Buriram, Thailand. 
Private school, 
Founded in 2008, 
Number of students: 150, 
Age: Grade7-12

Practical entrepreneurship education in rural area to foster citizen with lifeskill
The Mechai Bamboo School was established to re-engineer rural education and to enable the school to be a lifelong learning center as well as a hub to improve the quality of life of all community members. School provide entrepreneurship education practically,such as business skills and agricultural expertise. Their school activities are supporting their community including people with disabilities or disadvantages.

The Bamboo school is a rural boarding secondary school established to be a lifelong learning center for all and as a hub for social and economic advancement. Its founder, Mechai Viravaidya, set up the school to offer “democratic education”.

Re-engineer rural education and foster good citizen with lifeskill
Lifelong learning center and hub to improve the quality of life of all community members
-innovative social entrepreneurs and community development leaders

The objective is to foster good citizens who are honest and willing to share; who possess life skills and occupational skills; who know how to manage and do not give up; who are social entrepreneurs and community-development leaders; and who practice and promote equality in all its aspects.

Practical entrepreneurship education for everyone
– Open program for community people
Practical programmes offering lifeskill training and social entrepreneur skills

Model of community lifelong learning center in rural area
– Role of school
The school has improved and developed the their education system in 3 areas:
1) Improvement of learning content 
2) Improve teaching methods
3) Increasing the role of the school to be a “lifelong learning center”

Everyone in the community, parents and people in the community around the school who have desire to learn, can come to receive training in various professional skills. Learners can develop their skills in doing business and agriculture with new forms and methods.

– Tuition system
The school is a new model for future rural Thai education in terms of financial system too. The school requires no monetary tuition fees from students or their parents, most of whom are involved with low-income agricultural practices. Instead, the “payment” takes the form of the planting of 400 trees to replenish the community’s natural surroundings and 400 hours of community service, half performed by parents and the other half by students.

Lifeskill training and social entrepreneur skills
The school provides not only education of basic skills according to the core curriculum but also special education including life skill training and social entrepreneur skills so that students can prepare to get job and have a good life in the future. The school develops people who are able to live happily with family in their own community without leaving their hometown to find work in the urban city.

– Leadership skill
In addition to playing key role in their learning activities, students are involved in the management and administration of the school. In the management of the school, students are led by a student government and student committees consisting of students from all grades. Leadership skills are developed in the meetings of the student government. As well as being involved in the school management, they are also actively involved in assisting people in the communities surrounding the school.

– ICT skills
Students learning science use augmented-reality technology, they learn coding for computer programming from a professor of robotics, and they receive training at digital STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Lab.

– Internship
Students also learn outside the school compound. To further their experience in life and occupational skills, students are given the opportunity to be trained and employed during holidays in companies, hotels, hospitals, universities and institutions caring for people with disabilities.

– Student Business
A business loan fund is made available for students to engage in group businesses to enable them to learn about business entrepreneurship to enable them to have the option of becoming self-employed or employers after they complete their education.
Their business activities range from vegetable growing to animal raising, production of solar-powered torches and water pumps, water catchment jars, coffee mugs and the sales of goods and services.

Students’ practical occupational skills and community support
Student acquire skills practically and run their business
Help community including people with disability or disadvantage

Give opportunities to other rural schools and communities
– expand student-based integrated rural development (School-BIRD) system

As next step, the Bamboo School is now trying to give opportunities to other deserving students and communities. It plans to enable 50 schools per year to access the school and student-based integrated rural development (School-BIRD) system. School-BIRD input aims to improve the quality of life and education for all stakeholders, including students, teachers, the community and its social enterprises.