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This profile is represented by the Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (DTVET), which is a part of the Ministry of Education (MoE). SEA-VET.NET shall supplement more information on other TVET line Ministries, private TVET institutions and relevant agencies in the course of time. Please click here to share more information to help us further develop the profile.

Key Indicators

  • Capital

    Nay Pyi Taw

  • Main Industries/Sectors

    Resource-based Economy (Agriculture, Oil & Natural Gas, Gemstones); Tourism




The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system in Myanmar is highly fragmented with circa 15 line ministries and other entities involved, particularly in TVET delivery. At the policy level, responsibility is split between the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MoLIP) respectively for formal and non-formal TVET.

Considering that TVET is beneficial not only for individuals but also for the economy of Myanmar, the Ministry of Education (MoE) gives it high priority. In view of this, three complementary and linked strategies and programmes will be implemented to achieve the ‘Transformational Shift for TVET’ described in the National Education Strategic Plan (NESP). These focus on improving the quality and management of TVET along with making it inclusive.

The formal TVET system covers both secondary and post-secondary levels. At the secondary level, Government Technical High Schools (GTHS) offer 2 year programmes that lead to a formal certificate. At the post-secondary level, Government Technical Institutes (GTI) offer 3 year programmes to prepare students for the labour market. In addition, non-formal TVET is offered through 1-year training programmes at Industrial Training Centers (ITCs).

This profile outlines the TVET system in Myanmar and provides information on more recent efforts and developments.


In 2016, the Ministry of Education launched the National Education Strategic Plan (NESP) 2016-21, in which it identified nine 'Transformational Shifts' that will collectively contribute to achieving the overarching goal of the NESP: "Improved teaching and learning, vocational education and training, research and innovation leading to measurable improvements in student achievement in all schools and educational institutions.”

A Transformational Shift is defined as a high-level statement that describes a desired future state of a particular part of the education sector in Myanmar in 2021. The Transformational Shift for the country's TVET sector has been formulated as follows: "More learners can access TVET and graduate from quality-assured and labour market-responsive TVET programmes under a more effective TVET management system.”

TVET is given high priority by the Ministry of Education and is considered beneficial for both individuals and the economy of Myanmar: "High-quality technical and vocational education and training (TVET) that equips Myanmar’s economy with a skilled and competitive workforce is vital for sustainable socio-economic development. In the coming years a large number of skilled employees will be needed for the agricultural, energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, livestock, fisheries and tourism sectors. To address this demand the TVET system will need to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and competencies to achieve their career aspirations and contribute to economic growth."1(p22)

No concrete performance indicators are formulated by the Government to measure the achievement of its objective. However, the country is generally oriented towards achieving international and ASEAN TVET skill standards.1(p44)


The relevant legal framework for Myanmar's TVET sector comprises the following:

  • The Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008);
  • The National Education Law (NEL) (2014) and NEL Amendment (2015);
  • The Technical, Agricultural and Vocational Education Law (1974), amended in 1989; and
  • The Employment and Skills Development Law (2013).

The Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008) provides the foundation legal framework for the education sector in Myanmar. Article 28 of the Constitution stipulates that the Union shall:

  1. earnestly strive to improve education and health of the people;
  2. enact the necessary law to enable National people to participate in matters of their education and health;
  3. implement free, compulsory primary education system; and
  4. implement a modern education system that will promote all-around correct thinking and a good moral character contributing towards the building of the Nation.

Article 366 of the Constitution states that: Every citizen, in accord with the educational policy laid down by the Union:

  1. has the right to education;
  2. shall be given basic education which the Union prescribes by law as compulsory; and
  3. has the right to conduct scientific research, explore science, work with creativity and write to develop the arts and conduct research freely in other branches of culture.

An important milestone for education sector reform in Myanmar was the approval by Parliament of a National Education Law (NEL) in September 2014 and the passing of the NEL Amendment in 2015.

The NEL and NEL Amendment provide a national framework for the implementation of a wide range of complementary reforms across the national education system, such as: recognition of the right of all citizens to free, compulsory education at the primary level; establishment of a standards-based education quality assurance system; expansion of the basic education system to 13 years; support for the learning of nationalities’ languages and culture; and greater decentralisation within the education system. An additional benefit of the NEL is that Myanmar is now fully aligned with ASEAN members in terms of the number of years of schooling under basic education.1(p12)

Also the role of TVET is clearly defined and classified in the NEL. The law differentiates between:

  • Basic level of TVET, which can be accessed after completion of primary education
  • Middle level of TVET which can be accessed after completion of lower secondary education
  • Diploma (pre-graduate) level of TVET which can be accessed after completion of higher secondary education
  • Non-formal TVET comprising any kind of technical and vocational skills training that government or private organisations provide under the existing regulations/standards in order to promote the development of skills, not restricted to any educational status, gender or age.

TVET under the Ministry of Education (MOE) is regulated by the Technical, Agricultural and Vocational Education Law No. 4 of 1974, with amendments in 1983 (Law No. 8) and 1989 (Law No. 20/89). It was drafted to regulate all types of vocational education and training within the agricultural and technical trades, comprising science and technology trades. The objectives of this law are:

  • To nurture technicians and specialists required for the establishment of industries
  • To nurture luminaries required for the effective utilisation of sophisticated technology for the development of agriculture and livestock activities
  • To expand or increase vocational education courses which are in-line with the country´s political, economic and social systems
  • To nurture technicians and intellectuals who have positive attitude and strong nationalist sentiments

The necessity of a new TVET law has been intensively discussed and recognised among Myanmar stakeholders and a draft TVET bill was developed and submitted to Parliament in 2015. The draft bill was, however, not discussed by Parliament before the national elections in November 2015, and has since been revised by the new Government. It is expected to be put forward for discussion by Parliament again in 2017.

The new Employment and Skills Development Law (ESDL)7 was promulgated in August 2013 and forms a second important legal basis for TVET in Myanmar. It regulates various forms of skills development for workers who have already entered the world of work and for those who are about to enter the world of work. The law also regulates the establishment and functions of the National Skills Standards Authority (NSSA) and the introduction of a skills development levy for financing of training initiated by the employers.

While the NSSA has already been established in 2007, the implementation of the skills development levy including the respective institutional and administrative framework is still to be achieved. There is also a need to harmonise the existing Agricultural, Technical and Vocational Design Law (respectively the future new TVET Law) for initial training under various line ministries and the Employment and Skills Development Law on dual and further training. For example, it is not yet clear to which extent the NSSA shall be responsible for the development of occupational standards under the formal TVET stream and in how far the skills development levy shall form part of a national TVET financing system. In other words, it still needs to be determined in how far an integration of the formal TVET subsystem and the skills development subsystem is intended. The new TVET Law is supposed to clarify this issue.


There have been growing expectations in recent years for reforms of Myanmar's national education system that will improve access, quality and equity in the main education sub-sectors, including TVET. In response to these expectations, the Ministry of Education initiated a 3,5-year Comprehensive Education Sector Review, which culminated in the launch of the National Education Strategic Plan (NESP) 2016-2021.

The NESP provides the government, education stakeholders and citizens with a roadmap for improving quality education for students at all levels of the national education system. As such, it also serves as a strategic framework for TVET reforms in Myanmar.

The following three complementary and linked strategies and programmes will be implemented to achieve the Transformational Shift for TVET described in the NESP1(44-45):

  1. Expanding access to TVET for various target groups including disadvantaged populations and people with disabilities (Integrated TVET programme);
  2. Strengthening the quality and relevance of TVET (TVET quality and relevance programme); and
  3. Strengthening TVET management (TVET management programme).

The TVET system in Myanmar is highly fragmented with circa 15 line ministries and other entities involved, particularly in the delivery of technical and vocational training.3 At the policy level, responsibility is split between the Ministry of Education (MoE), which is responsible for "formal TVET", and the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MoLIP), which is responsible for "non-formal" skills development. Coordination and cooperation among the various line ministries involved in the provision of TVET and/or skills development barely took place in the last decades, but has been improving in recent years. A functioning overarching central body or legal entity to regulate and manage the entire scope of formal and non-formal TVET has, however, not been established yet.

Within MoE, the Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (DTVET) is the responsible department for TVET, headed by the Director General. It was previously named DVET (Department of Vocational Education and Training) and belonged to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). However, in June 2015, the entire department and related TVET institutions were transferred to MoE, and after the election in November 2015, MoST and MoE were merged into one Ministry.

DTVET oversees 36 Government Technical High Schools and 22 Government Technical Institutes, which provide technical education and training to the country's youth to become engineers, technicians and other skilled workers. Among the other ministries that provide TVET in Myanmar, the Ministry of Industry (MoI) can be considered the most important one. It oversees six Industrial Training Centers (ITC), which have been established and are supported by different development partners. Among the other ministries providing technical and vocational training are the Ministry of Border Affairs, Ministry of Health and Sports, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. The courses offered by their training institutes differ in duration (ranging from short-term with a duration of several weeks to long-term), skills delivery level, mode of delivery, and expected outcome.2(p54) Private training providers are increasingly more common in Myanmar.

Within MoLIP, the Department of Labour headed by the Director General, and more specifically, the Skills Development Division are responsible for overseeing all activities related to skills development. The division also provides backstopping for the National Skill Standard Authority, which is responsible for the development of skills standards, assessment and certification.


Under the current system of resource allocation in Myanmar,5 the Ministry of Planning and Finance determines priorities for resource allocation. Subsequently, these priorities are translated into budgets for line Ministries.4(p8) For the fiscal year 2016-17, the government expenditure on education was 8 percent of the total government expenditure, with post-secondary non-tertiary vocational education receiving only 0,12 percent of total government expenditure (or 1,58 percent of the education budget).8

TVET institutions receive resources from the ministry to which they correspond. They currently have no say in the amount of resources allocated to them, since this is budgeted for by the respective ministry. Current expenditures for TVET institutions under the DTVET are mainly used for teacher salaries, with capital expenditure for facilities, equipment, and teaching materials being constrained. In order to improve the quality of education and the high drop-out rate, the budget for these purposes should be increased.2(p52)

The new Employment and Skills Development Law (ESDL), which was promulgated in 2013, foresees the establishment of a workers' skills development fund. Such a fund would be an essential step towards ensuring sustainable financing of demand-oriented training initiated by the industry. The fund, has however, not been established yet.

According to the ESDL, the fund may be established for the skill development of workers from industrial and service sectors, and be used for a) skills development training and skills upgrading of workers; b) provision of necessary re-training of workers due to their termination of work or desire to transfer to another job (ESDL, Chapter VIII, 26). Employers from industry and service sectors are expected to pay a minimum of 0.5% and a maximum of 2% of total wages or salaries of workers (supervisor level and below) to the fund on a monthly basis (ESDL, Chapter VIII, 30).

Donor assistance in the TVET sector is still limited to the provision of grants, with ADB, Germany and Switzerland as major donors. However, a first loan of $98 million for the provision of cohesive secondary education subsector and TVET reform support was approved by the ADB and the Myanmar Parliament at the end of 2016. The project is expected to be implemented through the end of 2022.6


National Education System

Myanmar's education system foresees five years of compulsory education at the primary level. However, while most children have the chance to go to school, only very few of them receive more than four years of schooling before dropping out. The Ministry of Education has undertaken a wide range of education reforms in recent years in order to tackle this issue and improve access to quality education, including launching free and compulsory primary education. Both the 2008 Constitution (Chapter 1, Article 28 c) and the National Education Law provide the framework for recognising the right of all citizens to education and in particular free, compulsory education at the primary level.1

Following primary education, students can go on to lower and upper secondary education, post-secondary education and tertiary education as depicted in the education pathways map (fig.1).

fig-1 pathways map

Figure 1: Education Pathways Map1(p52-53)


TVET System

fig 2 Student  Pathways TVET

Figure 2: Student pathways within the formal TVET System of Myanmar10

Figure 2 reflects the pathways offered to students within the formal TVET system of Myanmar under the Ministry of Education. As shown in the figure, the attendance of a Government Technical High School (GTHS) requires the completion of grade 9 (middle school). Students finishing grade 9 are typically 13-14 years of age. The curriculum of the 2 year training programmes at GTHS contains a number of general subjects very similar to those at general high schools, which are complemented by a technical programme including three subjects. Completing the 2 year programme leads to a formal certificate qualifying for further education at university level.

Attending a 3 year training programme at a Government Technical Institute (GTI) requires a qualified certificate either from a general high school (grade 11) or a GTHS. Students finishing grade 11 are typically 15-16 years of age. GTI training is supposed to be more practically oriented and prepare students for the labour market. However, according to DTVET, a certain proportion of GTI graduates pursue the pathway to higher education after graduation instead of finding a job.

Formal TVET System

According to the ILO (2014),2 there are about 480 public training institutions that provide TVET in Myanmar, and an approximate 800-1000 private training providers (although there are no statistics on private training providers, so this number only constitutes a qualified assumption).

Constituting the formal TVET sector, there were 108 technical and vocational institutes under the Department of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE) of the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2012 (which has since been integrated into the Ministry of Education and renamed to DTVET). However, many of these institutes are at the higher education level. The main TVET institutions under DTVET at middle and high school level are Government Technical Institutes (11 in total) and Government Technical High Schools (36 in total).

A complete list of TVET institutions under DTVET and their geographical location can be found in appendices 4 of the final report on "Data Collection Survey on Education Sector in Myanmar", published in February 2013 by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.11

Non-formal & Informal TVET System

The majority of TVET programmes that are undertaken by Ministries other than the Ministry of Education are considered non-formal TVET programmes in Myanmar. Among the most important TVET institutes of other Ministries are the 6 Industrial Training Centers (ITCs) of the Ministry of Industry. ITCs currently provide 1-year training programmes with plans in place to expand these programmes to 2 years. Each ITC has been established with assistance of development partners. An overview of partners and training courses offered at ITCs is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Overview of partners and training courses offered at ITCs12

Tab 1 ITC Partners Courses

Non-formal TVET programmes are also provided by private training institutes and through public-private partnerships. An important private training provider in Myanmar is the Center for Vocational Training (CVT),15 a Swiss-funded vocational training school in Yangon established in 2002 with the objective to introduce and practice a Myanmar-adapted form of the dual apprenticeship model of Switzerland. Students attend CVT one day a week and practice in their companies five days a week, with additional two-week practical training courses once a year. The center offers programmes in five professions: Cabinet maker, electrician, hotel and gastronomy, commercial assistant and metal worker. The Singapore Myanmar Vocational Training Institute (SMVTI)13 in Yangon was established in 2016 as a joint project between the Governments of Singapore and Myanmar.14 It utilises a facility of Myanmar's Ministry of Education and is managed by a private education services company from Singapore. SMVTI offers 10 courses, each lasting six months, in the areas of hospitality and tourism, electrical skills and electronics, facilities management and engineering services.

Informal training is offered by different training providers in Myanmar, which are sometimes registered as organisations, or not registered at all. Those that are registered are registered under different Ministries (making it difficult to map them all).

As an example, there are private, informal training centres for tailoring in Yangon, but also throughout the rest of the country. Most are very small, with five to six domestic sewing machines. Trainees of those centres learn basic skills in using the machines, and pay approximately 30,000 Myanmar Kyat per month to learn to make clothes. The courses usually take three months, which translates to 90,000 Myanmar Kyat for the entire course.

A lot of in-formal training also takes place in companies as many employers train their own workers on-the-job. Informal training is widespread, especially in handicrafts and food and beverage production. There have been no surveys or other data collection processes about informal trainings in different professions like tailoring, motor and engine repair in small workshops, waiters in tea shops, and hairdressers.

Many NGOs also provide informal training. Save the Children, for example, is working with drop-out students aged 8–19 to help them find work according to the needs of their local labour market. There are also many reintegration training programmes, including for people returning from China, Thailand, and other countries in the region. Local NGOs are supported by UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and ADB, among others. Finally, monastic schools provide English, Japanese, some hotelier service, and some computer skills trainings, which are not recognised by MOE or other relevant ministries. Monastery training is wide-spread throughout the country though. Sometimes, teachers from private TVET providers are asked to teach in the monasteries, in subjects such as food and beverage services, English, and computer skills.2

National Qualifications Framework

Myanmar is fully committed to the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF)17 and has started the process of developing a Myanmar National Qualifications Framework (MNQF) at the end of 2013.9

A working group, comprised of twelve ministries, prepared an initial draft by July 2014. This draft was revised based on comments from local scholars, a critical study done by a group of international experts and feedback received during a national-level stakeholders' consultation on the MNQF. The final draft was introduced at the end of 2015, but has not been officially approved yet. In conjunction with the development of the MNQF, a National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Committee (NAQAC) was set up.

The MNQF will most likely comprise eight levels,16 which address basic education, TVET and higher education. With the exception of the basic education levels, the framework refers to specific qualification types and certificates on each level (Table 2):

Table 2: Myanmar Qualifications Framework18


Lifelong learning


Basic education


Higher education




Post-Doctoral Studies/Doctoral Degrees

Recognition of Prior Learning (assessment and validation)

Non formal/ informal




Post-Master Studies/Master Degree




Post Graduate Diplomas/Bachelor Degrees



Advanced Diploma

Advanced Diplomas



Diploma/V&T C/SC4*



High School





Middle School





Primary School




*Vocational and Technical Certificates/Skills Certificates

Of the eight MNQF levels, four will be relevant to vocational education (Table 3):

Table 3: Four levels of Qualification Certificate System with respect to vocational education19

Tab 3 4 levels of Qual Cert

Quality Assurance & Standards

Although elements of quality assurance exist in Myanmar's TVET sector, there is a lack of a systematic approach to quality assurance that can effectively ensure TVET delivers competencies that are needed in the workplace. A particular challenge for quality management is inconsistency across the different segments of the TVET sector that are under the authority of different ministries.

Quality assurance of TVET under the Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (DTVET) of the Ministry of Education (MoE) is focused on ensuring the quality of TVET curriculum. In the past, DTVET implemented existing training programmes without any updating of curriculum. At present, a Board of Filed Experts are updating and preparing new curriculum, which will be approved by DTVET.

In the future, once the new TVET law has been passed, all TVET curriculum will be accredited by a Board of National Accreditation and a Quality Assurance Committee and approved by a National Curriculum Committee. The National Curriculum Committee will be set up as part of the National Education Policy Committee. It will be responsible for the development, updating and quality of TVET curriculum.

For quality assurance of the non-formal TVET sector, the National Skills Standard Authority (NSSA),21 authorised by the Employment and Skills Development Law (ESDL), plays a central role.20 Formed in 2007 and headed by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (but comprising various other stakeholders), the NSSA is mandated to develop occupational competency standards for levels 1 to 4 of the AQRF, design curricula and required training materials, conduct skills assessments and issue national certificates.

Since 2007, the NSSA developed 173 occupational competency standards at four levels across a number of industry sectors and occupations. Of those standards, 93 were approved in principle by the Cabinet. Standards were initially adapted from a range of other countries with minimal industry consultation and little adjustments to the national labor market. They are therefore being reviewed and modified again with industry input and tested in a 'Fast Track Skills Assessment and Certification Pilot Project' by the NSSA. For the pilot project, 25 priority occupations were chosen.


At post-secondary level, the most popular course amongst students is Civil Engineering (GTI Diploma level). Table 3 shows the total number of enrolments at GTI (post-secondary level graduates) based on the study major for the 4-year academic period 2013-2017. These are also considered to be financially rewarding fields of work.

Table 3: Total no. of trainees attending the GTI courses during the period 2013 (Source: DTVET)

Sr No


No of training student enrolment








Electrical Power





Efforts are underway to gather data on graduates’ employability and employers’ satisfaction with TVET graduates. A tracer study in collaboration with school administrators, student affairs departments and schools under DTVET (MoE) is in the pipeline. For approximation purposes, graduates’ average starting monthly salaries range between 150000 MMK to 300000 MMK. (Source: DTVET).

Personnel (Teachers)

TVET personnel in Myanmar are composed of two main groups: TVET teachers (there is no distinction between teachers and trainers) and TVET school managers.

TVET teachers are classified into three types: 1) Technical TVET teacher (under Ministry of Industry - MOI); 2) TVET teacher; and 3) TVET instructor (both under MOE). Qualifications needed for type 1 to be employed by TVET schools under MOI are an engineering degree plus 6 months’ working experience in the occupation the teacher is going to teach. Qualifications required for type 2 teachers employed by TVET schools under the MOE are at least a bachelor’s degree, and for type 3, is a GTI Diploma or ITC/GTHS Diploma.

Homosexuals, foreigners and persons with disabilities are explicitly excluded from being employed as technical teachers. Some concerned ministries also mention additional employment criteria such as industrial experience, educational practice, health and fitness, and an ambition to teach.

TVET school managers include school headmasters/principals, vice-principals, as well as heads of departments for student, academic and administrative affairs. MOI and MOE take responsibility for recruiting and training TVET school managers. There are no standards or regulations in place regarding their trainings, however, emphasis is put on the technical knowledge and skills.

With respect to recruitment, school managers are selected through a process of internal promotion. At MOI, external recruitments from the industry are also possible. Formal requirements for recruitment are not in place.

Teachers’ Professional Development22,23

Pre- and In-service training for TVET teachers:

There is neither a nationwide system for TVET teacher training in Myanmar, nor a TVET teacher-training institution that provides holistic pre-service training for TVET teachers. Training courses are offered without a coherent programme frame. All 13 ministries that are involved in TVET to some extent organise their own specific teacher training programmes.

Following the highly decentralised structure of Myanmar’s TVET system, curriculum development and certification for TVET teacher training is also under the auspices of different ministries and their training institutions. Curricula, as well as certificates are not standardised, and a coordinated quality assurance in not in place.

MOE is mandated as the leading TVET ministry to provide teacher training and has training facilities at a technical TVET teacher-training centre. Short-term in-service training courses such as, practical and technical skill-based trainings, pedagogic or teaching and learning method trainings, applied didactics training, resource maintenance training and ICT courses are conducted every year for teachers of GTI and GTHS. The main objective of these TVET teacher-training programmes is to upgrade the quality of teaching and technical skills for TVET education. There are various short-term courses of 4-10 weeks’ duration that focus on technical competencies in mechanical, electrical, civil or electronic domain. In line with the future vision of the National Education Strategic Plan, standards or competency models are now being planned and arranged.

Until recently, there was only one Teacher Training Centre TPTC (Baelin). However, more TPTCs (Baelin) are planned to provide in-service training through a series of short courses in teachers’ respective fields. A new institute has been established at the Upper Myanmar that will soon be in operation, along with a TVET Teacher Training Institute (TTTI- Yangon) in Lower Myanmar that is funded by KOICA. It is established not only for Teacher Training, but also for Model GTI schools. (Source: DTVET).

Training for TVET school managers:

There are no structured training programmes for TVET school managers developed by the government. However, support for in-service training of school managers is provided through development partners. For example, GIZ offered a programme for 65 school managers and middle management personnel from MOI and MOE in 2016. Informal training methods TVET school managers can draw on include: workshops, regular meetings organised by concerning ministries, conferences, peer-learning and knowledge sharing.

Recently, DTVET initiated Management training courses for school managers and established relevant standards and criteria. In addition, DTVET plans to organise technical or skill-based training programmes for personnel.

Training for in-company trainers:

The responsibility for offering training programmes for in-company trainers lies with the private sector, in particular the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI). There are no standards or regulations regarding in-company training in place yet, however, in-company training is mentioned in the Employment and Skills Development Law (ESDL). Initial attempts to discuss and develop regulations for the ESDL on in-company training have been made. UMFCCI is also piloting training courses for in-company trainers based on the ASEAN Standard for In-Company Trainers, which was developed with support from GIZ in 2015.

Private Sector Cooperation

Myanmar's TVET system is dominated by a supply-driven approach from both public and private providers.2 This lack of demand-orientation also results in survey findings which show that the vocational education system in Myanmar is largely unknown to business owners. Almost 80% of business owners surveyed by DEval stated that they had not known of the TVET system, and less than 1% of surveyed firms had ever cooperated with a TVET institution. Moreover, almost no employees of surveyed Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) had undergone formal vocational education from a private or public institution.19 However, things are changing for the better.

Of late, at the macro policy level, National Level Committee including executives from private sector institutions have begun to engage in a more systematic manner to help with the demand-orientation of TVET. Although limited, efforts are underway to involve employer representatives in the planning stages of TVET (e.g. determining training contents, developing curricula, fixing the number of students needed in specific occupations). At Meso level or the school level, TVET schools under DTVET have started the process of cooperation and collaboration with local industries.

More systematic business and industry involvement has been initiated by the National Skill Standard Authority (NSSA). Business associations and companies are engaged through NSSA's Sectorial Committees in the development of occupational skill standards. Cooperation also takes places with companies who send their workers for skills assessments organised by the NSSA.

Among business associations, initiatives and plans to organise trainings in collaboration with relevant ministries are slowly picking up pace. Cooperation seems, however, limited to using experts from business and industry associations or professional associations to train people in government-owned training centres.2(p112)

Starting in 2014, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) has been involved in the development of a regional standard and training programmes for in-company trainers. A first pilot course was implemented in cooperation with the Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association (MCEA) and GIZ for supervisors from the construction sector in 2016. For the implementation of such training programmes and its support to the development of Myanmar's TVET system, UMFCCI has established a small TVET unit.

Current Trends & Practices

Myanmar's economy is dominated by agriculture. But the recently initiated social, economic and political reforms have led to a GDP growth rate of around 8 per cent, which is changing Myanmar's economy and labour market very quickly.

According to the World Bank, the agriculture sector employed over half of the workforce in 2012 and accounted for 36.4 percent of GDP, compared to 37.3 percent for services and 26.3. percent for industry.25 With the structural modernisation of the economy underway, it will be essential for Myanmar to build up the right skills in its workforce.24 Already today, companies and investors identify a lack of skilled workers as a serious obstacle to their operations, and this situation will likely become even more acute in the future.

As many of the jobs likely to be created as Myanmar industrialises will require strong technical and vocational skills, it is paramount for the Myanmar government to provide more and better TVET. Investments will take time, however, and Myanmar needs to develop the right skills in a very short timeframe. According to the OECD, a focus should therefore be placed on training and retraining adults as well.

Access to adequate and labour-market oriented TVET also needs to be provided to the estimated one million lower secondary school-drop outs. According to the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (IHLCS) carried out by the ADB covering the period of 2000-2012, only 60% of all entrants remain in school after grade 5, and only 30% finish grade 9. In absolute numbers, out of 1.260.000 children entering primary school, only 108.000 students pass the high school graduation examination.26

fig 3 cohort transition

Figure 3: Cohort Transition across Grades and Levels27(slide 8)



Three complementary and linked strategies and programmes will be implemented to achieve the Transformational Shift for TVET as stated in the National Education Strategic Plan 2016-21 of Myanmar (fig. 4).1(p44)

fig 4 strategy prog

Figure 4: Three Key Strategies and Programmes to Achieve the Transformational Shift1(44-45)


Key Issues & Challenges

Key issues and challenges are:

  • Fragmented with many players and minimal coordination: The TVET system in Myanmar is rather fragmented and lacks a central body that serves in a coordinating role. There are at least 13 Ministries and many other stakeholders involved and responsible for different fields of TVET. Formal TVET and the largest number of TVET institutions are supervised by the Ministry of Education. Other ministries provide non-formal TVET programmes and manage their own TVET institutions with their own policies, rules and regulations.
  • Poor quality: Myanmar's TVET sector lacks an overarching quality assurance system, which guarantees that TVET delivers high-quality competencies that are demanded by the local labour market. In terms of skill standards, only a small number of skill standards for certain sectors have been developed yet. This is due to weak capacities to revise and develop appropriate national skill standards that meet the demand of the local context and international practices. TVET programme curricula are outdated, not linked to national skill standards and hence, not very relevant to the world of work. TVET teachers’ capacities are reported to be limited due to a lack of appropriate training and support in both pedagogy and technical skills. Moreover, both TVET managers and teachers/instructors have limited knowledge and experience in areas such as engagement with business and industry, programme development, and delivery of practical training based on actual business operations. In terms of facilities, most TVET institutions have inadequate infrastructure and outdated training equipment.
  • Supply driven with weak employer/industry engagement: TVET programmes are developed and implemented without business or industry involvement. With such a supply driven approach, the skills and competencies of TVET graduates do not match the needs of the labour market. TVET teachers/instructors have very little industry experience, leading to TVET training programmes with outdated approaches of theory-oriented rather than practice-oriented, classroom-based rather than workplace-based teaching and learning. This consequently further deepens the mismatch between supply and demand. Also, there are only limited linkages between TVET institutions and business and industry at the policy level and in the planning stages of TVET.
  • Limited access to TVET: The very supply-driven TVET system makes it less effective to benefit the majority of individuals. There is a lack of options for training, since the regulations of formal TVET institutions offer no non-formal, short-term training courses for the labour market. Moreover, inclusive TVET for disadvantaged vulnerable people are not considered properly, due to limited financial assistance and an uneven distribution of TVET institutions throughout the country.
  • Limited resources and investment in training: The TVET (and education) system of Myanmar is lacking appropriate funding and resources. An expansion and modernisation of the country's TVET system that is required in order to achieve the development goals of Myanmar will not be possible with the current government spending for this sector. Additional funds from TVET stakeholders such as the government, employers, training participants or development partners are needed.

Action plans to overcome these challenges:

The future vision of TVET is laid out in the “National Education Strategic Plan (2016-2021)”, which was launched by Myanmar’s Ministry of Education in 2016.1 There are 3 complementary and linked strategies with programmes and components to overcome those key challenges in TVET:

  • Expanding access to TVET for various target groups: In order to offer more opportunities for all citizens, including disadvantaged populations and people with disabilities, to access TVET training programmes MOE will implement an “Integrated TVET programme”. The programme will improve access to TVET at each level of education by upgrading and increasing the capacity of existing TVET programmes, as well as by providing competency-based modular short courses. In addition, stipends and a scholarship system for disadvantaged students will be expanded.
  • Strengthening the quality and relevance of TVET: The “TVET quality and relevance programme” will improve the capacity of management staff and managers and provide pedagogical and specific skills training for pre-service and in-services TVET teachers. Also included in the programme are: TVET curricula and contents developed according to the needs of industry workplaces, and a quality assurance system that comprises a TVET National Qualifications Framework, national skills standards, competency-based curriculum and the accreditation of institutions and individuals.
  • Strengthening TVET management: The "TVET management programme" will be implemented to improve the coordination among ministries involved in TVET and encourage public private partnership. The establishment of a TVET financial management and monitoring system and an information management system will be other priorities of the programme to enhance management quality.
ADB Asian Development Bank 
AQRF ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework
ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations
CVT Center for Vocational Training
DTVE Department of Technical and Vocational Education
DTVET Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training
DVET Department of Vocational Education and Training
ESDL Employment and Skills Development Law
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GIZ Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
GTHS Government Technical High School
GTI Government Technical Institute
ICT Information and Communication Technology
IHLCS Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey
ILO International Labour Organization
IOM      International Organization for Migration
ITC Industrial Training Center
KOICA The Korea International Cooperation Agency
MCEA Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association
MMK Myanmar Kyat
MNQF    Myanmar National Qualifications Framework
MoE Ministry of Education
MoI Ministry of Industry
MoLIP Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population
MoST Ministry of Science and Technology
NEL National Education Law
NESP National Education Strategic Plan
NGO Non Governmental Organisation
NQF      National Qualifications Framework
NAQAC    National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Committee
NSSA National Skills Standards Authority
OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
SME Small and Medium Enterprise
SMVTI Singapore Myanmar Vocational Training Institute
TPTC Technical Promotion and Training Centre
TTTI TVET Teacher Training Institute
TVET Technical and Vocational Education and Training
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UMFCCI Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry
V&T C (1-4) Vocational and Technical Certificates (1-4)
V&T S (1-4) Vocational and Technical Skills Certificates (1-4)



[1] Ministry of Education (2016): “National Education Strategic Plan (2016-2021)”, http://resources.mmoe.myanmarexam.org/docs/nesp/NESP_SUMMARY_English.pdf

[2] ILO (2014): “Assessment study of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Myanmar” https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Elitsa_Garnizova/publication/272089098_Assessment_study_of_technical_and_vocational_education_and_training_TVET_in_Myanmar/links/54da37260cf2464758215d2b/Assessment-study-of-technical-and-vocational-education-and-training-TVET-in-Myanmar.pdf

[3] SEAMEO (2015): “Vocational and Technical Education and Training in Myanmar” http://seatvet.seameo.org/docs/TVET_Myanmar_%202015.pdf

[4] UNESCO UNEVOC (2014): “World TVET Database – Myanmar” http://www.unevoc.unesco.org/wtdb/worldtvetdatabase_mmr_en.pdf

[5] Myanmar Aid Information Management System (AIMS): https://mohinga.info/en

[6] ADB (2016): ADB to provide $98 million to improve Myanmar youth education and training, https://www.adb.org/news/adb-provide-98-million-improve-myanmar-youth-education-and-training

[7] The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2012): Employment and Skills Development Law

[8] The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Ministry of Finance: Citizen's Budget 2016-2017, http://www.mof.gov.mm/en/citizens-budget-2016-2017

[9] KWPF (2015): “Myanmar - National Qualifications Framework summary”, http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/593821508754599136/Myanmar-National-Qualifications-Framework-summary

[10] Planco Consulting on behalf of GIZ (2016): German Development Cooperation with Myanmar. Support of selected Polytechnic TVET Institutes. Feasibility Study. Final Report (unpublished)

[11] Japan International Cooperation Agency, PADECO Co., Ltd., IC Net Limited (2013): Data Collection Survey on the Education Sector in Myanmar, Final Report, Department of Higher Education (Lower Myanmar), http://open_jicareport.jica.go.jp/pdf/12113635.pdf

[12] Japan International Cooperation Agency et al. (2016): Myanmar Data Collection Survey on Technical and Vocational Education and Training Interim Report (unpublished)

[13] Singapore Myanmar Vocational Training Institute: https://www.smvti-mm.org/

[14] Today Online: http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/pm-lee-launches-vocational-training-institute-myanmar (accessed in November 2017)

[15] Center for Vocational Training: https://www.cvt-myanmar.com/

[16] Worldbank (2017): “Myanmar - National Qualifications Framework summary” http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/593821508754599136/Myanmar-National-Qualifications-Framework-summary

[17] SHARE (2015): “ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework and National Qualifications Frameworks – State of Play Report ”, http://share-asean.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/AQRF-NQF-State-of-Play-Report.pdf

[18] Shwin (2015): “Implementation of ASEAN Qualification Reference Framework: Myanmar’s Readiness”, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/---ilo-yangon/documents/presentation/wcms_355943.pdf

[19] DEval (2016): Baseline Report for the German-Myanmar Programme on Sustainable Economic Development, https://www.deval.org/files/content/Dateien/Evaluierung/Berichte/DEval_Baseline_Myanmar_final.pdf

[20] Government of the Republic of Myanmar: National Employment & Skill Development Website, http://www.nesdmyanmar.org/ (accessed November 21, 2017)

[21] Myo Aung: Introduction to the National Skills Standard Authority (NSSA), https://www.regional-tvet-conference-myanmar.org/kontext/controllers/document.php/33.d/b/4a16da.ppt (accessed November 21, 2017)

[22] Euler, D. (2017): “TVET Personnel in ASEAN – Investigation in five ASEAN states”.

[23] UNESCO UNEVOC (2012): “Synthesis report TVET Teacher Education in the 10 Participating Countries”, http://www.unevoc.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/docs/Synthesis_report_SEAMEO_VOCTECH.pdf

[24] OECD (2014): OCED Development Pathways. Multidimensional Review of Myanmar. Volume 2. In-depth Analysis and Policy Recommendations. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264220577-en

[25] World Bank (2014): Myanmar. Ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity in a time of transition. A systematic country diagnostic.

[26] ADB (2009/10) Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (IHLCS).

[27] ADB, Chris Spohr: Snapshot of Proposed ADB TA on Skills Development for Inclusive Growth, Presentation, Nay Pyi Taw, 16-17 Sept. 2013, slide 8.

  • Population

    54,836,483 (2017)a

  • Sex Ratio

    0.99 male(s)/female (2017 est.)b

  • HDI

    0.556 (2015)c

  • GDP (Total)

    US$69,322.12 million (2017)b

  • GDP (Per Capita)

    US$6,138.8 (2017)b

  • Industry/Sectors (GDP Contribution)

    Agriculture: 24.8%
    Industry: 35.4%
    Services: 39.9% (2017 est.)b

  • Poverty Rate

    25.6% (2016 est.)b


  • Education Index

    0.410 (2015)c

  • Adult Literacy Rate
    (% Ages 15 & Older)

    93.1% (2015)c

  • Expected Years of Schooling

    9.1 (2015)c

  • Mean Years of Schooling (Adults)

    4.7 (2015)c

  • School Dropout Rate

    Data Not Available


  • Unemployment Rate (Total)

    4.7% (2015)c

  • Unemployment Rate (Youth - 15-24 Old)

    12.1% (2015)c

  • Composition of Workforce

    Agriculture: 70%
    Industry: 7%
    Services: 23% (2001)b

  • a Population Pyramid
    b CIA World Factbook
    c UNDP HDR

    For official government data on key indicators, please refer to data released by official government source(s).

“SEAMEO VOCTECH in collaboration with UNESCO-UNEVOC has used its best endeavours to ensure that material contained in this publication, provided through SEA-VET.NET, is useful, informative and obtained from reliable sources. However, it gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, reliability, legality or completeness of information and reserves the right to make changes without notice at any time in its absolute discretion.”