UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Thai schools to accept migrant children
Catholics vow to make it easier for undocumented kids, mainly from MyanmarCatholic school managers and others discuss accepting Myanmar migrant children into Thai schools
- Panithan Kitsakul, Bangkok
- March 4, 2011
Managers from mainly Catholic and some state schools, along with several government officials, met for the first time yesterday to discuss issues surrounding the education of these children, many of whom live in an environment that is often hostile to them.
The meeting: â€śEducation Rights of Migrant Children,â€ť organized by the Catholic Committee for Justice and Peace, was told that undocumented children are still being refused places in schools despite a 2005 cabinet resolution that extended educational opportunities to them.
â€śMany school managers donâ€™t seem aware of this, and still think accepting Burmese children is illegal,â€ť said Brother Victor Gill Munu, coordinator of the La Salle Foundation which supports the Bamboo School, an orphanage for displaced children near Sangkhlaburi, on the border with Myanmar.
â€śThe challenge for Catholic schools is that we have to lead the way in accepting themâ€¦ Catholic schools need to set the standard,â€ť the De La Salle brother said.
Some schools are aware of the law but refuse to accept students from Myanmar because of other reasons, the meeting heard.
â€śMany Thai parents distrust Burmese people and move their children to other schools if they are accepted,â€ť said Ms. Saovanee Sawangarom, director of Wat Sirimongkol School in Samut Sakorn province, south west of Bangkok.
â€śHowever, weâ€™ve accepted Burmese children since 2006 since we realize the importance of education for all children. At present we have 800 Burmese children,â€ť she said.
Another reason is resistance from certain government departments, according to Father Suwat Lueng-sa-ard, director of the Surat Thani Diocesan Social Action Center.
The interior ministry, for example, sees the presence of huge numbers of migrants as a security issue, he said.