Access to state education has been guaranteed for all students through the National Educational Act in Thailand in March 16, 1999.
And, since then, the number of students with disabilities accessing education increased from 145,000 to 187,000.
Thailand has also passed the Education Provision for People with Disabilities Act in 2008 that mandates inclusive education.
Cultural barriers and resistance from some head teachers in Thailand remain to be a challenge there, though. For one, the Thais believe in reincarnation. So disability is widely viewed as a person’s failure to lead positive previous lives (this eventually leads some families to feel shame about having a child with disabilities.)
Thailand has only one language decreed to be the country’s only official language and the language of instruction in public schools: standard Thai. With only a minimum of 2,000 baht (approximately £41) to cover the required resources or training expenses of every student, state schools also have “woefully insufficient resources” to implement inclusive education properly.
In her dissertation paper “A Model for Inclusive Schools in Thailand,” Sermsap Vorapanya found out that the idea of inclusive education in Thailand is still in early development. So she suggested providing more training to school professionals through an ongoing process as well as to medical personnel who are involved in the assessment and critical certification processes.
Resource centers should be equipped with materials that support the learning of the students also. Training and intervention agencies should be established in each community because, if not, private parties should deliver services.
Parents need to acquire knowledge and information, too. They themselves should be active to cope with the difficulties of raising children with disabilities.
“…while more steps need to be taken as implementation of inclusion continues, the principals, teachers, parents, education experts, and the people of Thailand have the commitment and strength of determination to make inclusion an integrated part of Thai education and to provide leadership on inclusion to the world.” ~Sermsap Vorapanya
Video taken from the YouTube Channel of TheVJMovement