23 August 2015

Small schools and quality education

By Hugh Delaney

With only 72 students, Noen Wiang in Nakhon Sawan Province is a small school. That’s not exceptional in Thailand, where over 50% of schools fall into the small school category – defined as having less than 120 students. With a declining population, the number of small schools in Thailand is expected to increase over the coming years, with most small schools located in rural areas.

Kindergarten children learning about shapes and sizes
Prapaphak Jadjan has been Director of Noen Wiang for ten years, and with a teaching staff of only four, she has in the past struggled to provide quality teaching across all grades from Kindergarten through to sixth grade.

18 August 2015

School providing enjoyable learning in mother tongue of local children

Left to right, Siti Aishah Hama, Nihanifa, Muhamad Ikram, Makolifi Abu, Mahdi Ali – first and second grade pupils at Ban Lada School, Pattani Province
By Hugh Delaney

On a recent visit to Pattani Province in the South of Thailand, I paid a visit to a small but remarkable school which is transforming the way in which children are learning. I am quite new to Thailand myself, having arrived in June this year to work with UNICEF on its education programme and I am still learning about the education system and how schools operate in the country. This visit to Ban Lada School and the teachers, parents and children I met and spoke to provided me with a better understanding of what schools and local education authorities are doing to overcome challenges to providing quality education for all children.

10 August 2015

Paula Taylor: Breastfeeding is possible for working moms

Story by Heamakarn Sricharatchanya / Video and photos by Metee Thuentap

Bangkok, 11 August 2015 – To mark World Breastfeeding Week on 1-7 August 2015, UNICEF takes Paula Taylor, Friend of UNICEF, on a field visit to a factory of Marigot Jewellery (Thailand) Co. Ltd. in Bangpu Industrial Estate in Samut Prakan province. Marigot is one of the model workplaces that supports working mothers to breastfeed. Inside the factory, there is a breastfeeding room where staff can come to express breastmilk 2-3 times per day. Refrigerator is also provided so staff can store breastmilk that they collect. A nurse is there to help give advice to working mothers who have problems breastfeeding.

17 February 2015

Not for sale: protecting children exploited for sex in Thailand

Saeng holds a picture he’s drawn of a woman dressed in designer clothes.
© UNICEF EAPRO/2014/Andy Brown
There are no circumstances in which using children for sex is acceptable. HIV Specialist for UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Shirley Mark Prabhu says: “The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been signed by all countries in this region, is very clear on this point. There is no such thing as a child prostitute. Any child under the age of 18 is a victim of sexual exploitation. It violates their rights to health, education and a childhood.”

23 December 2014

After the tsunami: a Thai fishing village, ten years on

Story by Andy Brown / Video by Jingjai N.

It’s been almost ten years since the Indian Ocean tsunami hit the Thai island of Koh Lanta on 26 December 2004, but talking about it still brings tears to Ampai’s eyes. “I often cry when I talk about the tsunami,” she says apologetically. “It’s always at the back of my mind, like a scar that doesn’t heal.”

Ten years after the tsunami, life is back to normal but memories remains fresh

Nong Bee stands in front of a photo of Phi Phi Island in the wake of the tsunami
© UNICEF Thailand/2014/Jingjai N

By Nattha Keenapan/Video by Jingjai N.

KOH PHI PHI, Thailand, 15 December 2014 – On a sunny day in November, local residents, children and young people gather at Baan Koh Phi Phi School to play and compete in Phi Phi Island’s football tournament. Playing football had always kept 23-year-old Kwanrudee Kaphokla (nicknamed Nong Bee) and her teammates close. But what kept them closer was the difficult times they shared after the tsunami devastated their island 10 years ago.

21 November 2014

Voices of children

“All children, including children with special needs, children with disabilities, and children from ethnic groups, should get equal rights and equal treatment.
Pongnarin Nonkam, 20
Acting president of the Children and Youth Council of Thailand
Story by Heamakarn Sricharatchanya / Photos by Sukhum Preechapanich

Bangkok, 21 November 2014 – Representatives of children from four regions take part in the national youth consultation held on 19 November 2014 at Indra Regent Hotel. They provide recommendations to parents, adults, general public, and the government on issues related child rights. Here are some of their recommendations:

31 October 2014

Ebola: finding patient zero

A family photograph of a new-born Emile, known as patient zero and his mother and father. Emile, his older sister Philomne, and his mother all died after contracting Ebola. (c) UNICEF/2014/Beukes

It is true that the further you are from the Ebola crisis, the more biblically paranoid you are about the disease. Going to the heart of where Ebola is thought to have originated in West Africa – a small picturesque forest village called Meliandou in Guinea – made me realize that.

24 October 2014

In Sierra Leone, getting back to school – on the airwaves

Moalem Siseh, 17, writes on a blackboard to help teach Uleymatu Conteh, 13, who is taking her school lessons by radio. The project aims to reach more than 1.7 million children in Sierra Leone who have no access to education because of the Ebola outbreak. © UNICEF Sierra Leone/2014/Romero

By Yolanda Romero

With schools closed throughout the country as a result of the Ebola epidemic, Sierra Leone is bringing the classroom into students’ homes through the use of educational radio broadcasts.

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 21 October 2014 – At the end of a labyrinth of small streets in Freetown’s New England neighbourhood lies the home of 13-year-old Uleymatu Conteh. Normally this morning she would have made her way to school dodging the motorbike taxis and the market women selling fruits, sweets and bread. Instead, she is sitting on the floor of her home, listening to the radio and taking notes while leaning against a wooden stool.

22 October 2014

Surviving Ebola in Sierra Leone – a child’s story

Amadou and his sister, Awa, at the family's home in Kenema, Sierra Leone . © UNICEF Sierra Leone/2014/Bindra

After losing her mother to the Ebola virus, a girl in Sierra Leone must raise her younger brother and sister on her own – and hold on to her own hope of returning to school.

By Anne Boher

KENEMA, Sierra Leone, 16 October 2014 – Four-year-old Amadou wakes up his sister, Mary, at 4:30 a.m. He has a headache and can’t sleep. He asks her where their mother is. It is the same question he has asked almost daily since he was discharged from the Ebola Treatment Unit in Kenema, almost two months ago.