Bringing the School to the Students
Education Provision for Disadvantaged Children in the 'District Schools' of Mae Hong Son Province
Since 2005 UNICEF has worked with local education authorities in Mae Hong Son to develop the ‘District School’ concept. To reach at least 1,200 out-of-school children, existing and newly-opened learning centres were grouped together for administrative purposes into a single, larger ‘school’. One District School would thus be composed of multiple ‘classrooms’ that were many kilometres and hours of travel apart, with the school director traveling between them using a vehicle with four-wheel drive.
This report details the history and lessons learned from over a decade of District School experience, which could benefit other small school networks. In addition, this report calls attention to the urgent need to utilize mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) and a special ‘Thai for Ethnic Children’ curriculum to address the language gap that continues to plague ethnic minority students throughout Thailand.