Shell in Thai rural education partnership

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THE SHELL Company of Thailand has launched a new partnership with Mechai Pattana School that will help make a difference to the future of innovative education programmes and foster hubs for life-long learning and social and economic advancement in four rural communities across Thailand.

The company’s chairman, Asada Harinsuit, who is also vice president – Retail Business East, said Shell had been in Thailand for 123 years and remained committed to investing in helping people develop to their fullest potential through partnerships and programmes that align with its global direction, as well as respond to local needs.

He was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding last week between the company and Mechai Pattana School.

The event was also presided over by Professor Thienchay Kiranandana, chairman of the National Reform Council, and Kamol Rodklai, secretary-general of the Education Ministry’s Office of the Basic Education Commission.

“Through the partnership with Mechai Pattana School, we aim to help build the capacity of these unique and wonderful schools to become self-sustaining life-long learning centres and a hub for community development for students and members of the surrounding communities,” Asada said.

Only 30 per cent of Thai students will find employment, while the remaining 70 per cent will become self-employed.

The project co-created between Shell and Mechai Pattana School – “Improvement in the Quality of Life and Occupational Skills for Disadvantaged Students and Children with Disabilities” – is aimed at equipping deserving students, such as those with physical disabilities, and social and economic disadvantages, with business and life skills to be successfully self-employed.

“Our schools focus on poverty eradication by teaching students practical agriculture skills and basic business acumen through hands-on experience. This innovative concept was first introduced at Mechai Pattana School and has since been successfully introduced in rural government schools in different parts of Thailand,” said Mechai Viravaidya, founder of Mechai Pattana School and a social entrepreneur.

“Shell’s contribution will go a long way to assisting four schools by helping to establish our programmes,” he added.

The four schools that will benefit from Shell’s donation are Ratprachanukroh number 51 School, in Buri Ram; Ratprachanukroh number 27 School, in Nong Khai; Srisangwan Khonkaen School, in Khon Kaen; and Srisangwan Chiang Mai School, in Chiang Mai.

“On May 27, if you fill up on any Shell fuel, we donate Bt1 per litre. You can help ‘Fuel the Happiness’ of the lives of others and help make an impact on a young person’s quality of life – every contribution makes a difference,” Asada added.