Education is compulsory for 6 years from age 6 to 11. The government covers for public school education where children cannot be asked to pay fees without the authorization of the Ministry of Education. Nonetheless, in 2011, households reported that 1.1% of their expenses was dedicated to education related expenses.
The school system has two categories of schools: public and private. Public schools are financed by the government and can be managed by the government (37%), the government together with a church/denominational board (51%), or a church or private entity (12%) alone. For the last two, a board disburses and is accountable for the funds received from the government which cover all of their expenses except for teachers’ salaries. Private schools are financed and maintained by an entity other than the government and they are generally for profit.
The government is the main source of funding in higher education through six funding mechanisms: (i) Recurrent expenditure; (ii) Capital expenditure via the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP); (iii) Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) Programme; (iv) Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP); (v) Financial Assistance (Studies) Programme (FASP); and (vi) National Scholarship Programme.
In 2019/2020 the government spent 15% of its government spending (TTD 50 billion in 2019)in education (TTD 7.55 billion). The school aged population is 355,198 children, adolescents and youth.
It is a program managed by the National Schools Dietary Services Limited of the Ministry of Education. A child receives breakfast and/or lunch as recommended by the school principal based on the family’s socio-economic level. The program serves 822 pre-primary, primary, secondary and special schools. In 2013, the program spent US$ 37.8 million (TTD 255.8m) or 6.08% of the 2013 expenditure of the Ministry of education, and benefited 236,983 students or 66.7% of the school age population.
The ministry addresses students with special needs by designating specific schools within each Education District to facilitate support to students with special education needs, providing financial support to special needs students, and facilitating specialized aides in primary schools.
This program is coordinated by the Student Support Service of the Ministry of Education.
This scheme is under the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services and offers a variety of grants to the population in need. Largest among them are:
Education Grant: it is targeted to secondary school children who rely on public assistance and/or food cards as their only source of income. The grant covers transportation costs or any costs associated with special transportation for special needs children not already covered by the government. The amount per child is US$ 73.9 (TTD 500) per child.
School Supplies Grant: it is targeted to cover books and uniforms of children in primary and secondary schools who have had suffered a natural or man-made disaster. Primary school students receive USD 111 (TTD 750) and secondary students receive US$ 148 (TDD 1000).
The Scholarships Division of the Ministry of Education
It manages the Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme for Students with Disabilities among other merit-based scholarships. In 2017, 5 scholars received this scholarship and the scholarship division received an allocation of USD 22.9 million (TTD 151.1) to be allocated to 7 different types of scholarships (President’s Medal and Non Advanced Level Examinations, Teachers on Full-Pay Study Leave, National/Additional Scholarships based on Advanced Level Examinations, Annual Scholarship and Technical Assistance Programme).
Establishes in 2005, it is funded by the government and implemented by the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, seeking to connect beneficiaries with public social services including educational services with an emphasis on professional and skill training. The program targets poor family throughout the country. The transfer is monthly, and the amount in the range of of USD 18.6-USD 103.3 depends on the number of people within a household. The conditionalities are enrollment with an employment agency, participation in life skills activities, and up to 85% attendance in professional training courses.