Thailand launches project to tackle 1 million school dropouts

Image courtesy of Mario Heller/Unsplash

The government is set to launch a project to address the increasingly prevalent issue of school dropouts in Thailand. The initiative aims to locate and assist over a million students who have prematurely ended their formal education.

Government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke announced the Thailand Zero Dropout policy, which aims to ensure all children return to school. This initiative comprises four key measures.

The first measure involves using a database from affiliated agencies to identify students who have dropped out. The subsequent steps focus on reintegrating these children into the education system and providing them with tailored curricula to help them reach their full potential. The final measure encourages private businesses to participate by offering scholarships.

The government plans to roll out the Thailand Zero Dropout app this month to help identify these students and monitor the project’s progress. Chai shared the prime minister’s concern over the matter.

Related news

“Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is concerned about the nation’s future after discovering that 1.02 million children aged three to eighteen years have not enrolled in school. He has directed all relevant parties to address the issue urgently.”

The announcement follows a statement from education expert and executive director of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF), Sompong Chitradab, who highlighted a significant issue with students leaving the education system early this year.

High school transition

The EEF identified that 1,025,514 children dropped out in 2023, which is double the figure from the previous year. Historically, the average was around 500,000 annually. Many school dropouts occur just as children are transitioning into high school.

However, recent data indicates an increasing number of students are leaving the system at other transitional stages, such as moving from elementary to middle school, or from middle school to vocational school.

According to Sompong’s findings, poverty was traditionally the primary cause, but unstable politics, which create uncertainty in the labour market, investments, and the economy, are now also being blamed. These factors lead more families to withdraw their children from school, said Sompong.

“The political instability and economic uncertainty are pushing families to prioritise immediate financial needs over long-term education.”

Education experts and policymakers are now working together to address these challenges and ensure that all children have access to continuous education, regardless of their socio-economic background.

The success of the Thailand Zero Dropout initiative will depend on the collaboration between government agencies, the private sector, and the community, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

Related Articles