Migrant Children Education and Life Skills
Samut Sakon Province is the principal destination of Myanmar migrant workers working in local industries. Muang Mahachai District of the province, known as “Burmese city”, has about 291,737 migrant workers registered with the Thai government, and an additional 100,000 illegal migrants.
In Samut Sakon, there are about 5,500 migrant children aged between 5-15 years old. Nevertheless, only around 2,272 of them have access to formal schools while another 1,200 are enrolled in NGO-operated learning centers. The rest are believed to be left at home without any educational support while their parents are at work.
As a matter of fact, there are several factors these migrant children do not get any support. One of the major factors is the low wages of their parents. According to the report issued by the ILO (International Labour Organisation), the minimum wage for migrant workers is THB 9,000 per month. However, one in three migrants reported being paid less than the minimum wage. More than half of the participants also stated that their wages have often been reduced due to fees for the pink card, payment for advances on salary and debts, and other irregularities. Accordingly, Raks Thai believes that it is crucial to provide these children the support that their parents are unable to provide.
Since 2005, the Raks Thai Foundation has been operating “Children Learning Centers” (CLC) aiming to provide education services to the migrant children in the province. The two CLCs are located in sub-districts of Tha Chalom, and Bang Yapraek. Approximately 114 children regularly attend the two centers, and 40 more children are expected to enroll in April. It has become obvious that the two CLCs are effective as the children have rapidly improved their knowledge and skills. The outcomes are also evident by the occupations that these children secure when they reach the legal working age of 15 years. Children at CLCs learn the Thai language which is a big advantage for job seeking later on. Other young adults succeed in securing supervisory level jobs due to their education and social skills.
The goal of this project is to enable children of migrant families to reach higher potential in terms of their physical, intellectual, occupational opportunities, and social skills, and prevent child labor, exploitation, and abuse.
There are two objectives in this project. The first objective is to provide migrant children with education opportunities, life-skills training, and knowledge of child’s right to education and protection through Raks Thai CLCs. A number of activities are planned to achieve the goal. these include operating daily education and learning sessions at the ClCs, supporting school supplies, providing refreshments and supplementary food, conducting annual training and monthly meetings among teachers to follow up progress, and monitoring and evaluating the learning process and intellectual growth of CLC children.
The second objective is to ensure the participation of parents in improving the education and learning process for their children. The activities include providing parents with exercises for children learning activities, information about child protection and safety in CLCs and at home, organizing special events for family relationship building, visiting children and their parents at home, and organizing quarterly meetings with parents and caregivers to discuss on their children’s progress in attending the CLC, their interests and right to education, as well as issues relating to livelihood and behaviors of children at CLCs and at home.
Migrant Children living in Samut Sakorn (4-12 years old)
Samut Sakorn Province, Thailand