Till, A. (2011) Educational accreditation for Karen displaced persons/peoples : a case study in a temporary shelter area along the Thai-Burmese border zones

Title: Educational accreditation for Karen displaced persons/peoples : a case study in a temporary shelter area along the Thai-Burmese border zones
Author: Anna Lena Till
Year: 2011
Keywords: Right to education, Karen (Southeast Asian people)
Thai thesis available here.
Abstract: This thesis is concerned with the fulfillment of the right to education for displaced persons from Burma in Thailand, more specifically with accreditation as an essential part of the right to education (UNESCO/IIEP, 2008). For not only does accreditation work towards the fulfillment of the right to education but it also entails that the received education is recognized by a nation-state that guarantees that said education fulfills quality standards defined by the respective government. One of the recent efforts towards this goal entails the accreditation of schools in temporary shelters along the Thai-Burmese border by the Thai Ministry of Education. These schools are managed and administered by the shelter community along with non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations, without involvement by the Thai government so far. Consequently, the shelter curriculum is not based either on the Burmese or the Thai national curriculum which means that the education that students receive in the shelters is not recognized outside of their community. The thesis investigates the different stakeholders involved and their respective roles in the accreditation process, their view on the quality of the curriculum currently used in the shelters and the correlating challenges posed to accreditation. The paper argues that the right to education comprises an educational process including decision-making, content and outcome which is incomplete unless education is officially accredited. The research methodology employed is qualitative, interviewees and key informants were selected through snowball sampling. The research shows that while a host of different stakeholders are involved and needed to fulfill the requirements for accreditation by the Thai Ministry of Education, the power and authority to at last grant said accreditation lies solely with the Thai MoE. Challenges to the accreditation process are posed through the fact that the displaced persons in the shelter have not been included in the discussion. As the Karen displaced persons aim to create a national identity for themselves through their education system, alignment with the Thai national curriculum is rejected by many of them. Moreover, conflicting policies of the Thai Ministry of Interior and the MoE further constrain rather than support the accreditation process.

Contact MAIDS-Chula for more information and full thesis at maidschula@gmail.com

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