Founded in 1947, the Karen Education and Culture Department (KECD) provides education access to the Karen children and youth in Southeast Burma by working closely with the community teachers, leaders, parents and educational administrators at the district, township, and school levels. KECD administers schools in the seven districts under the administration of the Karen National Union (KNU): Doo Tha Htu, Taw Oo, Kler Lwee Htu, Mergui Tavoy, Mu Traw, Doo Pla Ya, and Hpa An.

Our Beneficiaries

With the help from donors and community, in 2019-2020 academic year, KECD provided education services to:

Schools image

1,495 Schools

Teachers image

11,444 Teachers

Students image

164,875 Students

2020-2021 School Statistics

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, KECD is not yet able to provide full statistics for the 2020-2021 academic year. This is because of various restrictions, including travel restrictions and delayed school openings. Although Burmese MoE-administered schools are currently closed, (903) community and mixed-administration schools are already operating in our areas.


KECD success image

Quality: with improving teacher competencies and learning outcomes through regular teacher training and mentoring, and continual curriculum development.

Quantity: with 1,853 children successfully completing their high school education since 2013.

Legitimacy: with wider and stronger networks with our communities, other ethnic nationalities of Burma, including the resettled diaspora, and international organizations and donors.


KECD challenges image

Funding: with increasingly unsustainable funding.

Recognition: with a continuing lack of official legitimacy from the Burmese government. This is despite the strong recognition and partnerships with our communities and other ethnic nationalities in Burma and abroad, as well as international organizations and donors.

Capacity: with ongoing efforts to address needs in organizational development and our human resources.