Bringing the School to the Students
Education Provision for Disadvantaged Children in the 'District Schools' of Mae Hong Son Province
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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.