and institutions through projects and programmes for the support of public or governmental activities (Ouédraogo, 2011, p.71). The Myanmar government is receiving support from many development partners since the isolation of the country from the global process is over. International development aid increased rapidly and reached with $7.6 billion in 2013 the tenfold amount in comparison to the year 2009 (Devex, 2015). However, pertaining challenges along the process of developing technical capacities have decelerated the progress (ILO, 2014).

Education and vocational skills development in Myanmar’s growing sectors is vital for a future sustainable development and growth. Potential sectors are manufacturing, construction and infrastructure development as well as hydroelectric, energy, and tourism (ILO, 2014, p.1). Nevertheless, as indicated by UNESCO (1973, p.15) in all branches there will be provably the same barriers to overcome just like in other countries, which started to develop their TVET sectors during the last century. In the education and vocational education sector these limitations refer to such as the lack of funds and resources for qualitative teaching or the reserved attitude towards TVET as well as few experiences in the field of the teaching staff.

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