Myanmar is an ethnically diverse country, with 135 ethnic groups officially recognised.
Its population of 51 million (24,821,176 men; 26,598,244 women) in 2016 included 26.9 million (50.1 per cent) young people below the age of 30. In this context, young boys’ and girls’ uninterrupted access to education as well as exposure to healthy classroom dynamics that facilitate relevant professional, leadership, and other soft skills development, and foster a culture of peace, was a critical element of Myanmar’s development path.
Gender dynamics in the classroom was an under researched space in Myanmar and this study was well placed to be a pioneer for further investigation in this area.
Montrose undertook research to explore the gender dynamics affecting girls’ and boys’ participation in secondary school education as part of UNICEF Myanmar’s whole-state approach in programming and in alignment with decentralised management of basic education mandated by the recently amended National Education Law.
The purpose of the study was to conduct a bottleneck analysis, utilising qualitative data collection methods, to explore the gender dynamics affecting girls’ and boys’ participation in secondary school education and the implications of this on social cohesion in one conflict-affected state – Kayah state.
The findings from the study informed advocacy for and design of social cohesion-sensitive education programming in the state, including monitoring framework and key performance indicators (KPIs).
The bottleneck analysis was a strategic and timely initiative for ensuring that the education programme designed and implemented in the selected state was not only gender-sensitive, but also contributed to addressing the underlying causes of low participation in secondary education and disruption to social cohesion.
The bottleneck analysis further informed advocacy for and implementation of UNICEF’s Monitoring of Results for Equity System (MoRES) in the education sector in Myanmar.