NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR (29 November 2016) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $98.49 million loan to help advance Myanmar’s education reforms and equip youth with skills needed in a modern economy and society.

Weak human capital poses a critical obstacle for Myanmar’s development, threatening to trap the economy in a low value-added model based on unskilled labor and natural resource exploitation. In recent surveys, foreign and local enterprises consistently cite gaps in education and training as a leading constraint to business.

“Bolstering Myanmar’s human capital base will be crucial to achieving inclusive growth and development,” said Chris Spohr, Principal Social Sector Specialist at ADB’s Myanmar Resident Mission. “The project will support reforms to realign secondary education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programs to meet evolving skill needs.”

The Equipping Youth for Employment Project (EYE) will focus on enhancing the quality and relevance of secondary education and TVET while improving access and completion rates, including by supporting the nationwide roll-out of a new secondary education curriculum, introducing competency-based TVET programs targeted at disadvantaged youth, training teachers, and upgrading facilities.

Project-supported investments and policy reforms will improve youth employability, while helping address employers’ demands for hard and soft skills and promoting modern sector job creation. The project is expected to be implemented through the end of 2022.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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