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Breaking the cycle of educational inequality


All across the globe, children who have little access to an education face a future with fewer job opportunities, an increased risk of poverty, and many other challenges. Entire societies are impacted when children are not educated. Although this is not a new problem, a TMS Global worker came up with a solution that could be replicable in many communities.

Thomas* serves in Thailand with TMS Global. He teaches English and builds relationships with Thai youth. Through teaching he forms relationships with his students and shares his faith in Jesus.

For two years, Thomas has tutored two boys who live in his neighborhood. Niran* and Kla* have always been told they are dumb, so they believe it and have trouble in school. Their low self-esteem has led to other issues of behavior, attitude, and family strife.

Thomas committed to investing in Niran and Kla and tutors them weekly. He has witnessed an amazing transformation in the boys as he has consistently encouraged and mentored them. Niran and Kla have significantly fewer behavioral problems than before, have grown in confidence, and their grades have improved.

As Thomas noticed the difference mentoring has made in Niran’s and Kla’s lives, he began to dream about the possibilities of tutoring more children in the community.

"Every day, I walk past countless students locked in generational cycles of little education and even fewer opportunities,” said Thomas. His neighborhood borders the campus of one of the best universities in Asia, which gave Thomas an idea.

Thomas coordinated a tutoring program which brought together neighborhood kids and students at the nearby university. He recruited volunteers and began offering classes three times each week.

The program had a one-month pilot while schools were shut down due to COVID-19. The university students taught English, math, and Thai to local children. The program was a success, and the students and their parents begged for classes to continue.

Thomas was able to recruit more volunteers and continue to hold classes. “We chose the name ‘NewGen’ because we want to help create a new generation of students who can break through generations of poverty and educational inequality,” said Thomas. “This program brings together underserved communities with leaders in Thailand’s top schools and universities, and I am able to be there to serve and bless both communities.”

As the program continues, Thomas hopes to attract other school partnerships and expand to include more students. “This is a systematic problem that will take years of dedication to tackle," said Thomas. “Through this tutoring program, this area of the city would finally have a long-term effort to invest in their children’s education."

*Names changed for privacy