According to the Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity (KRCEE), schools have seen an increase in the number of local students this year. However, there is a lack of support and a need for more teachers to address this situation.
“The number of students is growing, but the available support is insufficient. In these seven refugee camps, the educational expenditure is only approximately 800,000 baht, which falls short of meeting the needs of all students,” a KRCEE official told KIC. ”
Saw Wah Wah, principal of Dooplaya No. 2 High School in Umpiem refugee camp, told KIC.
“This year, our school has witnessed a 10 percent increase in student enrollment. The school is using funds to carry out necessary building repairs. However, there is a persistent shortage of books for the students. This scarcity of books has been an ongoing issue for a long time.
Currently two individuals have to share a single printed book. Moreover the support of teachers is crucial for our educational endeavors.”
After the 2021 military coup, the KNU-controlled areas faced increased fighting and instability.
As a result, students had to move to schools affiliated with the Karen Education and Culture Department (KECD) in the border area. Some students were also forced to study in nearby refugee camps.
“On the positive side, there is no need to run due to military aircraft or worry about artillery fire, allowing them to study peacefully. However, there are numerous needs that remain unmet due to insufficient resources,” said the KRCEE official.
In the refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border, there has been a significant decline in educational support since 2018. In order to ensure the normal functioning of education, organizations and parents of the students within the camp have had to provide support.
In the seven Karen refugee camps located along the Thai border, only 465 school teachers received aid for the period spanning from 2023 to 2026. The Karen Refugee Committee
Education Entity (KRCEE) reports that due to the increase in the number of students this year, there is also a need for more teachers. As a result, the organizations within the camps will have to provide support to the teachers who are not currently receiving assistance.
The KRCEE official said, “Out of the total number of teachers, only 465 of them received external assistance. The remaining teachers rely on mutual support within the organization. The stipend for each teacher is a meager 1,000 baht per month. Some teachers receive an additional 60 baht based on their experience.”
According to the Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity (KRCEE), in the 2022-2023 academic year, there are over 16,000 students enrolled in the seven refugee camps located along the Thai-Myanmar border. These camps include Mae La, Umpiem, Nu Po, Ma La Oon, Mae Ra Ma Luang, Ban Dong Yang, and Tham Hin.