Thailand targets to get 1 million dropouts back to school

By VNA   June 4, 2024 | 04:00 pm PT
Thailand targets to get 1 million dropouts back to school
Chinese national Cherry He Ting (L) teaches a student in a coffee shop in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 18, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun
Thailand has launched an initiative to get the 1 million children missing from school back into education in an effort to eradicate poverty and lift itself out of the middle-income trap.

The "Thailand Zero Dropout" project led by the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) aims to reduce the 1 million-plus out-of-school to 200,000 in the next five years.

According to the Education Ministry, Thailand has around 11 million school-aged children but 1.02 million were not in education last year.

More than a third of out-of-school kids (394,039) have no record of attendance at all while over 94,000 are not even registered in education. The majority of these are either children with migrant laborer parents or undocumented kids living in remote border areas. A third group missing from education is unregistered disabled children.

A report from EEF showed that the Covid-19 pandemic spurred a sharp rise in the dropout rate, threatening various aspects of economic development. As a result, hundreds of thousands of families across Thailand are stuck in poverty because their children will go no further in education than their parents did, it said, adding that this generational cycle of poverty could keep Thailand in the middle-income trap for several more decades.

The government estimates that meeting the zero-dropouts goal would jolt up GDP by 1.7%.

The EEF will hold the first Zero Dropout meeting with 11 government agencies – including the ministries of Education, Digital Economy and Society, Interior, and Social Development and Human Security – on June 14.

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