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Ministries pool efforts to give 90,000 students citizenship

The Education Ministry has asked the Interior Ministry to swiftly endorse the granting of Thai citizenship to more than 90,000 students in government-run schools around the country.


Surapong Kongchanthuek, a member of a committee in charge of coordinating the effort, said the Education Ministry had submitted a list of 92,919 students to the Registration Administration Bureau of the Interior Ministry’s Provincial Administration Department.

Surapong said the Education Ministry’s Information Technology and Communications Centre calculated from an online database of government schools that 14.882 million students did not have a 13-digit citizenship identification number.

Without that number, they could be denied basic rights, he said.

The ministry endorsed 92,919 of these students as the children of Thais living mainly in the borderlands without citizenship, and asked the registration bureau to grant the students 13-digit numbers, he said.

The bureau has since determined that 2,211 of the students on the list do in fact already have the 13-digit number, but will work with other agencies to include the rest of the 93,000.

Surapong said Chiang Mai has the most Thai students without citizenship ID – 17,423 youngsters – followed by Chiang Rai (12,824), Tak (9,332) and Kanchanaburi (5,896). Bangkok has 1,847.

The Interior Ministry has instructed provincial governors to speed up the process of verifying citizenship for these students.

The process begins with school directors, tambon chiefs and tambon hospital heads signing ID confirmation documents for the students.

Surapong said all government schools must accept students even if they have no ID number. The schools can then work with their local household registration office to secure citizenship ID.


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