Equal access to basic quality education remains an urgent issue that Thailand needs to tackle through collective effort. Small schools, which make up half of all schools in the country, are at the centre of the problem. More than one million children currently go to schools of fewer than 120 students. Two in three small schools are facing substantial challenges to the quality of learning, placing them at risk of closure or merger with magnet schools. On top of this, there are concerns of insufficient budget allocation, curriculum and poor student performance. To solve the multi-faceted small school problem requires active collaboration across the people, civil society and government spheres in order to enable decentralisation, bring about effective education management and governance, and correlate policies with Sustainable Development Goals and the local context and way of life.

A four-year endeavor supported by the European Union, from 2020-2023, Active Civil Society for Quality Education of Small Schools (ACCESS School Project) is executed by ActionAid International (Thailand) Foundation in collaboration with Thai Alternative Education Council Association (TAECA) and Thai Baan Association (TBA) to improve the quality of education by focusing on small schools in rural Thailand. The project aims to build capacity and engage civil society organisations in taking active roles in school governance in their communities through establishing partnership with local authorities and key ministerial personnel. This would lead to improved transparency, better quality of teaching and learning, and more responsive education service with an active learning environment.

Objectives

    • To strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations and networks, and empower marginalised communities to engage in the management and governance of small schools, enabling children in 8 target provinces – Ratchaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Suphanburi, Samut Songkhram, Nan, Kalasin, Roi Et and Maha Sarakham – to access affordable quality education.
    • To increase civil society organisations’ technical and management capacity to deliver education projects that improve access to quality education using the proven Small School Model for 400 schools in target eight provinces.
    • The establish partnerships between CSOs, communities, schools, people’s organizations, and local authorities working through a School Management Committee (SMC) for more community involvement in effective school management and governance.
    • For civil society networks to have greater capacity to drive targeted advocacy initiatives working with media and academia that pressure the government to effectively support the sustainability of small schools.

Building an Active Networked Civil Society to Improve Delivery and Access to Quality Education in Thailand

Expected outcomes

    • 20,000 students from poor, marginalised and remote areas have access to affordable quality education near their homes (45% of whom are girls).
    • Civil society organisations improve their capacity and build multi-stakeholder partnership for more active participation in education governance.
    • 60% of the target schools has active a School Management Committee comprised of local authorities, community members, religious leaders and private sector which actively delivers the school management plan and support the sustainability of the school.
    • Civil society organisations and women leaders participate in decision-making process with local and ministerial-level authorities toward education development policies, leading to changes in more responsive education through Active Learning and student assessment system and mechanism in order to meet the key indicators of Sustainable Development Goals.

Get involved

    • Follow our progress and activity news on ACCESS School Project’s Facebook page, ActionAid Thailand’s website and Facebook page.
    • Join our collective movement on supporting quality education of small schools.
    • Support the Small School Model and apply it as target schools towards the education in 21st century.