At present, countries around the world are recognizing and adopting the “Inclusive Education System” announced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Conference in Spain in 1995.
“Inclusive Education System” is a co-education system providing opportunities to both disabled and normal children to adapt to each other, help one another and empathize with each other. Disabled children can go to schools close to their homes and do not have to go to special schools for disabled students or boarding schools, which help save on costs for their parents. More importantly, the new system allows students to maintain connection with their families, which is their real-life most important support groups.
According to the report by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security in December 2022, Thailand has a total of 2.15 million people with disabilities, brought about by congenital causes or by sickness or accidents. Up to 66,000 are children from 6-14 years old who should be attending schools. Many children with disabilities are able to communicate and comprehend and are capable of attending normal schools but most of them do not get the opportunity to attend schools due mainly to poverty and they end up staying at home. Their confined environment also lead to very limited social interaction with other people, which also retards their overall growth potentials.
At the present, there are still thousands of children with physical disabilities
who possessed with studying potential, but being excluded from
education systen due to poverty and misunderstanding of their parents.
From 2003-2023, EDF Foundation Scholarship Program and its donors had offered support to over 2,400 poor students with disabilities capable of undergoing the normal learning process to attend inclusive education. EDF’s own data from the same period showed that the said students have better physical and mental development, are more cheerful and outgoing rather than introverted.
The provided scholarships covered educational expenses and assistive equipment, school lunch, travel costs, medical treatment and others.
In addition, EDF has also conducted rehabilitation training with the community involvement every year. By inviting the children, psychologists and physical therapists to provide advice, knowledge and understanding of the parents, teachers and communities that children with disabilities are not a burden but they can help themselves if they are properly taken care of.
EDF has also contributed to the construction of basic infrastructures for the physically disables such as latrines, ramp ways for wheelchair users and accessible classrooms. Also, providing wheelchairs for underprivileged children to enable them with convenient accessibilities during school time or commuting from home to school.
Some students with physical disabilities recieved EDF scholarship
in the previous school year with our belief to promote equal access
to basic education for all less fortunate children.
Types of support:
A 1-year scholarship valued 5,000 baht/student
Qualified student candidates are those:
who, despite their physical disability/underdevelopment, possess sufficient communicative and learning ability
whose household is impoverished but parents would like to enroll them into an inclusive school.