EEF, Unesco in unison on equitable education
Bangkok Equitable Education Fund (EEF) and Unesco Bangkok signed a Memorandum of Understanding on equitable education for out-of-school children and youth (OOSCY) and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 in Thailand and the Asia-Pacific. The signing ceremony took place on September 23 in Bangkok.
EEF and Unesco will collaborate on academic projects and strengthen networks in the country and the Asia-Pacific to tackle education inequality.
Area-based education reform has been implemented in 20 provinces. In Thailand, the OOSCY prevention project provides conditional cash transfer to underprivileged students, and the EEF has been supporting 700,000 students and providing 2,500 vocational scholarships per year across the country, aiming to return out-of-school children to education or provide them with appropriate training.
According to data from the Unesco Institute for Statistics, the number of out-of-school children of primary school age worldwide declined by nearly 40 per cent, from more than 100 million in 1990 to about 63 million in 2017. However, the progress had been slow in the past decade with the number increasing again from 2016 to 2017.
Unesco Bangkok Director Shigeru Aoyagi said Unesco highly appreciated Thailand’s continuous commitment to equitable education and wished many other countries in Asia and other regions of the world would follow and learn from the initiative for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 .
EEF Managing Director Supakorn Buasai said government mechanisms alone could not eliminate education inequality, and cooperation from every section was needed in the spirit of ‘All for Education’ to find sustainable solutions to the problem.
EEF will also join hands with Thailand’s Ministries of Education, Social Development and Human Securities, Interior, Unesco, Unicef and Save the Children to organise the International Conference on Equitable Education: All for Education in the Asia-Pacific in 2020.