Announcement of a publication
Education opportunities for hill tribes in Northern Thailand
Implications for sustainable rural development
A case study
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Thailand's hill tribes are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups within the country. They lack access to basic social services, including education and health services; they also lack opportunities for skill development, income generation and employment.
Government initiatives on hill tribe development date back to 1951 but assistance to these hill tribe communities has been hampered by numerous challenges, including geographical isolation, land settlement, continuous migration of hill tribe people and communications barriers.
Nevertheless, this publication points to achievements made in the region, in particular, the improvements in the socioeconomic conditions of the hill tribe communities. Initiatives by governmental and non-governmental organizations have been examining how enhanced education opportunities could help to improve agricultural production, employment and income generation, thus contributing to the sustainable rural development of the region. Current activities discussed in this publication include the promotion of literacy among the Thai hill tribes, a focus on human development, permanent settlement and sufficient food production, the emphasis on coexistence between people and forest resources, participatory and grass-roots development and the promotion of indigenous knowledge.