Australia and the United Kingdom will work together to deliver basic schooling for more than 160,000 children in Myanmar and training for 7,000 teachers and school staff.
Speaking from London, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Australia would contribute $15 million and the UK £3.7 million (AUD$5.8 million) over four years to the Myanmar Education Consortium (2012-15).
The Consortium would provide:
- access to early childhood education for more than 55,000 children,
- basic education for more than 160,000 children and,
- training for 4,500 non-government school teachers and 2,500 monastic school administrators and principals.
"Myanmar's current generation of children is at risk of being the first in the country's history to have a lower level of education than their parents," Senator Carr said.
"At present only half of Myanmar's five million school-aged children are likely to complete primary school.
"We'll be working with the UK and the Government of Myanmar to address this through more school places and better-trained teaching staff, particularly in rural and remote communities."
The program will be implemented by Save the Children, World Vision and the Burnet Institute.
Senator Carr also announced Australia would provide $600,000 in emergency aid to people affected by conflict in Kachin State, Myanmar, which has left 75,000 people homeless since conflict began in June 2011.
The support will provide water and hygiene supplies to more than 15,000 people, small cash grants for food and other essentials for more than 11,000 people and rice and nutritional supplements for around 7,000 people.
Australia and the UK are two of Myanmar's largest bilateral aid donors.
In 2012, Senator Carr announced that Australia would provide an $80 million package of assistance for basic education and scholarships over the next four years, making Australia the largest donor to education in Myanmar.
Australia and the UK share a close development cooperation relationship, reinforced by a 2008 Partnership Agreement between AusAID and the Department for International Development (DFID).
Minister Carr and UK Secretary for International Development Justine Greening, in talks on Myanmar education, London, Jan 30, 2013. Photo credit: Russell Watkins, DFID
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