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Participatory Action Research on the Future of Migrant Education in Thailand

Over the past few years, there's been a marked improvement in the educational landscape for migrant children in Thailand. This shift began in earnest in 2015 when organizations such as Save the Children and World Education spearheaded comprehensive research into migrant education. Their efforts, combined with the landmark 2018 Ministerial Proclamation of Education For All (EFA), have expanded educational accessibility. Many Migrant Learning Centers (MLCs) have integrated recognized curricula, like Myanmar Formal and Thai Non-Formal, to better bridge gaps between the Thai and Myanmar educational systems. These MLCs have emerged as pivotal institutions, especially for those children who, due to various challenges, can't access Thai Formal Government Schools.

However, this progress does not overshadow the challenges that remain. An alarming statistic reveals that more than half of all migrant children in Thailand are not in school. There's a pressing need to not only improve their access to Thai Formal Government Schools but also to lend legal and systemic support to MLCs. This paper's extensive Participatory Action Research project delves deeper into these issues, collating perspectives from parents, teachers, and educational leaders. The findings spotlight the indispensable role of MLCs in complementing Thailand's inclusive education policies. But with the growing migration trends and the socio-economic contributions of the migrant community, Thailand faces the intricate challenge of ensuring that every child, regardless of their migratory status, has a chance at quality education.

Recommended Citation

Tyrosvoutis, G. (2019). Bridges: Participatory action research on the future of migrant education in Thailand. TeacherFOCUS Myanmar.

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