泰国乡村教师的感言

UNESCO Bangkok

Four teachers from remote villages of Mae Hong Son, in the most mountainous province of Thailand (900 km north of Bangkok) told UNESCO about their teaching and learning difficulties and how the organization could support them.

Khallaya Jirapong, Sanan Keawyoung, Lt. Sura Sitpeng and Samnien Attapaibon and 16 other teachers are participating in an initiative to strengthen relationships and build networks to promote lifelong learning for all in this mountainous region. Developed jointly by ten UN agencies including UNESCO, the goal of the UN Joint Programme in Integration Highland Livelihood Development is to improve the quality of life and reduce poverty among vulnerable groups.

What are main education issues in your school? 

“We have problems in terms of human resources, technology, and communication (language). Today we have two teachers, including me, teaching 45 students in six educational stages of a primary school and we also don’t have electricity, except a solar cell, to support our teaching methods. But the biggest problem is communication. Most students are the Red Mu-Ser tribe and do not speak the Thai official language.” 

Khallaya Jirapong, Ban Pan Mon School 

 “We have a lot of students enrolling and dropping out steadily. Now, we have one and two assistant teachers to teach 73 students. One teacher teaches too many subjects in every educational stage.” 

Sanan Keawyoung, Ban Mae Pae

 “We have a problem in terms of communication and language because students are from the Red Mur-Ser tribe, and our teachers were not seriously trained as professional instructors so it’s very difficult to communicate effectively.” 

Lt. Sura Sitpeng, Thai Anusorn Patrol Police School  

The difference in terms of ethnic groups is a big problem because students who come from different ethnic groups have different capacities of literacy.” 

Samnien Attapaibon, Mae La Noi Kindergarten

What are your goals? 

 “I want my students to survive in the real world because an urban society is totally different from the village where they’re growing up. When they leave the school and go for further education, they will face a different life. I want my students to be aware about this issue otherwise their lives might be deprived.” 

Khallaya Jirapong, Ban Pan Mon School

 “We want disadvantaged Thai and Burmese children to reach more opportunities so that they would not deal with the drugs or other problems and we want to upgrade their quality of lives in terms of education.” 

Sanan Keawyoung, Ban Mae Pae

 “I don’t want to focus only on education in terms of academics, but we should be fully focused on ethics and morality and we need to teach students how to live with equality and fairness.” 

Samnien Attapaibon, Mae La Noi Kindergarten

What can UNESCO do? 

 “I want UNESCO to support more technology facilities such as a solar cell system to increase our capabilities in education.” 

Khallaya Jirapong, Ban Pan Mon School

 “I want UNESCO to support instructional media and send some experts to help us in terms of instructional technology.” 

Sanan Keawyoung, Ban Mae Pae

 “Because we have seven different ethnic groups in Maehongson, we want UNESCO to support instructional media to cover these differences.” 

Samnien Attapaibon, Mae La Noi Kindergarten

 (With thanks to Panya Laongthong and Preeya Poopichayapongse, UNESCO Bangkok)

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