A piece of COF’s History – 2008

Sadly, it is very common for migrant/stateless children in Thailand to not have access to schools due to lack of documentation. Many school directors are not aware or choose to ignore existing policy that seeks to provide education for migrant, refugee, stateless, non-Thai speaking children. They have budget concerns and will choose Thai children over non-Thai children when enrolment places are tight. The general public doesn’t have much concern for the plight of migrant children living in Thailand. As is being regularly reported in the Thai media discrimination against migrant workers, especially those from Myanmar, is on the rise. Covid-19 in Thailand is commonly blamed on migrant workers from Myanmar. Migrant learning centres are one way that communities have tried to provide support for non-Thai children’s education. But often they cannot get registered which leads to the problem of students graduating with unrecognized diplomas that take them no where. This is where COF School For Stateless Children has been very fortunate. The hard work and dedication of teachers and staff during the early years of COF’s learning centre saw an effective school charter in place, qualified teachers employed and a vibrant needs based curriculum developed. All leading to one of the most important days in COF’s 16 year history. In 2008 COF schools registered as an official Thai elementary school under the Thai MOE. This was a game changer for COF. Today more than 500 children have graduated COF Free School For Stateless children opening up paths through the Thai education system and onto a range of opportunities. COF has supported 42 of these children through higher education programmes. 13 have graduated with full university degrees and 4 with technical college certificates.