Department of Zoology, University of Yangon, launched a four-year B.Sc. programme in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science supported by the Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP), which is jointly funded by the European Union and Germany, on Monday, February 18, 2019 at the theater hall of University of Yangon Research Center.
The programme, the first of its kind in Myanmar, has been designed to equip students with cutting edge knowledge in aquaculture and fisheries management. Forty students from across the country enrolled in the programme in December 2018. MYSAP’s contributions focused on supporting the development of curriculum and course content, and academic training for University of Yangon staff by visiting professors from Europe and the ASEAN region. The Programme equipped lecture rooms and laboratories and supported the construction of a wastewater treatment system for the new University of Yangon Research Centre located next to Inya Lake. The Myanmar Fisheries Federation also contributed to the initiative with the provision of IT equipment and furniture.
“In light of the growth potential in the aquaculture sector, the Myanmar government has set aquaculture intensification as a national priority. To meet the high private sector demand for specialized professionals, the Department of Fisheries is actively supporting the establishment of the B.Sc. Fisheries and Aquaculture course, offered by the University of Yangon, closely working with the Department of Zoology and relevant stakeholders. As the aquaculture sector has large growth potential, there are many job opportunities for students after the successful completion of the degree, as fishery technicians, aquaculturists, breeding managers, nutritionists, fishery managers and others”, said U Khin Maung Maw, Director General, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.
On behalf of the European Union, Dr. Johann Hesse, Head of Cooperation, emphasised that: “This Bachelor degree programme is at the intersection of the European Union’s support for education and rural development in Myanmar. It’s a milestone in creating a pool of skilled professionals who can contribute to the fisheries and aquaculture sector, which plays a critical role in ensuring better nutrition and economic development in Myanmar.
Under the leadership of the Department of Fisheries, MYSAP is a five-year programme designed to support the sustainable intensification of the aquaculture sector in Myanmar, and to realize its potential for food security, nutrition and livelihoods. One of its key focus areas is improving aquaculture higher education and vocational training. “The B.Sc. programme is an important step towards increasing the availability of well-skilled professionals for the emerging aquaculture and fisheries sector of Myanmar. We will continue supporting the B.Sc. programme, and also engage in competency-based curriculum development and training for faculty members in preparation for a future M.Sc. programme in Fisheries and Aquaculture.”, said Peter Buri, Head of Programme – MYSAP.
“The laboratories, field stations and recirculating aquaculture systems are already set up for practical lessons and experiments. We are planning to offer the opportunity of one-month internship programmes for third-year students of the B.Sc. programme, which allows them to choose from placements in fish and shrimp farms, hatcheries, fish feed, fish processing or value-added product factories. The students, who achieve in total 420 marks in the high school matriculation exam with minimum 75 marks in Biology and 60 in English, can apply for the B.Sc. Fisheries and Aquaculture programme. We plan to open applications for the second intake of students in June 2019.”, said Professor Dr. Kay Lwin Tun, Department of Zoology, University of Yangon.