“A secure childhood is the necessary foundation for a good adult life. All Children who live without the support of family, school and a secure environment are children in the risk zone”
World Childhood Foundation
Founded in 1996 the Half Day School provides free education for the children of Patak village (the village surrounding the DEPDC site) and 6 other villages in the Mae Sai area. These children generally have no nationality (citizenship) or identity papers and are too poor to enroll in the formal education system provided by the Thai government.
The Patak School has grown from offering day care to these children, who had no where to go when their parents were working, to providing a valuable education including the provision of school equipment, clothing and nutritious meals.
Currently the school is officially a half day school, which means that the children study in the class rooms in the mornings and do all kinds of other activities in the afternoon.
The school is mainly run by former DEPDC daughters and has two kindergarten classes and five primary school classes that follow as closely as possible the Thai Government school syllabus. We offer mathematics, Thai language, sport, and art as well as life skills training including, health, diet and hygiene.
The children also participate in activities such as camps, cultural celebrations and games organised for DEPDC’s live-in students. Currently, 175 children attend the school in preference to having to either fend for themselves on the streets of Mae Sai or accompanying their parents to work as labourers and food vendors and thus finding themselves vulnerable to agents recruiting for sex workers and child labourers.
While physically located in school, children are unable to work. School attendance limits the hours of work, defines the character and the conditions of employment that children can undertake and allows them to build a social network.
The Half Day School is supported by Co-operaid (Switzerland)