Thailand: Learning idea from Japan for Thai schooling

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‘school as learning community’ to be theme of ‘educa’ meet next month

AN annual congress for teachers’ professional development, EDUCA, will highlight the theme of “School as a Learning Community (SLC)”.

Hailed from Japan, School as a Learning Community has spread to Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea already.

Silchai Kiatpapan, chief executive officer of PICO (Thailand), said: “We also believe that this concept can make a better change in Thai society. If we want to create a better society, we must create a better school.”

His firm is organising EDUCA at Impact Muang Thong Thani from October 12-14 in conjunction with the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec), Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education and the Association of Science and Technology Education.

The congress will gather leading educators from around the world to share their experiences and knowledge with Thai teachers at forums created for them.

There will be special and international seminars by educational experts from Finland, Korea and Singapore.

“The SLC concept owner, Professor Manabu Sato, along with other professors from various countries will join the congress to give keynote addresses and more than 200 workshops for teachers on professional development and model classrooms.

“A media and educational technology exhibition is also featured,” he said.

The ninth edition of the annual event aims to raise the country’s educational quality by improving educational personnel in accordance with innovation and technology-oriented education as a part of the 20-year national strategy Thailand 4.0.

During a press conference on EDUCA at a Bangkok hotel, Supaporn Kittiratchadanon, a senior adviser on special education and disadvantaged people at Obec, said Obec had developed a learning management curriculum as part of the Education 4.0 national policy, where students do not learn in classrooms only, are taught to think analytically, with critical thinking and problem-solving instead of memorising.

“For Education 4.0, students have to access digital learning media themselves, so teachers are the ones teaching them,” she said.

“Obec has developed the new teacher development online system allowing them to obtain new knowledge without taking any steps from the classroom.

“Teachers will learn new learning innovations and a new method of learning management in EDUCA,” she said.

Assoc Professor Ladda Phukiat, president of the Association |of Science and Technology Education, said the concept of SLC was in harmony with Education 4.0, where students study not only for knowledge in books, but also |to invent new things.

“Students are able to build new innovations, but unfortunately they build them just to win a |science project competition, not to further development.

“Teachers should be able to |create new innovations and advise all of their students without |anyone getting left behind |in inventing new things because project-based learning will train students in problem-solving skills, as well as scientific thinking,” she said.

Maj Ra-shane Meesri, an education lecturer at Chulalongkorn, said the faculty had prepared a curriculum for the next academic year to produce graduates who are effective teachers and educators.

“We have been one of the co-organisers of this congress for four years because we realise the importance of teacher development.

“We are willing to send our lecturers to be one of the instructors for producing a new generation of teachers who are knowledgeable and morally sound.

“The SLC concept will make changes in schooling from its base developing the learning quality of students,” he said.

PICO’s Silchai said EDUCA included two new campaigns – EDUCA talk, a stage for teachers to share their experiences and thoughts, and Books for Teachers, a programme for valuable books selected by advisory professors and given away to teachers.