Strength in Diversity: Towards Universal Education in Myanmar’s Ethnic Areas


By Kim Jolliffe and Emily Speers Mears

This study details the role and operations of non-state education providers in ethnic areas, specifically Mon, Shan and Karen States, and the interface with state education. This paper terms education providers connected to ethnic armed groups, and other community-based providers, as ethnic basic education providers (EBEPs), which have been providing vital pre-tertiary education services to conflict-affected communities. Given the political grievances arising out of the Burmanization of government education in the past, as well as the inaccessibility of state services in some of these areas, EBEPs have filled a significant gap and have been educating youths that live daily with conflicts and are at risk of hindered educational development. Valuing a diverse education sector and recognizing existing providers as important partners, will not only contribute to universal education goals and ensure access for all, but is a durable component of a successful peace process. We hope that this report will contribute to ongoing discussions of critical governance and reform issues that are cornerstone to Myanmar’s transition and peace process.

Posted October 11, 2016
Related locations: Myanmar
Related topics: Peace & Conflict in Myanmar