From 5 to 6 May 2014, a delegation of the Chinese vocational colleges’ visited the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, organized by ASEAN-China Centre (ACC). The visit was supported and assisted by the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, Myanmar Embassy in China and the Ministry of Science and Technology of Myanmar (MOST). During the two-day visit, the delegation took part in the one-day Partnership Workshop on Vocational Education between Myanmar and China, visited the Technical University (Thanlyin) and Government Technical High School (Ywarma) in Yangon, the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, and a meeting with the Myanmar Council for Promotion of International Trade (MCPIT) and China-Myanmar Friendship Association (CMFA).
The Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, Mr. Chen Chen warmly welcomed the delegation and said, it was the right time to visit Myanmar, as the country was currently in urgent need of technical support and expertise to develop their vocational education. The cooperation between the two countries is expected to intensify following the new law and regulation on foreign education to be enacted by the Myanmar government. The Chinese Embassy was willing to facilitate vocational education cooperation between China and Myanmar, in areas such as training of employees, especially for media professionals in order to improve their professional skills and knowledge.
MOST emphasized the importance of the Myanmar-China Partnership Workshop on Vocational Education, and ACC's efforts in organizing the visit of 15 presidents and principals from 4 technical universities, 4 government technical institutes, and 7 government high schools from China. Vice Minister Aung Kyaw Myat in his opening speech hailed the workshop as a milestone between China and Myanmar, and a great contribution for the development of vocational education in Myanmar. Director General Dr. Zaw Win of the Department of Technology and Vocational Education of MOST, and Vice Director General Win Maw Tun attended the meeting and stated that Myanmar was in an important transition period, facing a number of challenges in the wake of ASEAN integration and establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community by the end of 2015. They considered the vocational technical education as an important part of the solution to the many challenges faced by Myanmar. They were also looking forward to any assistance from China to develop Myanmar's vocational technical education. During this visit, ACC donated a training equipment and training opportunities provided by Zhejiang Yalong Educational equipment Jiont-Stock Co., Ltd, which was warmly accepted Deputy Minister H. E. Aung Kyaw Myat on behalf of MOST.
Currently, besides vocational education institutions, Myanmar has 33 technical universities, 25 computer universities, 3 government technical college (undergraduate), 11 government technical colleges (junior) and 36 government technical high schools, and 18 central government departments conducting vocational technical colleges and training centre in their respective fields. Participants of partnership workshop were mainly from engineering and technical colleges.
Through in-depth exchanges, Chinese vocational colleges and its counterparts from Myanmar have learnt about each other's strengths and weaknesses, as well as needs. To further promote the partnership, they signed 19 MoUs on scholarships programme, students mobility, teachers exchange, teachers training, courses cooperation, students practice and equipments and facilities sharing. At the Technical University (Thanlyin), Chinese colleges signed 6 MoUs with the university. Altogether, 25 MoUs were signed during the two-day visit to Myanmar.
The Chinese delegation were briefed about the general education systems and policies by acting President Kay Thi Lwin and President U Myat Ko of the Technical University (Thanlyin) and Government Technical High School (Ywarma). During the Workshop, both sides also learned about the needs of the Myanmar colleges and look forward to support from Chinese counterpart, and visited teaching training facilities.
During the working lunch, Chief Representative of Myanmar Council for Promotion of International Trade (MCPIT), Mr. Liu Wei elaborated on the national condition of Myanmar. He highlighted the enormous potential and economic opportunities in Myanmar, abundant human resources and need for technical assistance. Mr. Wen Weili of China-Myanmar Friendship Association (CMFA) brief on the work of CMFA since it was established in 2011, and expressed the willingness to provide assistance and exchange cooperation in education to Myanmar. Deputy Director Wang Daoyu of ACC discussed with representatives from MCPIT and CMFA and hoped the two organizations could provide assistance in organizing Myanmar teachers to be trained in China as well as facilitating equipments and other facilities to Myanmar. The two organizations expressed their willingness to support the work of ACC and looked forward to visiting ACC, to seek and discuss other potential areas of cooperation.