Myanmar, previously known as Burma until 1988, is located in Southeastern Asia and borders the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal between Bangladesh and Thailand. It is slightly smaller than Texas, with a population of 42,950,000. The capital city of Rangoon is Myanmar’s chief port and largest city. The population consists of diverse ethnic groups with Burmese comprising the largest percent. Major religious affiliations include Buddhism (89%) and Christianity (4%).
Myanmar (Burmese) is the official and dominant language. Myanmar and English are the languages of instruction with English incorporated in all levels of education. Academic documents are issued in English and Myanmar/English and are issued by the educational institutions awarding the credential. The academic year at all levels is September to August.
Education in Myanmar is overseen by both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology.
Primary and Secondary Education
Education is compulsory from ages 5 to 10. This includes one year of Kindergarten and four years of Primary School (Grades 1-4). Lower secondary school (Grades 5-8) is 4 years. At the end of Grade 8, students sit for the Basic Education Standard VIII Examination.
Vocational and general upper secondary school (Grades 9-10) is 2 years. At the end of Grade 10, students in the vocational track sit for the Basic Education Standard X Examination Diploma B, and students in the general education track sit for the Basic Education Standard X Examination Diploma A.
Higher education is provided by universities and specialized institutions (teacher training schools and colleges, technical and professional institutes and an Institute for Foreign Languages). They are all national institutions and are under the control of the Department of Higher Education. Universities and colleges are state-financed.
First Cycle, Academic
Admission to first-level university programs requires a Basic Education Standard X Examination Diploma A. Some university programs also require an entrance examination. First-level university programs include the Bachelors degree, which is 3 years, and the 4-year Bachelors (Honours) degree.
First Cycle, Vocational/Technical
Technical and vocational programs are offered at government technical institutes and the Institute of Paramedical Studies. Government technical institutes offer 3-year diploma programs, and the Institute of Paramedical Studies offers 2-year diploma programs in physiotherapy, pharmacy, radiography and medical technology.
Second and Third Cycles
Masters programs are 2 years following a Bachelors degree and require defense of a thesis. Doctoral programs are 4 years following a Masters degree and require defense of a dissertation.
Primary school teachers are trained in 1-year programs at Institutes of Education leading to the Certificate in Education. Lower secondary school teachers are also trained at Institutes of Education in a 2-year program leading to the Diploma of Education. Admission to the Institute of Education requires a Basic Education Standard X Examination Diploma A.