THREE migrant-learning centres are offering education programmes that qualify pupils for Myanmar graduation certificates to give migrant children an opportunity to more easily continue studying when they return to their home country.
Graduates of the non-formal education programmes automatically receive certificates from two Myanmar schools.
In the 2014 academic year, about 70 children completed their studies at the three centres. This year, 115 students are enrolled.
“We have come up with this initiative because we have found out that even though Thailand has offered education to children of migrant workers, many of these children could not use the Thai certifications to further their studies in their homeland later on,” said Laddawan Lakkaew, head of the Foundation for Rural Youth project.
There are more than 300,000 migrant children from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia in Thailand, Laddawan said.
The initiative is the result of a collaboration between her foundation and many organisations including the Help Without Frontiers Foundation, the Children’s Rights & Emergency Relief Organisation run by Unicef, the Myanmar Literacy Resource Centre (MLRC), and Myanmar’s Ministry of Education.
MLRC vice chairman Tin Nyo thanked the Myanmar government and Unicef for supporting the project.
“Now, it’s even possible to extend the programme to Mae Sot too,” he said. Anan Ra-ngubtook, an inspector general for Thailand’s Education Ministry, said the ministry had tried to provide education for all groups including migrant children, whether they were born in Thailand or in other countries.
“We will be willing to support Myanmar if it needs help,” he said. “We will need further discussions for long-term plans.”