COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$11 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key documents:

The US$11 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • an inclusive and national response training program to build the capacity of teachers and education officers to support students, schools and communities in responding to COVID-19
  • learning continuity during school closures for 9.7 million children, in particular the most marginalized, through home-based distance learning
  • Provide water, sanitation and hygiene support to schools, including hand-washing stations and school cleaning kits
  • training teachers in psychosocial support
  • student stipends to children living in COVID-19 affected townships and those affected by COVID-19 to return to school and remain in school
  • remedial education to allow students to catch up to their appropriate learning levels.

These initiatives are based on the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 response plan.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Myanmar received a GPE grant of US$140,000 to support the Ministry of Education in setting up an online communication mechanism with 18 sub-national offices for improved response planning and coordination.

The grant was used also to set up an online platform to train teachers on the new curriculum prior to school re-opening.

Education in Myanmar

Following the start of the country’s various reforms in 2011, public funding for education has significantly increased, leading to an important rise in access. The primary net enrollment rate (NER) increased from 88% in 2009-10 to 93 percent in 2014-15. Net enrollment in preprimary education saw an impressive growth between 2008 – when roughly 1 in 20 children were enrolled – and 2014 when nearly 1 in 4 children were enrolled.

The National Education Strategic Plan (NESP) 2016-21 was developed as a result of a nationwide comprehensive education sector review, which started in 2012. The NESP represents an important milestone for education in Myanmar, as the country’s very first education sector plan in the context of a major transition towards democracy.

To accompany the NESP, a multi-year workplan and a monitoring and evaluation framework were created. The first multi-stakeholder annual performance review took place in August 2017, and the second in June 2018.

Myanmar established a multi-stakeholder local education group, the Education & TVET Sector Coordination Group (ETVSCG) in 2017. The group benefits from high-level leadership at the ministry of Education and is co-facilitated by development partners (currently chaired by Australia and UNESCO, with also  the Asian Development Bank, Denmark, DFID, EU, Finland, Germany, Japan/JICA, Switzerland, UNICEF and the World Bank). International NGOs (Save the Children, VSO) and two local civil society groups (MyMe and Ratana Metta) are active members of the group.

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Latest grant

As pupils from classes 1 to 5 study in the same classroom, the teachers have to juggle several levels at once, moving from one group to another. Myanmar.

As pupils from classes 1 to 5 study in the same classroom, the teachers have to juggle several levels at once, moving from one group to another. Myanmar.

CREDIT: EU/ECHO/Pierre Prakash
Development objective: improve equitable access to, and quality of, basic education delivered through formal, nonformal and complementary institutions and providers
Allocation: US$73,700,000
Years: 2020-2024
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$177,201

The program supported by the US$73.7 million grant aims at improving basic formal education service delivery in disadvantaged townships through school plans/school grants, and at developing and implementing a continuous professional development (CPD) system. It has 4 components:

  1. Improve quality and inclusion in formal basic education schools
    • Improve school planning and funding
    • Improve skills and practices of teachers and head teachers
  2. Improve access to quality education for marginalized children
    • Expand access to quality non-formal education services
    • Move towards partnership with ethnic basic education providers
  3. Strengthen public financial management and human resources management systems
  4. Technical assistance

The grant's results-based portion (US$24 million) is tied to outcomes in equity, efficiency and learning:

  • Learners can access and graduate from quality-assured, certified and nationally credentialed AE programs to achieve their lifelong learning and career aspirations
  • Increased participation by different education service providers and partner organizations in the basic education sub-sector
  • Teachers are equitably recruited, promoted and deployed nationwide following the teacher recruitment, deployment and promotion policy and system
  • Significant improvements experienced by students in their school and classroom learning environment
  • In-service teachers actively participate in teaching and mentoring activities implemented by trainers and mentors, deliver interactive teaching in basic education schools, and achieve Teacher Competency Framework Standards.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent
Program implementation 2020-2024 73,700,000 177,201 WB
COVID-19 2020-2021 11,000,000 950,093 UNICEF
Sector plan development 2020-2024 699,062 181,238 UNESCO
Program development 2017-2019 199,984 199,984 WB
  Total 85,599,046 1,508,516  
Data last updated: December 15, 2021

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting Girls Not Bride to mobilize an advocacy alliance across multiple partner countries, including in Myanmar, for the 2021-2023 period.

GPE had provided the National Network for Education Reform (NNER) with a grant from the CSEF to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Myanmar, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.

Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated November 30, 2021