Education System in Burma


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryElementary Education156115Schooling is compulsory until the end of elementary school.
MiddleMiddle Education6811143Basic Education Standard VIII Examination
SecondaryHigh School91014152Basic Education Standard X Examination (matriculation exam). Students who passed the matriculation examination receive either Diploma A or Diploma B allowed to continue education at university.
TertiaryUndergraduate Education - Regional College    2In 2005, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially announced that Burma education was reaching an international standard and the government had fully entitled to 156 universities and colleges in Myanmar.
TertiaryUndergraduate Education - Degree Oriented    33-4 years
TertiaryGraduate Education    5Master's or M.B.B.S. or B.Sc. in Forestry, 5-6 years of study. Engineering takes 6 year of study and Distance Learning degrees is taken five years; Medicine is a six and a half years of study, with a separate degree.
TertiaryGraduate Education    4Ph.D. program.

Primary Education

In Burma, otherwise known as Myanmar decades of political conflict have reduced a once-proud education system to one that is lagging sadly. The quality of school teachers may be excellent, however aging materials sadly let them down.

Following an optional pre-school period, children enter primary school for 5 compulsory years. To proceed further they must successfully write a comprehensive examination in basic academic subjects. Many disadvantaged children in poorer areas simply fail to succeed.

Middle Education

The first phase of secondary education takes place at middle schools. where students pass through grades 6 to 8 before they write their standard eight examinations. The educational system is generally corrupt, with seats in better schools often reserved for children of those with government connections.

Secondary Education

High school students entering at grade 9 may choose either an arts or science stream. All study Myanmar, English and mathematics. Arts students also study geography, history and economics, while science students concentrate on chemistry, physics and biology instead. At the end of this period students at government schools may sit for their university entrance examinations. However those at private English schools may not.

Vocational Education

Vocational training, which is largely in the hands of the private sector has become popular among young people wanting to enter the hospitality, tourism, beauty, fashion, nursing or engineering sectors. It acts as a bridge to better jobs for those with little or no work experience.

Tertiary Education

Burma EducationBurma is well endowed with universities where the widest range of courses may be followed. However academic freedom remains constrained, and students may not speak freely, or write and publish freely either.


The oldest tertiary institution is Yangon (Rangoon) University founded in 1878. It has been at the center of civil discontent throughout its history. Notwithstanding this, women’s halls of residence are strictly limited which filters out many promising female students from the countryside.


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