The United Board and Dagon University convened the Fourth Higher Education Leadership Program (HELP-IV) on June 26-28 for faculty and administrators in Myanmar, offering a series of participatory workshops to build knowledge and skills for whole person education. United Board Vice President for Programs Wai Ching Wong began exploring the program theme of “Education for Wholeness and Transformation in Myanmar” with her keynote address, as she challenged participants to respond to the question “Why Whole Person Education?” In subsequent sessions, resource persons from Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States, and other countries led discussions on understanding the self and the twenty-first century learner; higher-order thinking skills; inquiry-based learning; assessment strategies; and quality assurance.
The United Board and Dagon University have collaborated on previous HELP events since 2014, in response to the Myanmar government’s efforts to reform higher education. At HELP-IV, Dr. Khine Mye, director-general of the Department of Alternative Education and secretary of the National Education Policy Commission, indicated reform efforts are still underway. With respect to higher education, the Myanmar government currently is moving away from a centralized model of management to a focus on performance, accountability, and autonomy. It also seeks to strengthen academic programs by improving curricula, infrastructure, and teaching and learning resources.
More than 140 educators participated in HELP-IV. The United Board expresses its appreciation to Dagon University for hosting the conference, Dr. Aye Aye Tun for her role in developing the program content, and the 43 volunteers and students who provided on-site support.