An official delegation team from the Thai Ministry of Education paid a visit to a Mae Sot migrant school located on the Thai border to learn about the situation of migrant education.
The six member-delegation-team led by Mr. Keeransat Sithisan from an office under the Minister of Education came to Mae Sot on November 27 and visited Children Development Center (CDC), a high school level migrant learning center. The officials met with the CDC’s school headmaster, Mahn Shwe Nin and other members of staff.
Mahn Shwe Nin, CDC’s school headmaster spoke to Karen News about the meeting.
“They [Thai officials] came mainly to learn about the situation of migrant education, but at the same time, they also asked about what difficulties and challenges we face in implementing our program. We shared with them about the difficulties that we are facing.”
Mahn Shwe Nin said that he requested the Thai officials to consider linking the migrant vocational school programs with a Thai vocational college or university and to recognize the teaching skill of migrant teachers while at the same time to continue supporting for migrant education.
According to Mahn Shwe Nin, they discussed about funding issues difficulties for migrant education, livelihood and security issues of migrant teachers during the two-hour-long meeting. Mahn Shwe Nin said that the Thai officials told them that they would report what they learned from their trip.
U Naing Naing Tun, secretary of the Burmese Migrant Teacher Association told Karen News that there are around 700 migrant schoolteachers along the Mae Sot border area and since the new Thai government took power, some of the teachers have been facing security problem living on the border.
Speaking to Karen News, U Naing Naing Tun said.
“There have been increasing arrests of migrant workers who do not have passports. For many migrant teachers, with their salary, they can’t afford a passport and some of them stop teaching and find other jobs. However, with a valid migrant teacher identity card, we could stay and travel within a limited territory.”
The CDC school was established in 1995 and during the 2014-15 academic year, there are 864 students and 60 teachers. Although the Thai government does not recognize it as an official school, it still operates as learning center.
According to the migrant education 2013 statistics, there were 73 migrant schools on the Thai-Burma border but due to decreased funding for migrant education, it has dropped to 65 schools in 2014.