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National Network Meeting on Education for Disadvantaged Children and Persons without Civil Registration or Non-Thai Persons

An estimated 150,000 non-Thai children, including migrant children, have been enrolled in Thailand’s education system because of the efforts of the Government of Thailand and NGOs. However, more than 200,000 migrant children remain out of school and have not received any form of education, with the actual number potentially underestimated due to the lack of official data.

To build on considerable progress and bridge the gap for children who remain out of school, the National Network Meeting on Education for Disadvantaged Children and Persons without Civil Registration or Non-Thai Persons, which will be held in Bangkok from 23 to 25 July, aims to strengthen collaboration between government officials, NGOs and CBOs, and other educational stakeholders.

Major recent progress in the field includes the establishment in April of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) in Thailand with initial capital of Bt1 billion to provide educational support for out-of-school and marginalized children, including migrants and children with disabilities.

With the support of the Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education (ONIE), the Ministry of Education Thailand and NGOs, the Non-Formal Education Curriculum for Non-Thai or Persons without Civil Registration has been implemented at 13 migrant learning centres (MLCs) in five provinces, with graduates receiving certificates equivalent to primary education that them to continue secondary education in Thailand. For migrant children who wish to return to Myanmar, the Non-Formal Primary Education Programme has been conducted by 19 MLCs, with the support of the Ministry of Education Myanmar, with primary education certificates awarded to learners.

In addition to migrant children, ONIE also provides many forms of educational programmes for migrant workers. In addition, to enhance quality of education for learners in vulnerable groups, the Non-Formal Education Curriculum was assessed by ONIE this year for further improvements.

Experts at the meeting will also share knowledge and experiences on special educational management of children in specific contexts, including for children with disabilities, street children, sea nomads and Muslim children in the southern provinces of Thailand. About 220 representatives from the Thai Ministry of Education and related ministries, NGOs and CBOs, and UN agencies are expected to attend.

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