Report highlights glaring disparity among school-age children in Thailand


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.

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SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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