Myanmar, like many developing countries worldwide, is experiencing a “youth bulge,” with almost 51% of the population below age 27. Rates of youth in the workforce are higher than neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, and among young people who are working, 82 percent of children age 10 and 91 percent of children age 12 have never attended school. Depending on the context, the needs of these young people are diverse and meeting those needs is critical to ending poverty and promoting equality.
Myanmar reports high numbers of out-of-school youth, and as a result many young people entering the workforce do not have the necessary skills to hold a steady job and achieve success in their employment. Despite youth growing up in the age of technology, firms in Myanmar identify computer and ICT skills as the most commonly lacking skills among young people and the most necessary to build as Myanmar’s economy shifts toward manufacturing and services.
As part of a component to improve access to education and skill building opportunities for Myanmar youth, World Education implemented the Youth and Technology Project, which provided non-formal education opportunities for out-of-school youth, while also contributing to the Department of Alternative Education's (DAE) objective to create pathways for out-of-school youth by developing a curriculum that may be used for the National Youth Education Certificate (NYEC) program in the future.
The goal of the project was to develop fully prepared, engaged, and empowered young people with the cognitive, social, and life skills needed to compete and succeed in their lives through providing computer literacy programs.
To achieve project objectives, World Education worked with local partner Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO) to develop and pilot a computer literacy module and train and mentor youth leaders to implement the module with target out-of-school youth. At the same time, World Education and MIDO worked together as representatives of the NYEC working group to develop a standardized module template that could be used across the courses, and provided technical support and advising to DAE in moving the NYEC process forward.
The World Education-MIDO approach promotes and supports meaningful personal development, capacity building, and mentoring throughout the entire NYEC program. After completion of the program, youth will be equipped with basic literacy, computer, and critical thinking skills, and have access to resources for continued independent learning.