Building Employability into a Traditional Curriculum: Partnerships and Frameworks to Help Transform Distance Education Curriculam in Myanmar

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

Higher participation rates in higher education support the social and economic development of countries . Distance education is an effective way of increasing the participation rate quickly rather than building more universities. But a t the same time the curricula and qualifications being offered need to be aligned with the social and economic needs of the country so that graduates can be productive workers and responsible citizens. This paper reports on part of a large scale international development project (Transformation through Innovation in Distance Education or TIDE) working with over 30 Myanmar universities involved in the country’s unique distance educa tion provision. This distance education provision account for 60% of all higher education students in Myanmar but is based on traditional knowledge focused curricula that is not being taught using modern pedagogies and educational technologies. Working in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals this project is focused not only on enhancing online and distance education practices per se but also on enhancing the teaching of Environment and Sustainable Development in the curriculum. In trying to supp ort the transformation of curriculum and teaching models the project is both providing a professional development programme for university staff on both areas but is also engaging with employers and other organizations with interests in the capabilities of graduates . Through this latter engagement we are trying to help develop both a generic graduate skills framework and also the expected graduate competencies needed by someone wishing to undertake Environmental Impact Assessments in Myanmar. These framewor ks will hopefully help guide universities as they reform their curricula and introduce more teaching of practical and professional skills and behaviours for students taking thes e new qualifications.// Paper ID 100

Employment,Open and Distance Learning (ODL),Partnerships