NGOs plan to boost Thai language skills in migrant workers

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Bangkok and adjacent provinces are cooperating to teach Thai language and computer literacy skills to migrant workers, in a bid to increase their skills and enhance their living conditions.

Sompong Srakaew, director of Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN), said the organization hopes to boost the quality of life of migrant workers and help ensure they can access welfare for themselves and their compatriots.

The LPN has created 15 training centers for migrant workers to learn about language, rights and culture with courses held every Sunday including facilities in Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Phetchaburi.

The centers also provide cultural activities including arts, traditional dance and music. Thai language courses are offered to those who work closely with human resources and clerk departments. “Our centers are no different to universities that are home to people with different traits and cultures,” said Mr Sompong.

He also said learning to speak and read and write Thai can grant migrant workers protection against human trafficking and rights violations. A volunteer team will provide help and legal advice in each area.

The LPN recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Learning Institute For Everyone (LIFE) on helping migrant workers access education and training. The Faculty of Arts at Silpakorn University also joined a plan to offer Thai language proficiency tests and certificates which can help migrants secure more advanced jobs.

Suthasinee Keawleklai, coordinator of the Migrant Workers’ Rights Network, said the network began using its office as a center for language teaching, particularly Thai and English, and also IT skills before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Migrant workers who speak Thai can widen their career opportunities to become language coordinators and interpreters in hospitals, clinics or private organizations, said Ms Suthasinee.


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