Agreement on teachers to benefit Myanmar children in Thailand

Myanmar children living in Thailand are to have lessons in their language and culture under an agreement being discussed by the two countries, a Bangkok newspaper reported.

Thailand’s Education Ministry has reached initial agreement with Myanmar to provide teachers for the lessons, aimed at preparing the children for life in their homeland when they return, the Bangkok Post reported on August 10.

It quoted Education Minister Mr Teerakiat Jareonsettasin as saying the idea of sending teachers to Thailand was proposed last month by his Myanmar counterpart, Dr Myo Thein Gyi.

“The Myanmar government is concerned that Myanmar children living here will not be able to read and write in their own language when they grow up,” Teerakiat said. “They also want the children to learn about Myanmar culture and history, so they have asked us to help them organise classrooms to teach the Myanmar language and culture here,” he said.

Teerakiat said he was willing to cooperate with the program because it would benefit the thousands of Myanmar children living in Thailand when they return to their homeland, the Bangkok Post reported.

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“This project would help migrant children prepare to join the labour market in Myanmar when they return. If they cannot read and write in their own language, they will face a tough future,” he said.

The newspaper quoted the Thailand’s Office of the Basic Education Commission as saying there are thousands of Myanmar children studying in Thai schools because under Thai law all children regardless of status have access to the kingdom’s education system.

Most are the children of the estimated one million Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand and some are the children of refugees who fled conflict.

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