Global justice, national education and local realities in Myanmar: a civil society perspective

  • Thein LwinEmail author


This paper examines social justice in relation to the Myanmar education system, from the perspective of participation in decision-making; the social background of students; culture; language and local knowledge. It highlights the current state of education in Myanmar, including the national education law, the national education strategic plan and educational practice in different types of school systems. I argue that the education system in Myanmar is centralized and there is little space for stakeholders’ participation in decision-making. Furthermore, the government is now promoting privatization in education, which increases inequality among social classes. Since the language and culture of the ruling majority Bamar (Myanmar) dominate the school curriculum, indigenous rights to education are neglected. Excluding local wisdom and indigenous knowledge can be considered as part of the colonization of knowledge, through the government education system. In conclusion, the paper suggests key changes that are needed to support a socially just and humanistic approach to education


Myanmar (Burma) Social justice Rights to education Mother tongue-based education Academic freedom 



Comprehensive Education Sector Review


Internally Displaced Persons


Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education


National Education Strategic Plan


National League for Democracy


National Network for Education Reform


The Border Consortium


Thinking Classroom Foundation


United Nations


United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees



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Copyright information

© Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thinking Classroom FoundationChiang MaiThailand

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