Stateless student’s dream of joining international robotics Olympiad in Hong Kong

A stateless hilltribe student in the northern province of Chiang Rai is likely to be able to participate in the Hong Kong International Robotics Olympiad 2018 during July 20-23 as one of Thailand’s representatives.

A Mathayom 3 student at Ban Huay Namyen school in Tambon Wawi, Mae Sruey district of Chiang Rai, Aryo Megagu, was on Wednesday escorted by his teacher, Mr Ratchanon Wanpen, and his parents to the Muang district office to apply for permission to leave the country for a temporary period.

Ban Huay Namyen school won the gold medal in the national basic robotics competition for Mathayom 1-3 students and earned the right to represent Thailand at the Hong Kong International Robotics Olympiad 2018 in Hong Kong.

Aryo is one of the school’s robotics team members, but he cannot leave the country because he is legally a stateless boy as his parents are highlanders who do not have Thai citizenship.  Hence, Aryo was not registered when he was born.

However, the school has contacted the district office to help the boy fulfil his dream of joining the contest in Hong Kong.  His case was referred to the Ministry of Interior and it was recently reported that the ministry had approved in principle the boy’s travel overseas as a special case.

Aryo told the media on Wednesday that he was very delighted to be able to join the contest and vowed to do his best to try to win a trophy for Thailand.