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Article

Education Policy for Migrant Children in Thailand and How It Really Happens; A Case Study of Ranong Province, Thailand

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International Health Policy Program, Ministry of Public Health, Tiwanon Road, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
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Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, Tiwanon Road, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
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Bureau of Epidemiology, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Tiwanon Road, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
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National Health Commission office, National Health Building, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030430
Received: 13 January 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minority Health Issues and Health Disparities)
Health and education are interrelated, and it is for this reason that we studied the education of migrant children. The Thai Government has ratified ‘rights’ to education for all children in Thailand since 2005. However, there are gaps in knowledge concerning the implementation of education policy for migrants, such as whether and to what extent migrant children receive education services according to policy intentions. The objective of this study is to explore the implementation of education policy for migrants and the factors that determine education choices among them. A cross-sectional qualitative design was applied. The main data collection technique was in-depth interviews with 34 key informants. Thematic analysis with an intersectionality approach was used. Ranong province was selected as the main study site. Results found that Migrant Learning Centers (MLCs) were the preferable choice for most migrant children instead of Thai Public Schools (TPSs), even though MLCs were not recognized as formal education sites. The main reason for choosing MLCs was because MLCs provided a more culturally sensitive service. Teaching in MLCs was done in Myanmar’s language and the MLCs offer a better chance to pursue higher education in Myanmar if migrants migrate back to their homeland. However, MLCs still face budget and human resources inadequacies. School health promotion was underserviced in MLCs compared to TPSs. Dental service was underserviced in most MLCs and TPSs. Implicit discrimination against migrant children was noted. The Thai Government should view MLCs as allies in expanding education coverage to all children in the Thai territory. A participatory public policy process that engages all stakeholders, including education officials, health care providers, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), MLCs’ representatives, and migrants themselves is needed to improve the education standards of MLCs, keeping their culturally-sensitive strengths. View Full-Text
Keywords: migrants; Migrant Learning Center; education; school health; intersectionality migrants; Migrant Learning Center; education; school health; intersectionality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tuangratananon, T.; Suphanchaimat, R.; Julchoo, S.; Sinam, P.; Putthasri, W. Education Policy for Migrant Children in Thailand and How It Really Happens; A Case Study of Ranong Province, Thailand. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 430. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030430

AMA Style

Tuangratananon T, Suphanchaimat R, Julchoo S, Sinam P, Putthasri W. Education Policy for Migrant Children in Thailand and How It Really Happens; A Case Study of Ranong Province, Thailand. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(3):430. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030430

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tuangratananon, Titiporn, Rapeepong Suphanchaimat, Sataporn Julchoo, Pigunkaew Sinam, and Weerasak Putthasri. 2019. "Education Policy for Migrant Children in Thailand and How It Really Happens; A Case Study of Ranong Province, Thailand" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 3: 430. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030430

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