National Education Law


National Education Law
(2014, Parliamentary Law No. 41 )

1376 ME, New Moon of Thadingyut 7th day

(September 30, 2014)

The Union Parliament creates this law.

Chapter 1
Name and Definition of Terms

1. This law shall be known as the National Education Law.

2. The following terms used in this law will have the meanings given below:

(a) Nation means the Republic of the Union of Myanmar;

(b) Government means the government of the the Republic of the Union of Myanmar;

(c) Commission means the National Education Policy Commission formed according to paragraph 5 of this Law;

(d) Ministry means the Union Government’s Ministry of Education;

(e) Relevant Ministry means the Union Ministry to which the government gives responsibility for implementing this law;

(f) Regional Government means the government of Regions, States, Self-administered Regions, Districts, Townships, Neighborhoods, and Village Tracts;

(g) National Education means education that values, preserves and develops the language, literature, culture, art, traditions, and historical heritage of all the ethnic groups in the nation and which is able produce human resources with right holistic thinking and good character and which can guide and carry out the modern development of the nation according to the needs of the times;

(h) Learners means learners or students who pursue education available at various grades and levels in educational tracks in order to improve their abilities and qualifications;

(i) Teachers means instructors who meet the established criteria for instructing at some educational level;

(j) Formal Education means a system of school-based education which designates learners’ age, period of study, location, grade, a system of evaluation and a specific curriculum. It includes pre-school, primary, middle school, high school, technical and vocational education and higher education;

(k) Non-formal Education means education outside the formal school system, based on a curriculum for upgrading learners’ education and which organizes and instructs learners through flexible methods;

(l) Equivalent Education Program means a program that establishes equivalency of qualifications between non-formal and formal education programs;

(m) Personal Education means education that one establishes and pursues for oneself based on one’s needs and interests;

(n) Early Childhood Care and Development Education means education that promotes holistic development using developmentally appropriate methods for children from birth to age 8;

(o) Preschool means education for children age 3 to 5 designed to develop their physical, intellectual, moral, social and psychological skills and prepare them for continuing into primary education;

(p) Kindergarten means education that promotes holistic development using appropriate methods for 5 year-olds to ease their transition to first grade;

(q) Basic Education means education that every citizen must learn, that covers the prescribed basic education and prepares learners to continue on to either technical and vocational education or higher education;

(r) Technical and Vocational Education means education that systematically produces experts in practical techniques, technology technicians and experts, and vocational education scholars, technicians, and experts;

(s) Higher Education means education provided by a school recognized by the National Education Commission to people who have successfully completed the highest level of basic education or its equivalent;

(t) Teacher Education means education that provides the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and experience to pre- and in-service teachers so that they can improve learner’s learning;

(u) Distance Education means education based on self-study that is conducted by an educational organization using information and communication technology and other channels of public media as instructional aides to connect teachers and learners for teaching and learning;

(v) Community-based Education means education that is taught based on the desire to use education to increase the standard of living or level of knowledge of people in a neighborhood or village;

(w) Free, Compulsory Education means the education levels which the nation designates as “free and compulsory education” and to which the government and regional governments at all levels provide full support as mandated so that all school-age children can complete them;

(x) Special Education programs means the establishment of schools which have special programs to teach disabled children;

(y) Special Education services means the opening of temporary, emergency schools in border areas with conflict, less developed areas, areas with poor transportation, and regions affected by natural disasters;

(z) National Education Quality Assurance Committee means an organization formed to assure the quality of the implementation of educational policies and projects of all kinds of education at all levels;

(aa) Quality Assurance means continuously evaluating and giving assurance of the level of quality of a school and its instructional program in accordance with the standards set by the National Education Commission;

(bb) Curriculum means systematically written programs for all fields in formal and non-formal education, which are designed to achieve educational objectives and which include learning outcomes, content, instructional methods, and evaluation;

(cc) School means the places where learning for pre-school, basic education, technical and vocational education, and higher education take place;

(dd) Parent-Teacher Association means an organization formed of parents or guardians and teachers in basic education schools to improve the effectiveness of the education of learners and their physical, verbal, and character development;

(ee) School Support Organization means an organization formed of educationally and socially respected people in basic education schools giving assistance to the Parent-Teacher Association for the development of the school system.

(ff) Educational Administrator means a person who carries out administration duties for an education department or a school.

Chapter 2

3.  The objectives of National Education are as follows:

(a)  To produce good physically, mentally, morally, socially and psychologically well-developed citizens with critical thinking skills;

(b)  To produce citizens who respect and follow the law by practicing their civic and democratic duties and upholding standards of human rights.

(c)  To develop union spirit and to create citizens who respect, value, preserve and develop all the ethnic groups’ languages, literatures, culture, arts, traditions, and historical heritage and who value and protect the natural environment and who can carry out sustainable development and pass these things on to others;

(d)  To produce the human resources needed for knowledge-based economic development;

(e)  To create international-standard learning environments and to upgrade the quality of teaching, learning, research and administration through the effective use of information and communication technology;

(f)  To produce qualified scholars, experts, and technicians in every field of study;

(g)  To encourage and upgrade sports education and systematically implement school health programs.

Chapter 3
Education Principles

4.  The principles of education are as follows:

(a)  Every citizen shall join in the effort to develop and improve education;

(b)  Private sector cooperation in every level of education will be encouraged and private schools will be permitted to be established in accordance with relevant laws;

(c)  Special education programs and services shall be established so that every school-aged child and youth, including those citizens who are disabled or who for whatever reason have not had a chance to study, can access their right to education in line with Education for All;

(d)  Every citizen shall have the right to education and opportunities for life-long learning shall be created;

(e)  In order to meet international standards, modern techniques will be used;

(f)  Education shall be applicable in socio-economic life;

(g)  Universities and colleges shall have the right to be independent and self-administered;

(h)  University entrance shall be based on the learner’s desire and they have the right to choose any school if they meet the institution’s qualifications;

(i)  Schools shall be free from religious or political meddling;

(j)  Once free, compulsory education has been successfully implemented at the primary level it shall be extended step by step (to higher grades);

(k)  All fields of education will be developed equally, producing quality human resources, scholars, experts, technicians and vocational experts at every level for the socio-economic development of the nation;

(l)  At every level and in every field of education, educational standards will be set and a system of quality assurance will be implemented;

(m)  By giving special emphasis to improving the quality of all educational staff and their quality of life, when they have developed good character, a decentralized system will be implemented dependent on the development of their ability to make decisions and take responsibility.

Chapter 4
Formation, Rights and Responsibilities of the National Education Commission

5.  The government

(a)  shall choose a Union level person as chairman who shall, with the approval of Parliament, form a National Education Commission composed of the minister of Education and other ministers, scholars from ethnic groups, and other appropriate people to effectively and successfully implement the statutes set out in this law;

(b)  The Commission formed in sub-paragraph (a) can be re-constituted at any time with the approval of Parliament.

6.  The National Education Commission’s rights and responsibilities are as follows:

(a)  guide the implementation of national education objectives and principles; 

(b)  as necessary form committees or other groups in accordance with the law and give them responsibility to implement the national education objectives;

(c)  evaluate and give guidance on the education system and education policy and projects; 

(d)  form policies and give guidance in order to establish standards for quality assurance;

(e)  negotiate with the government and regional governments to get the funds and support needed for the education sector;

(f)  establish policy for getting funds and support for education from local or international sources;

(g)  establish policy for granting, suspending and terminating permission to operate local or international schools;

(h)  cooperate and negotiate regarding the Ministry of Education or other ministries’ short or long-term educational projects; 

7.  Without infringing on the independent self-administration of universities, degree colleges, colleges and institutions, to cooperate with and assist them on matters related only to policy for their development and improvement.

8.  Members of the Commission who are not civil servants have the right to receive the honorarium and expense payments established by the government.

9.  The office and administrative needs of the Commission will be arranged and provided for by the Ministry.

10.  The expenses of the Commission will be paid from the Ministry’s funds.

Chapter 5
System of National Education

11. In order to implement a system of national education, the government will use the following kinds of education and make connections between them;

(a)  Formal education

(b)  Non-Formal Education

(c)  Personal Education

12.  Early childhood education will be implemented by parents, villages, and appropriate departments and organizations according to existing policy.

13.  Pre-school education will be implemented from age 3 to age 5.

14.  The Government will divide and implement formal education according to the following levels:

(a)  Basic Education;

(b)  Technical and Vocational Education;

(c)  Higher Education.

15.  At the quarter or village level, formal education at the basic education level as well as informal education will both be implemented by the government with the help and support of the relevant regional governments at each level.

16. (a)  Basic Education is divided into the following three levels, aiming to have 12 years of education after the completion of kindergarten:

i.  Primary Education

ii.  Middle school Education

iii.  High school Education

(b)  Kindergarten will be regarded as the base level of Primary Education

(c)  In order to complete one of the levels of education listed in sub-paragraph (a) educational competence shall be assessed.

17.  After free, compulsory education has been successfully implemented at the primary level it shall be extended step by step (to higher grades).

18. (a)  Children who are five years of age shall enter kindergarten;

(b)  Children who are six years of age shall enter the first grade of primary school.

19.  English shall be taught starting from primary school.

20.  The Ministry of Education and other relevant ministries:

(a)  shall work to implement the development of teacher education for formal and non-formal education;

(b)  shall establish the entrance requirements, curriculum, period of study for teacher training in relevant by-laws;

(c)  shall produce teachers who value the languages, literature, culture, arts, traditions and historical heritage of all ethnic groups in the nation and who have the ability to guide the development of all ethnic groups and the modern development of the nation.

21.  Technical and Vocational Education is divided into the following:

(a)  Basic level technical and vocational education that can be attended by those who have completed primary school;

(b)  Middle level technical and vocational education that can be attended by those who have completed middle school;

(c)  Diploma level technical and vocational education that can be attended by those who have completed high school;

(d)  Non-formal education and vocational education for improving ability regardless of educational level, gender, or age, offered in schools opened by government or private organizations that meet the criteria.

22.  The relevant ministries shall establish the curriculum, period of study, kind of degree or certificate to be awarded for each of the levels of education listed in paragraph 21.

23.  The relevant ministries shall work to improve and widen opportunities for citizens to access technical and vocational education.

24.  Technical and vocational schools and classes shall be established with administrations that are in accordance with the relevant laws.

25.  Universities, degree colleges, colleges, institutes and schools of a similar level shall implement higher education.

26.  Schools that implement higher education shall use a system of independent learning and independent administration.

27.  The Commission shall form an independent Higher Education Cooperation Committee made up of suitable people to cooperate and negotiate on matters related to Higher Education.

28.  Schools that implement higher education:

(a)  shall give priority to research and development;

(b)  shall provide a way for learners to freely choose their school and field of study based on their desires and dependent on meeting the qualifications set by the school.

29.  Implementation of higher education shall include a distance education system.

30.  There shall be a way to transfer between high school, technical and vocational schools, teacher training, and higher education.

31.  The ministry shall encourage the implementation of non-formal education by community-based organizations and non-government organizations.

32.  In relation to non-formal education, the Ministry shall:

(a)  implement basic literacy and further related activities;

(b)  provide opportunities for people who want to study outside of school and for people who for whatever reason did not complete all levels of basic education to do so;

(c)  have an equivalency program by which students can transfer from non-formal education into formal education or technical and vocational education;

33.  In order to raise the qualifications of every citizen and to provide opportunities for continuing education including personal education, the ministry shall:

(a)  provide situations and implement programs for studying;

(b)  besides encouraging private or other organizations to implement the programs in sub-paragraph (a), shall permit and implement them itself;

(c)  implement programs of book publication and distribution, and broadcast education programs in various media;

(d)  encourage and help private and local organizations if they want to develop libraries and displays for study.

Chapter 6
Kinds of Schools

34. The kinds of schools are as follows:

(a) Government schools;

(b) Government supported schools;

(c) Schools owned by regional organizations;

(d) Private schools;

(e) Monastery schools;

(f) Welfare schools (tuition-free??);

(g) Special education schools;

(h) Mobile and emergency schools;

(i) Schools designated by the Ministry of Education or other Ministries as necessary;

35. Basic education schools, classes, technical and vocational education schools, universities, colleges, institutes, branches of a foreign university or any school of higher education can only be opened in accordance with this or current education laws.

36. Only the officers of legal schools opened in accordance with this and other relevant education laws are authorized to issue certificates of completion, degrees, or diplomas.

37. The Ministry of Education and other relevant ministries shall work to open schools with special instructional programs for disabled persons. They can allow private or social organizations that want to open such schools to do so after having been evaluated.

38. The Ministry and regional governments shall:

(a) work to establish mobile schools to allow the children and family members of migrant workers to complete primary education;

(b) organize special educational services through temporary emergency schools in underdeveloped regions, conflict areas, areas with poor transportation, and areas affected by natural disasters.

Chapter 7
Establishment of Curriculum and Curriculum Standards

39.  The Commission shall ensure that the following is true in regard to the curriculum:

(a)  production of knowledgeable, well-rounded good citizens with critical thinking skills;

(b)  production of individuals with knowledge, skills, and expertise that are useful to the whole Myanmar society;

(c)  production of good citizens with good character who understand and accept diversity, value equality, know their responsibility, have responsibility, take responsibility, and who value democratic and human rights standards;

(d)  giving the ability to raise each ethnic group’s rich literature, culture, arts, traditions and historical heritage along with the values that every citizen should have;

(e)  a curriculum that meets the needs of the current time and which is also in line with international education curriculums;

(f)  making a nation-wide curriculum framework and curriculum standards for every level of basic education;

(g)  there shall be freedom to develop the curriculum in each region based on the curriculum standards mentioned in (f);

(h)  the curriculum shall be connected to practical life.

40.  Schools have permission to modify and improve the curriculum in line with existing law in order to keep up with education reforms and based on the need to improve and develop the nation’s socio-economic situation.

41.  The Ministry of Education and other relevant ministries shall:

(a)  establish the curriculum standards for every level of basic education and have it approved by the Commission;

(b)  establish the curriculum standards for the special education programs for the disabled, visually impaired, hearing impaired, mentally disabled and diverse learners, with the cooperation and approval of experts in each educational field.

42.  The Ministry, Division or State Governments, and Self-Administered Division or Region Governments shall:

(a)  arrange for the ability to communicate and transfer between government and other schools.

(b)  help to open classes to develop the ethnic groups’ literature, language, culture, arts and traditions and to start subjects/majors in ethnic groups’ culture, literature, and history in universities.

43. (a)  Instruction can be in Myanmar or English or in a combination of Myanmar and English.

(b)  If there is a need, an ethnic language can be used alongside Myanmar as a language of instruction at the basic education level.

44.  In Divisions or States, teaching of ethnic languages and literature can be implemented by Division or State governments, starting at the primary level and gradually expanding (to higher grades.)

Chapter 8
Educational Rights and Responsibilities

45.  Parents and guardians have the responsibility to enroll their school-aged children in a relevant school to study and to complete all grades of education designated as free and compulsory by the government.

46.  Parents and guardians have the right to send their children to any school which is opened in accordance with this and other relevant education laws if their children meet the entrance requirements.

47.  Parents and guardians have the right to join in parent-teacher advisory groups or school support organizations to upgrade their children's education and provide opportunities for continuing education.

48.  All members of a neighborhood or village shall participate to ensure that the children in their community complete the free and compulsory education levels.

49.  Regional governments:

(a)  shall help and guide educational matters in accordance with current law;

(b)  shall aim and work to have every child complete the free and compulsory education;

(c)  shall have programs to reward exceptional students;

(d)  shall implement programs for the continuing education of both exceptional students and those with learning difficulties. They shall also assess and approve programs of outside help;

(e)  shall work to make it convenient for non-local teachers and educational administrators to live and travel in their area;

(f)  shall have the freedom to administer educational matters in accordance with current law;

(g)  shall cooperate effectively with government ministries, government organizations, and community organizations for educational development;

(h)  can cooperate with local and international organizations and scholars for educational matters.

Chapter 9

50.  Teachers:

(a)  shall be broad-minded to contribute to national and community development. They shall love, value, protect and develop democratic practices;

(b)  shall have a sense of responsibility regarding their job, love and value their occupation, and be good models for students;

(c)  to teach at the basic education level, shall have a teacher education degree, diploma, certificate or equivalent certification.

51.  Qualification requirements for teachers at the pre-school, basic education, technological and vocational education, higher education, and training school levels will be spelled out in separate education by-laws.

52.  The Ministry of Education and other relevant ministries shall work to improve teachers’ qualifications and to give them international experience.

53.  The Ministry of Education and other relevant ministries will establish the rights and responsibilities of teachers.

Chapter 10
Quality Assessment and Quality Assurance

54. (a)  At every level of education there shall be a program of quality assurance;

(b)  In the assessment of educational quality and standards, there shall be a program of internal quality assessment and external quality assessment;

(c)  The Commission shall establish the standards and methods of evaluation in order to ensure quality.

55.  The Commission shall gather appropriate people to form an independent National Education Standard and Quality Assurance Committee to carry out the work detailed in paragraph 54.

Chapter 11
Education Administration

56. (a)  The Ministry of Education, relevant ministries and the Higher Education Cooperation Committee shall administer relevant higher education schools in accordance with this and other current laws. 

(b)  Administration of schools, apart from those mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) will be shared by the Ministry of Education, other relevant ministries, and regional governments.

57.  (a)  Administration of schools at the basic education level will be carried out by the Ministry and other relevant ministries.

(b)  Apart from higher education institutions run by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of the Interior, and Union Rank Group (??) with special permission from the government for special purposes, all other universities, degree colleges, colleges, and institutes will be administered in conjunction with the Higher Education Cooperation Committee.

(c)  The Higher Education Cooperation Committee shall cooperate and negotiate to help to develop the higher education institutes without infringing on their independent administration.

(d)  To carry out instructional and administration matters, institutes of higher education shall form and authorize an administrative body in accordance with the relevant education laws.

58.  The Ministry’s roles and responsibilities are as follows:

(a)  to set policy, strategy, and get government approval for projects and programs and to implement them in order to develop and raise educational quality;

(b)  to communicate widely to the public about policy, strategy and implementation, projects and programs, laws and methods;

(c)  to help regional governments in implementing educational development by providing experts, techniques, and funds and through the opening of schools and helping to assure equal standards of educational quality;

(d)  to cooperate effectively with government ministries, government bodies, and other local and international organizations for education development;

(e)  to give help and guidance for the effective use of the education budget;

(f)  to oversee the cooperation of local and international organizations and experts in educational matters;

(g)  to perform other duties assigned by the government as necessary.

59.  In order to quickly and effectively administer education programs, educational administrators shall implement a system of systematic lists, data, and statistics that help administration. 

60.  The Commission shall bring together appropriate people and form an independent organization giving it responsibility to oversee private schools.

61.  The Ministry and relevant ministries shall assess and, if needed within the school year, provide finances, and other help to monastery schools, charity schools, special education programs, mobile and emergency schools, village education departments, community-based education programs and basic education level nonformal classes. They shall also help them with techniques, experts, and instructional aides in order for them to teach their subjects and achieve their designated levels and standards.

Chapter 12

62.  A school or educational organization can, after assessing the donor, receive financial donations or gifts-in-kind from local or international individuals or legal organizations.

63.  The school or educational organization:

(a)  shall effectively use the financial donations or gifts-in-kind detailed in paragraph 62, for development of the education sector.

(b)  shall use funds in accordance with current financial rules and show clear records to the donor and the public.

(c)  shall submit to the Ministry’s or relevant ministry’s audit according to established criteria.

64. (a)  The Government or Division or State government, shall use the finances they receive from the national budget to support the educational sectors for which they are responsible, in accordance with budgetary laws;

(b)  The Higher Education Cooperation Committee and relevant schools of higher education have the right to raise their own funds.

65.  The Commission

(a)  shall submit a yearly budget request for the committees and organizations it forms through the Ministry and relevant ministries to the Government;

(b)  can with the permission of the Government, establish the honorariums and operating expenses for the members of the committees and organizations it forms.

Chapter 13
Transition Period

66.  All schools in existence before this law was passed shall come into compliance with this law within five years from the day this law comes into force.

Chapter 14

67.  Education laws in effect prior to this law being passed can continue to be used as long as they are not in conflict with this law.

68. (a)  Schools that teach only religion are not covered by this law.

(b)  If local, civil or religious organizations want to open a school covered in paragraph 34(h) they shall follow the methods, rules, regulations, proclamations, instructions, and orders of the Ministry and relevant ministries.

69.  In implementing this law:

(a)  The Ministry and relevant ministries, with the agreement of the Government, can establish rules and regulations as necessary.

(b)  The Commission and committees and organizations formed by the Commission, the Ministry, and the directorate of relevant ministries can issue orders, proclamations, instructions, and regulations.

Signed in accordance with the Constitution, 

Thein Sein
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar