Migrant students in Mae Sot continue to struggle with matriculation exam

The matriculation exam pass rate at Burma migrant schools in Mae Sot, Thailand remains very low, according to the Burmese Migrant Workers’ Education Committee (BMWEC).

Only 16 out of 101 students from Hsa Thoo Lei and Thway Thit schools passed their Myanmar matriculation exam in the 2016-2017 academic year. Last year, a similarly low 17 out of 101 students passed.

The students were able to undertake the exam in Myawaddy, Karen State.

Head of the local education department of the BMWEC Saw Kha Li Htoo said there were innumerable challenges.

“We only had one month to do the necessary training. The number of teachers is low. Most of the children don’t study at home,” Saw Kha Li Htoo said.

“We need to teach the students more after school hours in order to have a better pass rate next year.”

Only three out 16 students received one distinction, he added.

Headmaster of Thway Thit School U Zaw Lin Oo said the curriculum does not match the reality faced by these students.

“The students lose interest in education because of these exams, even though they have been trying hard. If this continues, these children will end up on the streets,” he said.

Burmese migrant students in the area have been able to take the matriculation exam since the 2012-2013 academic year. Only eight out of 96 students passed the exam that year.

Migrant education workers said Burmese migrant schools on the Thai-Burma border are continually faced with budget difficulties.

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