Migrant children living along the Thai-Burma border are often unable to attend school regularly due to family commitments such as tending to livestock, childcare, or household chores. As a result, their education is frequently disrupted putting them at risk of falling behind or dropping out. To address this need , World Education Thailand piloted the Non Formal Primary Education (NFPE) program in Phop Para, Thailand in June of 2014. NFPE programs provide an alternative pathway to education and accreditation by establishing community centers where children are able to go to school during evenings and weekends. In offering atypical hours and spaces near their work and homes, children are not forced to choose between their education and their familial responsibilities diverting the risk of falling behind or dropping out. To ensure that the NPFE coursework is recognized, World Education has worked alongside the Government of Myanmar to ensure that the NFPE curriculum is accredited and accepted by the Myanmar Ministry of Education.
The first cohort of NFPE level one students worked extremely hard and in March of 2015 were able to sit for their final examinations. In May of 2015, the Myanmar Ministry of Education announced that all 34 students from the pilot NFPE program passed their exams. To celebrate the students’ success, on August 4th 2015, the Myawaddy Township Ministry of Education organized the NFPE 2015-16 new academic year opening ceremony. Students were presented with their recognized certificates from the Government of Myanmar and two students from the NFPE program received second and third place awards for outstanding student achievement for Myawaddy Township. Over 80 attendants celebrated the students including representatives from the government and local organizations.
These recognized certificates enables students to re-enter Myanmar government schools and study at their appropriate academic level if their families decide to return to Myanmar. The recognition from the Government of Myanmar signifies their support for the program, their willingness to prioritize migrant students’ education, and their accountability toward ensuring that all students have access to education.
Learn more about World Education’s NFPE program here.