The commitment addresses illiteracy (in the Thai language) among 3-6 year old Myanmar/Burmese refugee and ethnic minority children living in border areas. It does this by expanding an existing and successful project to convert/create 50 new early learning centers in a border area where pre-school Thai language training is not available.
The commitment addresses the high levels of trafficking and involvement in crime found among teenage youths with low academic achievements in these groups. By providing early access to Thai language training (and using Montessori techniques to maximize effectiveness among the 3-6 year age group), the Commitment should increase participation from this group in school work, which will be reflected in better academic outcomes.
KLDF currently runs a training/conversion program for village daycare centers in the Chiang Rai area of N Thailand. We train teachers/child-carers to teach children using the Montessori (child-centered) method based on allowing children to play with materials which they select from a range of educational toys. Using 9 teacher-trainers and a manager, over the last 4 years we have developed a system which produces good results compared to traditional daycare centers. (The number of children with basic competence in spoken and written Thai increased from less than 10% prior to the introduction of the KLDF system to over 60% following its introduction.
This system is currently being used in 24 KLDF-converted schools/centers.
Total number of children's lives impacted: 1. Children per year after the three year project period (in addition to the 675 children from the program to date). Total number of women affected: 187 women over a 3 year project period.
KLDF would like to increase this number by converting a further 50 centers over three years. KLDF plan to hire and train 20 new staff and establish a new training center in another remote area of the Myanmar/Burma-Thailand border where there are substantial numbers of Burmese refugees and ethnic minorities.
- Recruit 10 new teacher trainers: Feb-Mar 09: KLDF Manager: Women (where possible, ethnic minority) teachers: 20.
- Train 10 new teacher trainers: Mar-May 09: KLDF present staff: Women (where possible, ethnic minority) teachers: 20.
- New training center:Feb-May 09: KLDF Manager: One in the first year and a second in the 3rd year.
- Choose initial 8 daycare centers to participate: Feb 09: KLDF Manager with local educational representatives: Children in catchment area: 8 Centers (47 over 3 year period).
- Train child-carers in Montessori system and material-making: Mar-May 09: KLDF existing teacher trainers: Childcarers/teachers (so far, 100% women, 25% ethnic minority): 47 childcarers/ teachers in year 1 (187 over 3 year period)).
- Children receive 1-2 years of high quality pre-school education, can speak/write/read basic Thai, do simple maths:May 09: KLDF existing teacher trainers: 200 children annual capacity at end of year 1, 1.175 annual capacity at end of year 3.
- Number of Burmese migrant and other ethnic minority children who will be receiving a high quality pre-school education providing Thai language and math skills: 200 children: 650 children (850 cumulative)): 1,175 children (2,205 cumulative).
- Number of women teachers (many from migrant/ethnic minorities) who will be trained in child-centered (Montessori) techniques: 47 women: 70 women (117 cumulative): 70 women (187 cumulative).
- Number of daycare centers/schoolrooms converted to pre-school education centers: 8 centers: 18 centers (26 cumulative): 21 centers (47 cumulative).
- Percentage of children in each class who achieve baseline level of Thai language competence by age 6: 60%: 65%: 70%.
KLDF seeks donations from individuals or organizations to enable us to pay salaries of their trainers and purchase local supplies to make equipment. KLDF is seeking ($140,000) to cover the costs of this commitment which are not so far provisionally covered by existing donors.