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Report highlights glaring disparity among school-age children in Thailand

Maya Taylor




A report carried out by the National Statistical Office in collaboration with UNICEF has highlighted the significant inequality between children of school-going age in Thailand. Nation Thailand reports that, while students rallied outside the Education Ministry in Bangkok earlier this week, calling for reforms that include an end to strict uniform requirements, the biggest hurdle they face continues to be that of disparity.

According to the 2019 report, while nearly 100% of children in the Kingdom have completed elementary education, only 65% have finished high school. Up to 160,000 children around the country are missing out on education because of living in extremely remote areas, while a further 30,000 are not attending school because they are in prison on drug charges. Additional problems such as pregnancy, disability, or poverty are preventing children from accessing education.

The report also highlights nearly 400,000 children who are living on the streets or whose parents are migrant workers. Without access to education, they risk falling into substance abuse or becoming the victims of human traffickers.

A second report, that looked at the nutritional status of hilltribe children in the northern province of Chiang Rai, found that many within the educational system are suffering from chronic malnutrition, despite receiving 3 meals a day. The report has been complied by Sukanya Buasri, a Chiang Rai college lecturer, and highlights the difficulty in transporting food to very remote areas, meaning food costs are often higher than the allocated funds. State funding for remote schools is insufficient to cover the hiring of service providers who could deliver nutritionally-balanced meals.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Avatar


    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Once Thailand gets a government whose purpose it is to serve the people rather than this government whose purpose is ‘to protect the Monarchy’ Prayuth own words, you can forget about Thailand’s education system – the serfs/peasants
    are easier to control, manipulate if they are dumb.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 4:14 pm

      I think you probably mean “Until” rather than “Once”

      • Avatar


        Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 7:38 pm

        Or better still ‘If’ maybe

  2. Avatar


    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    wait you’ve put 30k children in prison because of drug charges? wtf

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      That’s a bit deceptive as “30,000” is the total numbers in young offenders institutions over a year, not the number at any one time. Those figures are actually on a par with other countries, including the West. In the UK, for example, there were more than twice that many arrested and held in custody for varying lengths of time last year, and that was down to only a quarter of the number in the UK a decade ago.

      There are actually around 4,000 juveniles in detention centres in Thailand at any time, most for drugs offences, and 3,000 in trade training centres.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    The sad part about the student demonstrations, which unfortunately shows how disconnected they are from mainstream students across Thailand, is that having achieved their goal about corriculums they chose to protest about school uniforms but not disparity in education.

    It was particularly noticeable (although not too widely reported) that while the protestors demanded a “day of action” by students on December 1 on their return to school, that the only schools where students turned up out of uniform in any numbers were private schools.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:31 am

      Get your facts straight. Private schools don’t follow the same term/school calendar as government school thus they did in fact not return to school without school uniform, as they were not off, as the students from government schools. Furthermore then most private schools have a day each week which allow students not to wear school uniforms.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 3:40 pm


        You tell me to “get your facts straight” when they already are, 100%, as confirmed by mainstream media reports, then you write utter rubbish!

        FWIW, although INTERNATIONAL schools “don’t follow the same term/school calendar as government school”, a number of PRIVATE schools do.

        Although all ‘international’ schools are ‘private’, far from all ‘private’ schools are ‘international’ and follow international curriculums and term dates.

        The two are not synonymous.

        I have no idea if “most private schools have a day each week which allow students not to wear school uniforms”, but it’s a moot point and I doubt you do either – some do and some don’t, and the top franchised international schools certainly don’t.

        • Avatar


          Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 7:08 pm

          As other contributors have repeatedly stated then your comments are obnoxious and deranged at best with no factual support. I guess you only get your info from mainstream media because you have no other source of info, which again cements my previous statement that you should get your facts right. Please advise which top franchised international schools don’t? I’m eager to hear! Bangkok Pattana and Shrewsbury both do.

  4. Avatar

    Bobby B

    Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 8:18 am

    The public school in Thailand is a joke. How could the kids learn anything when they are 50 kids in a classroom, all they do is repeat in a choir what the teacher says. And they are not allowed to ask the teachers any questions of the subject! (probably because the teacher doesn’t know the answers)

    Not surprising that the IQ for Thai people are among the lowest in the world (Google it)

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:10 am

    They do not to educate all the population of Thailand. Some do not need to be educated, such as the rice pickers and planters. The persons taking away the rubbish.
    The people that join the police force. The government.

  6. Avatar


    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 9:40 am

    The wealth of a nation is its people. Tell the King. He’s got enough money to educate, clothe, and feed every child in Thailand.

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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