The Unheard Voice

The young voices that we hope can be heard by the adults in a society

UNICEF Thailand
A young girl wearing white t-shirt and overalls with text saying "We can only hope our young voices can truly be heard by adults in society"
UNICEF Thailand

01 November 2019

Almost always, kids’ voices have been ignored in Thai society. How wonderful will it be if these voices can bring a positive change we need in the education system? The right to be heard is what Mint, a 12th Grade student, is advocating for her fellow students.

“The Invisible Problem”

If you grew up under the Thai education system, you will be all too familiar with the school morning assembly in front of the flag pole. This activity has been here since our parents’ time and many kids still choose to endure it, even if they don’t agree to it. When these kinds of activities start to affect your education, it is time to stand up for your rights. “I don’t know why there are so many school activities. This morning assembly affects our class schedule badly so the school has to add more classes, otherwise, we can’t keep up. We don’t have enough time to study and to review our lessons. We don't know enough to take the exam. Mint and her friends use ‘Kru Gugg's Class', a class where students use mathematical logic to solve problems, as a place to discuss their opinions against the morning assembly and discuss solutions for many other issues at school.

Talk To A Brick Wall

Activities at the morning assembly have been increasing. “Right now, the activities are taking up our class time, affecting our preparation for university exam. The school tries to make up the time by giving us more homework and after-school classes including on the weekends, but I don’t think this is right because that’s our private time. My friends and I met with the school principal about the issue, but to no avail. It’s as if that conversation never took place”.

A Hope to be Heard Just Once

The lack of meaningful response to their attempt to change things has left Mint and her friends feeling unsettled. The drag-on morning assembly activities can be the reflection of how ineffective the time and classes are managed at school which begs the question: Is this the decision makes on the best interest for the students? Is anyone listening to the student’s concern at all?

 “I will continue to do the right thing. If there’s a platform for this when I’m in university, I will still fight for this right. I’m concerned about the younger students, right now we're just telling them to hang in there.” We can only hope Mint and her friend’s little voices can travel further and finally be heard by adults in society. It is hoped that in the end, there is a space for children, like Mint, to participate and contribute to positive changes particularly on the issues directly affect them as well as the issues affecting wider society.