At first glance, a tiny school established for children of low income migrant workers looks typical of primary schools the world over; young children on Thursday were in class learning to read, taking drawing lessons and enjoying swingsets and slides in the playground outside.
Unlike other schools however, this one was set up inside one of the many refurbished shipping containers that have been repurposed to build a makeshift village near Bangkok's city center in order to accommodate construction workers, the majority of whom come from impoverished neighboring countries such as Laos, Myanmar and particularly Cambodia.
As the vast majority of migrant workers from these countries are undocumented or cannot afford to send their children to Thai public schools, TTS Engineering, the construction company in charge of the building project these migrants have been hired for, funds the school and arranges for volunteer teachers such as Pairoj Jantawong from the Foundation for the Better Life of Children to provide the children with free education.
The lessons focus on the most fundamental aspects of integrating these children into Thai society, namely Thai language lessons and basic communication skills, an epa journalist reported.
The village, which was set up by TTS to provide lodging to its laborers and their families, is made up of 12 rows of nine brightly colored containers resembling giant Lego building blocks, stacked on top of each other three rows high.
Although the homes are equipped with electricity provided by TTS, the container village lacks running water. Hundreds of families call the container village home on the outskirts of Bangkok home.
According to official estimates from 2015, some 3.9 million foreign workers were employed in Thailand, most of them unskilled laborers from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos working in the agriculture, fishing and construction sectors.