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The Children’s Development Centre (CDC) provides education to displaced children from Burma. CDC develops diversified pathways for students to access accredited and standardised education and hands-on experience.
Like the other migrant workers in the Mae Sot area who were settling and starting families, by 1995 the staff of MTC also found themselves needing day-care services for their own children. As a solution the MTC Nursery Care program was started, initially caring for approximately 20 children. The next logical step was a primary school and so the Children’s Development Centre was established in 1997, with 5 staff members. This was located in a house across the highway from the clinic, providing more space for both work and play for the students. Although not officially, the CDC was already acting as a boarding facility as well, caring for 10 children by 1999.
The next major challenge came as these children completed primary level schooling, thus a separate high school was established in 2005, with 2009 seeing the first grade 12 graduating class. In 2009, a new school facility was inaugurated with all the children from primary to grade 12 in the same facility.
The Children’s Development Centre (CDC) provides education to displaced children from Burma. In the academic year 2017-2018, 890 students are enrolled. While CDC itself is not accredited, it does provide accredited education for its students through the Thai Non-Formal Education (NFE) programme, currently followed by 114 students. A second pathway to accredited education is the Pre-General Education Development (Pre-GED) programme, in cooperation with BEAM Education Foundation and Thabyay Education Foundation. Upon completion of this programme, students have reached international high school level and are qualified to enrol in university.
To ensure that students receive quality education and no students are left behind in the school programme, we regularly assess student records based on the Continuous Assessment Progress (CAP) tool. The CAP tool includes group participation, projects and assignments, attendance, and assessment of behaviour and social skills.
Mapping Out Children’s Education Pathways
CDC develops diversified pathways for students to access accredited and standardised education and hands-on experience. This enables our students to have access to higher education or employment opportunities. In accordance with one’s aptitude, students can follow various paths: Thai Non-Formal Education; integrate in the Burmese system through examination by Education Quality Assurance Board (EQAB) of Burma; and General Educational Development (American High School level). After completing grade 12, students can also take an equivalency exam at Khon Kaen Universtiy to be able to enrol in university education. For those wanting to pursue a practical career, we provide vocational training in partnership with Youth Connect Foundation.
Challenges in Education
Apart from major achievements, there are numerous challenges for our education programme. Not all students completing the GED programme can obtain a university scholarship, meaning some students are not able to pursue their academic aspirations. Furthermore, some migrant schools in Mae Sot area have closed, increasing the number of students applying to CDC. Finally, the ever-changing contexts in both Thailand and Burma forces CDC to keep updating its curriculum to ensure it is in line with both education systems.
(Last Update: 14 November 2018)
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