Children not in school
Starting at the age of three, all children should be enrolled in some form of early learning services to help them start developing the skills they need to do well in primary school. When they celebrate their sixth birthday, children must be enrolled in Grade 1. When children lack the necessary tools for learning and enroll late, their educational progress suffers and they are more likely to drop out, contributing to the cycle of poverty.
In Thailand, only 75 per cent of children benefit from some form of early childhood development services. Another 600,000 primary school age children (6-11 years) are not attending school or enroll late. In addition, among those children who entered Grade 1 in 1998, about half of them did not finish Grade 12.
Many children from poor, ethnic minority or migrant families do not go to school, while many stateless children, disabled children and children living with HIV are also not enrolled.
UNICEF is working with Ministry of Education (MoE) on a system to track out-of-school across the country. The system is being piloted in 25 provinces, and educators have been trained to ensure the data gathered on out-of-school children is used to get more children in school. At the same time, UNICEF is working with private sector to raise awareness on the problem of out-of-school children and to make ensuring an education for all children a national priority.
• Although a child’s brain develops rapidly during the first five years of life, only 75 per cent of children in Thailand were attending early childhood development services
• About 600,000 primary school age children (6-11 years) are not attending schools or enrol late
• Thailand is one of the 15 countries in the world which together account for more than half of the world’s out-of-school primary school age children
• Approximately half of the children who started Grade 1 in 1998 did not finish Grade 12