The 1st Non-Formal Education Conference Brief

Non-formal education spans ages, abilities, ethnicities, and borders providing opportunity for those who cannot study within standard schooling systems. With focus on core curriculum, such as reading, writing, and math, non-formal education is a bridge for more empowered living and can lead to higher education, vocational training, or increased autonomy in work and daily life.

Non Formal Education conference - woman in wheelchair

Non Formal Education conference – woman speaking

In recognition of the importance of such education, EduNet hosted its 1st Non-formal Education (NFE) Conference in Yangon with over 50 participants attending the one-day event. Panel discussions and speakers represented a variety of fields including non-formal education law, education for street children, education for people with disabilities, and migrant education.

The 1st NFE Conference was the culmination of over one year’s community-based research on children not in school throughout Myanmar and Thailand. Using Participatory Action Learning (PAL) research techniques, including observations, interviews and focus group discussions, local organizations were able to document the current situation of children not in school and barriers to accessing education.

Non Formal Education conference - children on stage

Non Formal Education conference – children on stage

This event offered a forum for open debate of these research findings. As panel discussions transitioned into small group dialogue, participants were able to candidly examine the inequities embedded in the Myanmar and Thai educational systems and identify potential pathways for reform. Also, in joining the Conference, participants had the chance to exchange their experience, knowledge, and opinions, as well as forge new non-formal education networks.

While the 1st NFE Conference has ended, the bonds it has built and the knowledge it has shared give hope to creating more opportunities for learning to all children in Myanmar and Thailand.


High Definition Studio video presentation: Non Formal Education on our Media Center page.

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