The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) enacted the National Policy on Disability in 2003, which has promoted equal participation and inclusion in the society, including access to education. Following the same trajectory, the Ministry of Education has made efforts to improve access to education of children with special needs (SEN (Special educational needs) Children) through its Sector Development Framework and Programmes. Consequently, Sri Lanka’s achievement in securing an inclusive educational environment of SEN Children has been commendable.
Special Education Units have been placed at regular schools to enhance learning of SEN Children for future inclusion in regular classes. Many children with severe disabilities, however, still have limited access to schools. Some of those who are out of school are taken care of at welfare facilities. To attain equitable education for all, it is required to accept those SEN Children and the children at special education units in regular classes. Therefore, the capacity of schools and teachers to provide them with quality education should be enhanced.
Under such circumstances, the Project seeks a feasible inclusive education approach in line with the Sri Lankan context by establishing a functional system for promoting enrollment of SEN Children as well as developing the capacity of teachers. Materials and guidelines developed and good practices collected during the Project are stored in a database for a referral to disseminate the inclusive education approach all over the country. For the purpose, Colombo district in Western Province and Kurunegala district in North Western Province are targeted.
The new government of Myanmar that was established in 2011, attaches great importance to the improvement of the basic education as one of the prioritized areas. Aiming to upgrade the education to the international level, the government is currently conducting a large scale of education reform, including enacting and revising the national education and basic education laws, reforming the school system, introducing decentralization of educational management, etc.
The project comprises the following two components so that curriculum policy at the primary level – curriculum, textbooks, teacher’s guide, assessment, and teacher education at Education Colleges (ECs), and practice at school by new curriculum introducing training – is comprehensively realized.
Component 1: Curriculum, Textbook and Assessment
-Output 1 Development of curriculum framework (scope of subject, objectives, systematics)
-Output 2 Development of textbooks and teacher’s guide
-Output 3 Development of assessment that enables evaluation of academic achievement aimed by the new curriculum
Component 2: Teacher Education
-Output 4 Improvement of EC curriculum to reflect the new curriculum principles
-Output 5 Promoting teachers’ understanding of the new curriculum
Despite some progress in recent years, the health sector in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar continues to face maternal and child health (MCH) challenges. Its maternal mortality ratio (MMR) remained high at 282 per 100,000 live births and under-five mortality rate (U5MR) at 72 per 1,000 live births in 2014 (2014 National Census). In addition to the existing issues of MCH and infectious diseases, the concerns over the increase of life-style related diseases such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are rising, resulting in the double burden of the disease structure. In addressing these challenges, it is necessary to strengthen basic health services at the primary healthcare level. Increasing attention is now placed on delivering a continuum of care for people throughout life course regardless of age, moving beyond the disease-specific approach towards the life course approach for realization of life-long health for all people.
In Myanmar, Rural Health Centers (RHC) and Sub-Rural Health Centers (SRHC) are the forefront health facilities which provide basic health services at the primary healthcare level. The challenges pertaining to Myanmar’s primary healthcare provision include a lack of personnel at RHCs and SRHCs, limited quality of health services, and weak emergency referral systems to higher-level health facilities. On the service user’s side, there are challenges such as limited access to health facilities due to economic reasons and road conditions, limited health knowledge, and lack of trust towards health personnel, resulting in the low utilization of health services.
In December 2016, Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) formulated the National Health Plan (NHP) 2017-2021, aiming to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. As a first step towards achieving UHC, the MOHS aims to ensure access to the basic Essential Package of Health Services (basic EPHS) for the entire population through expanding basic EPHS below the township level and establishing a resilient and sustainable health system with active community engagement in health activities. In line with the NHP, this project aims to strengthen the capacity of management and delivery of basic health services below the township level and promote deliveries assisted by skilled birth attendants, institutional deliveries, newborn care, and screening of hypertension and diabetes. The project is also intended to promote community engagement in health activities through strengthening community-based volunteers, supporting the development of community action plans, and introducing community support systems for emergency transportation. These achievements will be documented as an implementation framework by the project as a contribution to the operationalization of the NHP.