In Myanmar, an estimated 1.3 million children of primary school age do not attend school. There are multiple individual reasons accounting for this high rate of out-of-school children, but the underlying cause is poverty.
Poverty creates a barrier to accessing education, not only in terms of a direct cost barrier but also in terms of opportunity costs with many primary-aged children having to work.
The Non-Formal Primary Education (NFPE) programme in Myanmar, specifically targeting 10-14 year olds, provided a second chance to gain a primary qualification by delivering an equivalent curriculum through an accelerated and more flexible model.
As part of the one-year systematic review of the performance of the Quality Basic Education Programme (QBEP) for UNICEF Myanmar and its Myanmar Multi-Donor Education Fund (MDEF) partners, Montrose undertook an independent study on NFPE activities in Myanmar.
The purpose of the study was to provide an independent review of the process, effectiveness, and causes for drop-out from NFPE activities.
The intention was to provide a clear understanding of the key constraints and to inform an on-going strategy to deliver a primary level equivalency programme.
The study focused on a series of challenges identified in a 2013 assessment of NFPE and assess how these were responded to.
The study provided an evidence base to inform future decisions, including a specific study on the potential opportunities of outsourcing implementation to third party organisations.
The study was used by Ministry of Education officials, MDEF partners, and UNICEF to inform future activities.