Child’s Dream has been supporting TeacherFOCUS Myanmar (TFM) for one year now. The programme has been running successfully and we will continue our support this year. TFM aims to promote recognition among ethnic teachers through government-recognised assessment standards and advance teaching quality by using ‘accessible and contextual resources’.
Each year thousands of migrant workers from Myanmar and their families move to border areas of Thailand in search of employment due to lack of decent jobs in Myanmar. There are about 1.5-2 million currently working in Thailand. While their children are theoretically eligible to attend Thai schools, in reality there are many challenges preventing this, including language barriers, lack of documentation, and lack of willingness of schools and educational authority officials to cater to a group of foreign students. This results in a system of ‘learning centres’ established by Myanmar migrant communities. These centres operate in a grey zone, where their existence has been registered with the Royal Thai Ministry of Education, but since they do not meet the standards established in Thailand, they cannot be called ‘schools’ and, therefore, cannot issue recognised certificates. This means the education students receive is not transferable to employers outside the region, and further education is not accessible.
TFM ultimately aims for official certification of this education system. To achieve this, they first aim to document teacher skills and train teachers to higher standards aligned with Myanmar government teacher certification status. While this happens, ongoing networking with both the Thai and Myanmar governments takes place so that these governments may eventually recognise schools based on the certified status of teachers. It is hoped that this will also lead to schools being able to provide students with standard education certificates.