In line with the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth (OOSCY) which aims to enhance access to education for all children and youth irrespective of gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, geographic location, religion, and belief, the Non-Formal and Informal Education Center for Special Target Groups of the Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education (ONIE) of the Ministry of Education Thailand has conducted an assessment of the Non Formal Education curriculum for persons without civil registration or non-Thai persons.

In this connection, the Non-Formal and Informal Education Center for Special Target Groups in collaboration with UNESCO Bangkok organized the National Network Meeting on Education for Disadvantaged Children and Persons without Civil Registration or Non-Thai Persons which was held at Four Wings Hotel, Bangkok from 23 to 25 July 2018. The aim of the meeting was to promote knowledge and understanding on non-formal educational management for out-of-school and marginalized children including those who are migrants, street children, children with disabilities, sea nomads and children in Pondok schools (Islamic schools) in 3 southern border provinces in Thailand. The meeting was intended to provide a forum to establish and strengthen collaborations between ONIE and stakeholders in education for marginalized target groups.

Dr. Vilekha Leesuwan, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Head Office of ONIE was the Chairperson of the opening ceremony and had expressed her appreciation to the meeting participants and concerned sectors involved in the NFE programmes for marginalized target groups and emphasized the importance of establishing and strengthening collaborations between NFE personnel in both Central and regional offices in order to implement educational programmes in accordance with the ASEAN Declaration to enable all marginalized groups to access education.

The meeting consisted of two parts. The first part being the plenary sessions which took place on 23 July 2018 and (i) provided an overview of the non-formal management and its legal framework and policies for the marginalized target groups in Thailand as well as (ii) disseminated knowledge on the Equitable Education Fund Act and its mechanism. From 24-25 July 2018, the meeting consisted of plenary and concurrent sessions that were based on thematic lecture and panel discussions given by experts on each target group.

The meeting were attended by invited officials from the Ministry of Education and concerned governmental agencies, personnel from the Provincial and District/Sub-district ONIE, Directors and teachers of NFE learning centers, representatives from Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) involved on educational management for marginalized target groups. Approximately 200 people were in attendance.

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