Annual report 2019: South‑East Asia

08.06.2020 - 13:08 | Christian Possa

Where political achievements are concerned, expectation and disappointment often go hand in hand. In Laos, a lot of hope has been placed in the development of the education sector initiated by the government, but in Thailand people are disillusioned because the new government has not brought about any changes.

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In early 2019, a lot of people in Thailand believed that many things would improve following the end of the military junta. The new government had other ideas. The military is still in power in the background, numerous corrupt and selfserving politicians sit in the cabinet and the financial position of the majority of the population has worsened even further. A ray of hope for the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation in 2019 was the conference on integration, mobility and multilingual education in the Asia-Pacific region. Our country office presented an important publication on the methods for developing multilingual educational approaches based on the first language.

In Laos, with the support of development partners the government has begun to draw up a development plan for the education sector. «We are expecting a significant change that will lead to relevant education for ethnic minorities,» said Khamseng Homdouangxay. Looking back on 2019, the newly developed manual for conveying indigenous knowledge counts among the year’s highlights for the country representative. «It is authorised by the Education Ministry and is now being taught in all of the training facilities for teachers.»

The armed conflicts in the northeast and west of Myanmar escalated further in 2019. There were also sporadic armed confrontations in the southeast of the country. At the same time, various rounds of peace talks were held in the country. On an international level, Myanmar is facing legal action at the International Court of Justice for human rights violations against the Rohingya minority. In March, the Education Ministry and the Ministry for Natural Resources and the Environment recognised our criteria for eco-schools on a national level. Theoretically, all 48 892 schools in the country can now adjust their school systems based on the model of our Clean & Green schools.

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