EEF and UNESCO Bangkok vow to push for equitable education

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Bangkok – The Equitable Education Fund (EEF) of Thailand and UNESCO Bangkok have signed a memorandum of understanding on equitable education for out-of-school children. The MoU signing ceremony took place in Bangkok on Monday.

EEF, supervised by the prime minister of Thailand and run by a board comprising independent experts and representatives of relevant state agencies, will work with UNESCO on academic projects, strengthening networks throughout the Asia-Pacific to tackle education inequality.

In Thailand, area-based education reform has been implemented in 20 provinces across the country. Conditional cash transfers and vocational scholarships are available for students in need, while mechanisms have been set up to return out-of-school children to education, or to provide them with appropriate training.

According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics data, the number of out-of-school children around the world has continuously declined, from more than 100 million in 1990 to 63 million in 2017. However, progress has been slow in the past decade.

EEF Managing Director Supakorn Buasai said that government mechanisms alone could not eliminate education inequality, and cooperation by all parties is needed to find sustainable solutions to the problem.

Meanwhile, UNESCO Bangkok Director Shigeru Aoyagi says that UNESCO highly appreciates Thailand’s continuous commitment to equitable education and wishes many other countries in Asia and other regions of the world would follow the same path.