5–6pm AEDT (UTC+11), 12.301.30pm MMT, 11.30am12.30pm IST 


The dialogues in the series will be held in hybrid mode, ie in-person on the ANU Campus, and virtually on zoom.

  • IN-PERSON: Regional Institutes Boardroom, HC Coombs Extension Building, 9 Fellows Road, ANU, Acton, ACT, 2601
  • ONLINE: Zoom. Once you register here, you will receive access to the online event page in Eventbrite where you will find the join link for the zoom meeting. Please select the relevant ticket, in-person or online, according to your preferred attendance mode.

For more information on the MRC 2023 Dialogue Series please see the MRC website 

You can subscribe to the ANU Myanmar Research Centre mailing list here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Education in Chin State amid political conflict: Catalyst or obstacle to progress?

Educational service is one among sectors impacted by the 2021 military coup. By the end of 2022, the UN estimated that around 3.7 million children in Myanmar were left out-of-school due to the ongoing conflict. Chin State, the nation's least developed yet most diverse region, is among the hardest-hit regions, with a quarter of its population displaced due to armed conflict. Drawing from a range of primary and secondary sources, this presentation discusses the pre-and post-coup educational landscape in Chin State. While it highlights the emergence of educational initiatives amid the political crisis, it also addresses cautionary concerns essential for the long-term peace and development of the Chin community and Myanmar.

The coup led to widespread public boycotts of government schools, resulting in closures and higher dropout rates. In response, Chin communities have developed alternative education approaches, some intended just to bridge the gaps while others aimed to develop a system that includes mother-tongue-based instruction, localized curricula, and decentralized management. However, detachment from central authority poses obstacles for certificate recognition. Ongoing armed clashes and transportation blockades add to the difficulties in supplying these non-state schools and ensuring their sustainability. Further complicating matters are issues of limited coordination and competition for scarce resources among various Chin organizations, which poses challenges to sustainable peace and development in Chin State beyond the armed struggle against the junta.

The discussion provides insights into the broader conflict trajectory in Myanmar, with consequences extending to neighboring regions and countries.


Peter Suante hails from the Chin/Zo indigenous community in Myanmar. He holds a PhD from the University of Hong Kong and is a dedicated scholar specializing in education policy, with a focus on the non-state sector. Peter is also a passionate advocate for the educational rights of marginalized and conflict-affected children. His recent publications on education in Myanmar are in the Asia Pacific Journal of Education (2022, with Mark Bray) and Paedagogica Historica (2022). Peter is in Australia as the second recipient in 2023 of a short term visiting fellowship inaugurated and jointly run by the ANU Myanmar Research Centre (MRC) and the Myanmar Research Network (MRN) at the University of Melbourne, with support from the International Development Research Centre, Canada. 


Samuel Hmung, ANU

If you have any questions about this talk, please write to Nick Cheesman at nick.cheesman@anu.edu.au or Samuel Hmung at samuel.hmung@anu.edu.au.

The ANU Myanmar Research Centre Dialogue Series is a conversation concerning current research on Myanmar aimed at providing scholars with an opportunity to present their work, try out an idea, advance an argument and critically engage with other researchers. International and Myanmar researchers from any discipline are invited to contribute. The Dialogue Series is particularly seeking to provide a space for early career researchers wishing to receive constructive feedback. Each dialogue is one hour long, including a 30-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A. As a hybrid series, the Dialogues are presented in both virtual and in-person format, hosted by the ANU Myanmar Research Centre.  

Event details

Event date

Fri, 20 Oct 2023, 5 - 6pm

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