Migrant kids set to get Myanmar lessons

(Bangkok Post file photo)

The Education Ministry has reached an initial agreement with Myanmar to supply teachers to allow Myanmar children living and studying in Thailand to receive lessons on their native culture and language.

The move is aimed at preparing the children for life back in Myanmar when they have to return.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said his Myanmar counterpart last month proposed sending teachers to Thailand to set up language and culture programmes for thousands of Myanmar children living in the country.

“The Myanmar government is concerned that Myanmar children living here will not be able to read and write in their own language when they grow up. They also want the children to learn about Myanmar culture and history, so they have asked us to help them organise classrooms to teach the Myanmar language and culture here,” Dr Teerakiat said.

Dr Teerakiat said he’s willing to cooperate in creating the teaching programme as it would benefit Myanmar migrant children when they return to live in their homeland.

“This project would help migrant children prepare to join the labour market in Myanmar when they return. If they cannot read and write in their own language, they will face a tough future,” he said.

According to the Office of the Basic Education Commission there are thousands of migrant children from Myanmar studying in Thai schools because under Thai law all children regardless of status are able to gain access to the Thai education system.

Most of them are the children of migrant workers in Thailand and some are children of refugees who fled ethnic conflicts in their homeland.

A recent survey revealed that there are as many as one million migrants from Myanmar currently in Thailand.

Dr Teerakiat said the Education Ministry could develop similar education projects to help Lao and Cambodian children in the future.


By: Dumrongkiat Mala, Bangkok Post

Published on: 10 August, 2017

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