SEAMEO Border School Quality Inclusive Education Project (BSQIEP) Implementation in Nong Khai, Thailand-Lao PDR border

Saturday, 20 August 2022 | Phichaya Sakcharoen




SEAMEO Secretariat has acknowledged the struggles learners and educators in border areas are facing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergence of the SEAMEO Border School Quality Inclusive Project (BSQIEP) signifies our effort in addressing barriers to inclusion, as stated in SEAMEO Priority Area No.2 “Addressing Barriers to Inclusion”. The project also intertwines with Sustainable Development Goal 4 “Quality Education”. The consultation meetings and workshops were initiated for SEAMES to seek support from Ministry of Education, Thailand and regional centres in order to reach a mutual agreement on ways to provide the help marginalised learners and educators in border areas.

Hence, several field visits were conducted early on in 2020 to survey schools and identify the area of collaboration in Thailand. One of the selected few is Paksuai Pittayakom School, a secondary school in Phon Pisai District, Nong Khai Province, Thailand-Lao PDR border. According to the survey, the school lacks quality laboratory equipment, quality learning materials, and, on top of all, training programmes and workshops. As addressed by Mr Weerasak Maknok, the School’s principal, there are 484 students from Grade 7 to 12, most of whom have an interest in robotic engineering and lesson on basic electronics; unfortunately, due to a shortage in resources and expertise in this field, the principal found it difficult to operate such training for his students.

 

 

In this regard, SEAMEO Secretariat, in coordination with MoE Thailand, has implemented SEAMEO Border School Project in Paksuai Pittayakom School on 7-8 July 2022. The event was also joined by the Director of Nong Khai Provincial Education Office, Dr Charin Surasaereewong, Principals from nearby schools, and observers. In this warm welcome reception from Paksuai Pittayakom School, Mr Somsong Ngamwong, Director of Bureau of International Cooperation, Ministry of Education, Thailand has given the honour to deliver the opening speech at the event, addressing the need for students and teachers in border areas in Thailand to have equitable access to quality education.



 

Aside from laboratory equipment and learning materials provided by SEAMES, the Faculty of Science, Mahidol University also donated 4 good-conditioned Microscopes to the school. As the principal mentioned about students’ interest in robotic engineering, the robot kits together with other electronic supplies were also provided to the school by SEAMES. Furthermore, Dr Kritsachai Somsaman, Deputy Director (Administration and Communication), SEAMEO Secretariat, has facilitated a workshop on Soldering Demonstration and Basic Electronics for selected students from Grade 7 to 12. The purpose of the workshop is to provide students with a hands-on experience in order for them to grasp practical knowledge in their interested field.