We oversea 24 migrant learning centres in the Mae Sot area providing them with education and boarding. We also strategically support 30 schools inside Burma providing them with educational materials and teacher trainings.
Here are some of the basic operating costs for a migrant school.
Rent – Although rent may not seem to be a particularly exciting cost for donors, it is a high priority for schools. Ensuring that rent is paid is important in terms of providing teachers, students and the community with a sense of security, and prompt and regular payment is essential to maintaining good relationships with the Thai community and authorities.
Utilities – This cost centre covers electricity, water, sanitation/sewerage, telephone and internet costs. Currently, very few schools have computers or internet access.
Stationary/teaching materials – Exercise books, pens, and basic teaching materials. The budget below covers essentials only at 100 baht (3 USD)/child/year for stationery and teaching materials. You may also be interested in supporting the purchase of extra supplies and other equipment such as art materials, computers, and musical instruments.
Transportation – For many learning centres, transport is regarded as an absolute essential and the schools themselves have asked that the importance of transport be emphasized in this proposal.
Many children live too far away from school to be able to attend without transport. In addition, the majority of migrants have no formal identification or proof of citizenship, so providing transport reduces the risk of students and teachers being harassed, arrested, or attacked as they make their way to and from schools.
A rate of 50 baht(less than 2 USD)/child/month has been adopted for schools who own a truck, whilst a rate of 80 baht (less than 3 USD)/child/month for schools which have to rent one has been set. The rate is applied only to the number of children requiring transport.
Basic Health Care – Without Health, a child can not concentrate in learning and develop his cognitive potential to the fullest. Health care for BMWEC learning centres is supervised by two medical doctors and implemented by 4 health workers who visit the schools regularly, provide regular de-worming and nutritional supplements, monitor general health and treat children or family members when sick. They do this at no cost for BMWEC.
Providing the “basics” (20 baht / child / year = 70 UScents / child / year) will cover the cost of de-worming and vitamin A twice a year, plus weekly distribution of ferrous and vitamins, anti-septic and plasters.
Nutrition – Children need to be healthy and well-nourished if they are to learn effectively, so we are very grateful to donors who are able to help support these two cost centres.
School lunch: 5 baht / meal / child. This is the very minimum to cover basic nutritional needs. This does not cover meat or any tasty extras! In the budget we calculated 23 days per month. To give a better nutrition 8-10 baht/meal are strongly recommended.
Even if food for children development is essential, we have decided to insert this line of the budget not in the “basics”. The cost per child is very small, but overall in a school with many children lunch becomes a good percentage of the cost and we found that many donors can not afford it, whilst the school can remain operational without providing the lunch.