The Irrawaddy

Govt Investment Body Announces New Criteria for Private Education Institutions

A private international school located in Yangon, photographed on Tuesday.

YANGON — The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) announced 17 points of standard criteria for private education services on Monday, with specific guidelines on organizational structure, standards for instructors and the school environment.

The government investment body stated that the criteria apply to private schools and training centers that offer certificate qualifications, diplomas and bachelor’s degrees to students, for Myanmar- and foreign-owned companies or organizations as well as joint ventures.

Publication of the new criteria comes four months after the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) announced that Myanmar would allow foreigners to make full capital investment in private schools and other educational institutions.

Since MIC opened the education sector to foreign investors, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand have expressed interest in investing in Myanmar, according to DICA.

In June, US educational provider Kaplan Inc. opened Kaplan Myanmar University College in Yangon offering certificate courses, degree programs, Master of Business Administration programs and short courses for students.

If they can afford it, many parents in Myanmar prefer to send their children to private schools for a higher standard of curriculum, which makes it easier to later join foreign universities for further study. According to the Ministry of Education, some 600 private schools were in operation during the 2016-2017 academic year in Myanmar.

DICA says the education services can only offer a certificate, qualification, diploma or bachelor’s degree that has been approved by the related ministry. They need to provide information on the type of course content to be used at the school as well as the syllabus type and the educational background of the members of the institution who are responsible for administration, management and learning activities.

Private school teachers will need to present their teaching credentials and details of their teaching experience as well as a brief biography.

Education services need to have adequate numbers of teachers as well as administration staff and an appropriately sized school compound and sufficient buildings.

According to DICA, the investor will need to get signed agreements from at least 10 people who live around the site of the proposed private school outlining that they have no objections to the establishment of a school. A document of recommendation from the relative ward administrator is also required.

Having an appropriate environment for education is another element of the criteria. DICA stated that the school administrator needs to keep the school compound, surroundings, classrooms and practical rooms in conformity with health, cleanliness and tidiness and prove preparation measures for health emergency, security measures and a firefighting system.

Other points outline the necessity of having a recommendation from the relevant ministry depending on the type of school to be established as well as rules prohibiting drug and alcohol consumption and sexual harassment of students and teachers.