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.
According to the survey on the situation of children and women conducted by the National Statistical Office in 2012 with support from UNICEF, only 75.3 per cent of children in Thailand who are of primary school entry age (age 6) are entering Grade 1. The main differences in percentages are found between regions and municipal and non-municipal areas. In Bangkok, 83.2 per cent of children of primary school entry age enter Grade 1 of primary school, while in the Northeast only 69.5 do.
Between the poorest and richest quintiles, 65.3 and 81.6 per cent of children of primary school entry age enter Grade 1, respectively.
The problem of late enrollment is evident in secondary school attendance. It shows that 34 per cent of children in school at 12 years of age (at the beginning of the school year) are still attending school at the primary level.
What we do
UNICEF is working with Ministry of Education 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 into school. At the same time, UNICEF is working with the private sector to raise awareness on the importance of ensuring an education for all children
• Only 75 per cent of children aged 6 are entering Grade 1
• Between the poorest and richest quintiles, 65.3 and 81.6 per cent of children of primary school entry age enter Grade 1, respectively
• 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