Unlocking the power of citizenship education How Preansika (18) from Thailand transformed her life through adult education
Fending for her family
Work meant long days in the field, sometimes starting from 5:00 in the morning and lasting until 10:00 at night. This stopped Preansika from getting the education she deserved.
'When I saw other people go to school, I felt sad. Why could I not study like other people? Instead, I had to work hard to provide for my family. I needed education to help change my life'.
New languages breaking down barriers
Learning the Thai language was special for Preansika. Growing up in a remote village on the Thai-Myanmar border, Preansika predominantly spoke Burmese and knew no Thai. Now fluent in Thai, she plans to teach her sister the language.
'My biggest challenge was learning how to write, how to read and how to speak the Thai language. Thai grammar is also very difficult for me, but I really love to learn the Thai language. If I do not speak Thai, it will be very difficult for me to get a good job'.
Earning money from education
With her new computer skills, Preansika can now sell goods such as yama dresses on Facebook Marketplace where she earns extra income for her and her family. She posts these ads in many languages, reaching a wider audience.
Integration into Thai society
She can also help her mother in the hospital, as her health is failing.
'Before, when I could not speak Thai, I needed to hire other people to take my mother to the hospital. Now I can do it myself'.
She can also help her sister with her homework.
'Before, when I was young, my parents didn’t have education, so I had no one to help me do my homework, but now my sister has me to help her. I am really proud of myself that I can help my sister do her homework'.
Finally, Preansika can now go back to her village and teach others who do not know Thai how to speak the language.
A brighter future
Preansika considers herself one of the lucky ones. Without adult education, she would have continued working out on the fields with her mother and would likely be forced into early marriage.