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ADB Technical Assistance Grant Supported by EU to Boost Skills of Myanmar's Youth

News from Country Offices | 2 December 2019

NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR (3 December 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union (EU) are preparing a $26 million technical assistance (TA) grant to support reforms that will improve the quality and relevance of secondary education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programs in Myanmar.

The TA will complement ADB’s ongoing support for Myanmar’s education sector, which includes the Equipping Youth for Employment (EYE) Project approved in 2016 to strengthen the country’s education, while promoting inclusive growth and job creation. The project is focusing on improving the country’s secondary education curriculum and teaching quality to help equip graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills demanded by the emerging job market.

“ADB remains committed to supporting the Government of Myanmar’s reform efforts, which are vital to helping young people gain valuable skills needed in the current and future job market,” said ADB Education Specialist Ms. Yumiko Yamakawa. “The project will help Myanmar produce a highly skilled and educated labor force, which is key for the country’s future growth and development.”

Myanmar's economy has grown steadily over the last few years, but the government needs to improve education quality and skills of the country's labor force—through ways such as updated curricula and teaching approaches—to ensure that growth remains inclusive and sustainable. The government has been making progress in improving the country's education system, with the Ministry of Education initiating reforms under the National Education Strategic Plan, 2016–2021. ADB and EU's continued support is aligned with this plan.

In 2019, the EU and the Government of Myanmar signed an agreement for a grant financing of up to €221 million ($245 million), including this TA and the budget support of €175 million for secondary education and TVET reforms.

Building on the key reforms supported by EYE and complementing the budget support provided by the EU, the new grant will support the Ministry of Education in advancing critical follow-up reforms for improving skills development, teaching and learning, professional development for teachers, and diversifying TVET programs to meet industry’s demands. The technical assistance is expected to be implemented from January 2020 to December 2024.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.