Child Friendly Schools Evaluation: Country Report for Thailand

UNICEF contracted with AIR in January 2008 to conduct a global evaluation of the Child Friendly Schools initiative. The evaluation was expected to serve as a baseline assessment that would examine the effectiveness of UNICEF’s programming efforts in the areas of inclusiveness, pedagogy, architecture and services, participation and governance, and systemic management. The evaluation was also intended to provide information about the cost of intervention. Thailand was selected as one of the six countries for the global evaluation for several reasons, including the fact that it provided an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of long-term implementation of Child Friendly Schools.

As the country that hosted the 1990 signing of the Declaration on Education for All agreement, Thailand has been at the forefront of supporting child rights and an early developer and proponent of the Child Friendly Schools model. For over a decade, UNICEF Thailand and Thailand’s Ministry of Education have jointly implemented CFS programming in schools throughout the country. The purpose of this report is to present an evaluation of the effectiveness of UNICEF CFS intervention efforts within Thailand. The core research questions addressed in this report are as follows:

  • To what extent has CFS in Thailand created a rights-based and inclusive environment in its schools? To what degree are these learning environments safe, protective and caring?
  • To what extent has CFS in Thailand achieved an effective and high-quality learning environment?
  • To what extent has CFS in Thailand created a health-promoting and health-seeking environment (i.e., achieved access to safe drinking water, good school hygiene, and a clean school environment)?
  • To what extent has CFS in Thailand created a gender-sensitive environment that promotes equity and equality in its schools?
  • To what extent has CFS in Thailand increased the democratic participation of students, parents, and community members and forged meaningful linkages between schools and communities to improve the child friendliness of its schools?
  • What are the costs associated with implementing the CFS model in Thailand?

Multiple assessment tools were developed for the purposes of the global CFS evaluation. These included a student survey (for use in grades five and up), teacher survey, school head survey, classroom observation tool, school-wide observation tool (including both indoor and outdoor areas), and interview and focus group protocols to learn more from students, parents, teachers, school heads and other key stakeholders.