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Implementing Agency

Office of Non-formal Education Commission (ONFEC),
Ministry of Education
Bangkok 10300, Thailand
Tel: +66-2-2822673    Fax: +66-2-2801688
Contact person: 


Literacy and NFE situation

In Thailand, the result of various literacy campaigns reduced illiteracy, and it has achieved 95.5% of adult literacy rate by 2000.  Although the provision of literacy and basic education has met with a certain level of achievement, there are still a large number of disadvantaged people missing the opportunity to receive any education, i.e. those with disability, in remote rural areas, in slums, street children, ethnic minority hill-tribes.  About 600,000 children or 8.68% of school aged population were out of school education as of 1998.


Under the ONFEC, NFE courses which are equivalent to primary, lower and upper secondary education are offered to the people outside the formal schooling system.  There are 3 approaches of study courses: in-class, long-distance learning and self-study.  There were 2,444,004 students enrolled in these courses in 1996, and the number of NFE learners has been increasing, especially in the course equivalent to lower-secondary.  The DNFE also offers the short-term occupational training courses for income generating and the mobile vocational training targeted at rural people.


CLC Initiatives and Features

The pilot CLC project in Thailand was launched in September 2000 with support from UNESCO APPEAL.  Fifteen CLCs were established: 12 CLCs at the village level in 4 regions of the country (North, South, Central, and Northeast) and 3 CLCs in urban slum areas in Bangkok.  The pilot project was also financially supported by UNDP, and implemented in cooperation of four main government agencies: the ONFEC, the Department of Community Development, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Rajabhat Institues.  These agencies have either contributed funding support for specific projects, or provided technical support, for instance for occupational training activities.  Each CLC also sought and received additional support from within its own community both from private donors, business, and the community members at large.  From the inception of CLCs, the community members have played a prominent role in setting up the CLCs. 


The idea of community learning centres began in Thailand prior to the UNESCO-supported CLC project, and currently there are 6,300 sub-district level CLCs in all 76 provinces.  The UNESCO-supported CLC project has further supported the ONFEC in strengthening the existing CLC mechanism and network in Thailand, particularly at the grassroots level.  Since 2001, UNESCO also collaborated with the Prince Sirindhorn’s Foundation for the Development of Children and Youth in Remote Areas to set up 9 new CLCs and renovate 15 existing CLCs under the Foundation’s Thai Mountainous Mae Fa Luang Project targeted at the hill tribe children and youth in a remote district of northern Thailand.


Main Activities

The activities vary from one CLC to another, due to the different needs and available local knowledge in each community.  Some general similarities of CLC activities among the pilot CLCs were are literacy, including minimal degree of computer literacy, skills training, income generating activities, and the dissemination of news and information utilizing the Internet.  Some CLCs have developed community database using the computer, and widely advertise their locally made products to a larger market through their website.  Also, one of the most important aspects of CLC project is networking with neighboring villages, existing local educational institutions and experts, government offices and NGOs.


Strengths and Weaknesses

CLCs have provided a venue for community activities as well as a place to work jointly to discuss community problems and solutions.  In every community, it is now accepted that the CLC is the place for community meeting and discussions, and it has improved people’s involvement in community development and contributed to community empowerment.  The most common challenges of CLCs are the lack of time for active community members to commit to the CLC activities and the lack of administrative experience of CLC committee members.


Future Plans

Some of the future plans of CLCs are:

  • Establishment of CLCs to cover all sub-districts of the country
  • Establishment of mobile CLCs for indigenous people
  • Promotion of SME through all CLCs’ activities
  • Strengthening the use of ICT and internet in CLCs
  • Action research to identify replication models of village-level CLCs
  • In-service training to all concerned personnel