Tri-nut Thiengthong, Thailand’s Minister of Education, has emphasised the right of all children living in Thailand to receive an education regardless of their nationality. This was in response to the recent influx of 124 undocumented children at Thai Rat Witthaya 6 (Ratchamongkol) School in Ang Thong province. The Ministry of Education is working closely with local organisations to ensure the necessary care and protection for these children while related agencies continue to verify their legal status.
The case revolves around a suspicious increase in the number of students at Thai Rat Witthaya 6 School, where 124 undocumented children lacking official identification and Thai nationality from northern areas had been admitted. On June 2, various concerned agencies, including the provincial social development and human security office, local police, and education authorities, conducted a field investigation at the school. Out of the 124 children, only seven were confirmed to be Thai citizens, while the remaining 117 had no official identification or nationality.
Tri-nut further explained that the provincial Social Development and Human Security Office (SDHS) has provided temporary shelter and support for the children. Female students are staying at Thai Rat Witthaya 6 School, while male students are accommodated at the Wat Sra Kaew Foundation. All the children, despite their age differences, are presently attending mixed-level primary education classes, which began on May 16, at the Wat Sra Kaew Foundation by teachers from a network of schools in Ang Thong Province.
“Every child living in Thailand is entitled to education, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality, in accordance with the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. As for verifying whether these children entered Thailand legally, we leave that responsibility to the relevant agencies. We have been informed that several parties are involved in bringing these children into the country, and the Ministry of Education, Basic Education Commission, and Area Education Offices are coordinating and providing information related to the issue at hand,” said Tri-nut.
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