The Ministry of Education and Migrant Working Group estimates that of the 350,000 migrant children currently living in Thailand, over 200,000 are out of school.
The Ministry of Education and Migrant Working Group estimates that of the 350,000 migrant children currently living in Thailand, over 200,000 are out of school. Over the past two years, the Out of School Children (OOSC) Enrollment Taskforce team has worked to keep at-risk children in school and help enroll out-of-school children into a school that meet their needs. The team has successfully enrolled and retained 170 out-of-school children in 2020 and 2021. For the 2022-2023 academic year, with the support of Child’s Dream Foundation and other donors, the OOSC Taskforce team plans to enroll another 130 out-of-school children into 12 Thai Royal Government schools.
The OOSC team has found that the first year of school tends to pose many barriers for out-of-school migrant children. Once they have completed their first year, they are much more likely to stay enrolled in school. The critical first year requires a lot of support to help the children and their parents obtain required legal documentation and complete all enrollment forms. The OOSC team provides significant follow-up support throughout the year, and have found substantially less support is needed in future years. The team creates contracts with students’ parents to co-support educational costs including transportation, uniforms, and school fees. They also collaborate with other partner organisations that support children’s backpacks, shoes, uniforms, and transportation costs in order to enroll as many children as possible.
Additionally, the OOSC Taskforce team plans to organise child safeguarding and socio-emotional trainings, produce awareness-raising materials, and create enrollment process banners in multiple languages. The team believes that getting accurate information to migrant communities will have a lasting impact.
Child’s Dream is delighted to partner with the OOSC Enrollment Taskforce team. We share the belief that, by providing access to education, we are giving children a future and hope for a self-sufficient life. For migrant out-of-school children, being enrolled in school holistically improves their lives and keeps them away from situations that increase their vulnerability.