The World Bank Myanmar Poverty Assessment estimates that 32% of Myanmar’s population lives below the poverty line. Poverty in Myanmar’s rural areas is substantially higher than in urban areas: 38.8% of the rural population is estimated to be poor. Despite rich natural and human resources, Myanmar ranks only 145 out of 189 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. With a population of 55.5 million, Myanmar has severe economic challenges and its education system is strained beyond capacity.
UNICEF data shows that at the primary school level, 1 in 5 children are not attending, either because they never entered school or dropped out. Six out of 10 children who start grade one drop out before the end of middle school. School attendance drops to around 30 per cent by age 17.
Combined with economic hardships that force many young children to give up education in order to work, weak school infrastructure limits the quality of education in rural Myanmar especially. Our goal is to help ensure that all village children, girls and boys, can access safe and decent education throughout their childhood/adolescent journey.