Education for Lahu and Akha Slum Children: Benefits and Barriers
Larsen, Lynn A.
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The Health Project for Tribal People (HPTP) launched a daycare center in July 2001 in response to requests by the Lahu and Akha tribal people living in the slum areas of Chiang Mai. The daycare center makes early educational opportunities available for a specific population, slum residents and Hill Tribe people, who traditionally have lacked these opportunities. Barriers preventing this population from accessing educational opportunities provided by the state include; lack of parental support, financial constraints, and lack of permanent address and/or birth certificate. For Lahu and Akha slum children who attend the HPTP childcare center there is an educational component. They are able to attend this daycare The HPTP daycare is an alternative form of education to the state or private kindergartens accessible to the slum population because it is free of the barriers that prevent them from attending state schools. Educational opportunities such as Thai literacy are important for this population because they can help children escape life in poverty or the slums. These educational opportunities aid in development and are important for any society seeking sustainability.