The former Thai Prime Minister, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, made a commitment during his visit to the Thai border town of Mae Sot that he would help lobby funders to continue supporting migrant education on the border.
Mr. Abhisit visited the Hsa Thoo Lei learning center, a migrant learning center in Mae Sot and met with representatives of the Burmese Migrant Worker Education Committee (BMWEC). Naw Paw Ray, the BMWEC chairperson, told Mr. Abhisit that there is a need for the Burmese migrant community to have access to their rights.
Naw Paw Ray told Karen News what she discussed with the Democrat leader, Mr. Abhisit.
“We talked about the recognition of our high school graduates by both the Thai and the Burma government to enable them to enroll at any university. We discussed about citizenship for children born in Thailand, the need to shift funding into Burma as situation inside starts to open. We also acknowledged that the reform process in Burma has just begun and there is still a need further funding for services along the border.”
Naw Paw Ray said Mr. Abhisit was scheduled to fly to London to attend the 30th Anniversary of The Thai Children Trust charity. Mr. Abhisit said he will make an effort to convince donors to continue supporting education on the Thai-Burma border.
Local sources said that the purpose of Mr. Abhisit visit to Mae Sot was to learn about the situation of education and health of migrant community along the border.
Mr. Abhisit and his group’s Mae Sot trip included visits to Hsa Thoo Lei learning center, the Social Action for Women, the Children Development Center, BMWEC, Stars Flower orphanage Center and Dr. Cynthia’s Mae Tao Clinic.
Speaking to Karen News, Dr. Cynthia Maung said.
“We, Mae Tao Clinic, and officials from Mae Sot General Hospital explained to him about our health situation on the border.”
Mr. Abhisit said Thai government officials had visit the region but this was his first time to meet and learn about the areas education situation on the border.
THe BMWEC latest report, estimates that there are a total of 80 migrant schools and 74 of those school are legal looking after as many as 70,000 students.
The BMWEC chairperson, Naw Paw Ray said.
“It is an honor to have Mr. Abhisit, Thaiand’s former Prime Minister, visit us and to offer us his encouragement. He was interested to learn about the funding situation of the groups working on the border. We hope that he will do his best as he has given his words to us.”