By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A GROUP OF NON-THAI students today (26.5.2020) gathered at the provincial hall of Chiang Mai asking for free lunch and milk for themselves and about 80,000 others throughout Thailand.
Led by several civil networks, the non-Thai students who have desperately intended to be naturalized as Thais peacefully held up placards calling on the authorities, particularly the Department of Local Administration or the Ministry of Education, to provide them with lunch and milk as provided to Thai students at schools.
Santipong Mulfong, manager of the Legal Status Network Foundation, one of the civil networks behind the students’ demonstration, said the schoolchildren’s parents, who are evidently non-Thai, cannot afford to feed them between classes daily.
Many are migrant workers and ethnic minority members who have earned a living on daily wages and now become jobless due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though an estimated 80,000 non-Thai students can go to school and learn the same subjects as Thai students do nationwide, they have been as yet denied the opportunity to apply for the Thai nationality, thus being also denied the free lunch and milk at school, Santipong said.
Without the sought-after help from the authorities, some of the non-Thai students are feared to finally drop out of school in the face of social inequality and possibly be victimized by human traffickers, he said.
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