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Children of migrants losing out on education

SOME 250,000 children of foreign migrant workers have no access to education in Thailand, the Ramajitti Institute said.

"One main reason is that their parents are reluctant to send their children to school," Julaporn Masathienwong, the institute's director, said yesterday.

According to her, many of these people are working in Thailand illegally and are worried that they might get deported if their children attend classes.

Associate Professor Yongyuth Chalamwong, research director on labour development at the Thailand Development Research Institute, said many migrant workers also preferred to have their children working.

Both Yongyuth and Julaporn were speaking at a seminar held to address problems related to the education of migrant workers' children.

Julaporn said it was necessary to adjust these people's attitudes towards their children's education. "We also need to address language barriers," she pointed out.

Yongyuth added that the quality of teaching dropped when teachers did not understand the mother tongues of their students.

Kriangkrai Cheechuang of the Karen Network for Culture and Environment said many migrant workers' children in Ratchaburi had stopped going to school after completing primary or junior secondary school because they were not motivated.

"They are not sure what they can do if they study further. So relevant authorities should provide clearer policies," he said.




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