Right to Education

Education is vital to reducing poverty and inequality in Thailand. The Thai education system provides children access to education until grade 12. However, there are serious concerns over the quality and equity of the education they receive at every level of the system.

In 2013, the government’s solution for improving the quality of education was to close and merge small schools with fewer than 60 students so that the remaining schools will have more resources in terms of funding per student and teachers. Meanwhile, the consequences of this policy on remote and marginalised communities are not taken into account. More than 200,000 students along with their families were affected; drop out numbers increased and it is likely that this is due to increased travelling expenses and safety fears – as children had to travel further from their village to get to school.

Today, the closure and merger policy remains a controversial subject both in Thailand and the international arena. And with grave quality concerns that remain in the education system, small schools still face the risk of being shut down were these concerns not redressed.

No matter their size, schools are at the heart of communities. We are working to improve the quality of education in small schools by enhancing teacher capacity and quality of classroom management; incorporating innovative approaches, local context and community participation to develop a curriculum that is tailored to the school; and strengthening school networks in different regions in order that they are empowered to influence policy change.

ActionAid Thailand also collaborates with partners and educational authorities, brings together different education groups and raises public awareness on the right to quality and inclusive education, and the right to participate in the education decision-making process and to monitor the government’s decentralisation process and resources.

Building an active networked civil society for quality education

From 2020-2023, ActionAid Thailand and partners, Thai Alternative Education Council Association (TAECA) and Thai Baan Association (TBA), with the support of the European Union, are working to build an active networked civil society to improve delivery and access to quality education. The four-year project titled ACCESS School 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.

Find out more >

Youth engagement

Young people are potent agents of change. They have initiated many remarkable changes in the Thai cultural and political spheres. This spirit continues in the youth’s social concerns and involvement in different social issues, especially through active public advocacy whether online or offline.

ActionAid Thailand works with young people, providing them a platform to use their creativity, capabilities and talents to contribute to our campaigns for a fairer and more just society. Through our Activista training and participative learning initiatives, young people, ranging from university students to first and second-jobbers, are given the opportunity to better their understanding of various rights-based issues – from poverty, the right to education, women’s rights, land and natural resource rights to climate justice. This new generation of changemakers learn to develop and strengthen their capacity as campaigners and advocates, engaging in ActionAid Thailand’s work at both national and community levels.

See the latest updates on Education & Youth >