Update on education reform in Myanmar

Hosted by the Australian Myanmar Institute, this talk features Professor Joseph Lo Bianco, who will give a broad overview of education reform since Myanmar’s political liberalisation. He will also cover aspects such as curriculum innovation, the new education law and indigenous issues. A question and answer session will follow the talk.

Professor Joseph Lo Bianco

03 9035 6756

Joseph Lo Bianco is Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, and serves as Immediate Past President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (the first educator elected to this role).

In 2012 he was appointed Research Director of the UNICEF Language and Peace building initiative in Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand. Since 2011 he has served as senior research advisor for LUCIDE, a European Commission project on Languages in Urban Communities - Integration and Diversity for Europe, conducting large scale 4 year research on multilingualism at the municipal level in 12 European cities.

In January 2014, he commenced in an academic advisory role with the National Research Centre for Foreign Language Education at Beijing Foreign Studies University providing advice to the State Language Commission and supporting academic research initiatives.

Professor Lo Bianco wrote Australia’s National Policy on Languages in 1987, the first multilingual national language policy in an English-speaking country and was Chief Executive of the National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia until 2002. The National Policy on Languages was adopted by the Australian government as a comprehensive national plan to cover all of Australia’s language needs and interests (English and English literacy, and English as a second and foreign language and languages other than English (including Indigenous language rights, immigrant and foreign languages) as well as language services (research, translating and interpreting, public media).

Professor Lo Bianco has advised on language, culture and literacy education, and on the integration of indigenous and immigrant children into mainstream schools, reconciliation and peace through education, in many countries, including Council of Europe, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Wales and the UK, Italy, Slovenia, Canada, Vietnam, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea among others. He supervises PhD research projects and teaches courses in language planning, and supports international research projects in several countries on language and culture studies, language planning and multiculturalism/intercultural education.

His language policy advising activity includes language services for the Sydney Olympic Games, a report which was subsequently used to support multilingualism at the Athens and London Games, assistance to the government of Ireland to produce a 20 year strategy to support the vitality of Irish, support on basic education, literacy and language policy in South Africa, Hawaii, Italy, Alberta (Canada), Western Samoa and other Pacific Island countries, preparation of a National Language Education plan for the Government of Sri Lanka, 1999, under World Bank financing; commissioned support for language policy in Scotland and Northern Ireland Department of Education on language policy and multiculturalism as part of the Good Friday Peace Agreement, 2000-2003, consultancy to the Israel Ministry of Education and many other international collaboration activities.