After a few months pause, ASEAN Project has resumed for the new fiscal year, October 2013-September 2014. Our first activity was organized between 21-23 January, 2014 at the Big Building. It was a 15-hour training course for 34 students who are studying 'English for Communication 1' and 'English Speaking and Writing Skills' this semester. The main objectives for this workshop were to encourage PCC learners to interact with foreign teachers and try to communicate in English. There were 3 friendly native English speakers from ESI Language Center as the trainers.
When conducting any tasks or projects, pictures are great evidence to show what we had done; clear photographs and good composition ones are always desirable. Therefore, PCC personnel and some interested people are invited to attend a two-day workshop entitled "Basic Techniques for Photographing" on September 19-20, 2013 at Mai Khaolak Beach Resort&Spa Hotel, Khao Lak, Takaopa District. There are 2 professional photographers, Jirapong Wongwiwat from Hadyai and Adt Yomyai from Phuket as our trainers. They are very friendly and helpful.
As teachers working in the 21st century, we need to keep up with the changes in our daily situations as well as classroom atmosphere; teaching-learning activities organized in any subjects have to be prepared for the better outcomes so that our learners can adapt some to survive in their real lives. Therefore, a seminar entitled "Managing Teaching-Learning Activity in the 21st Century" is organized on September 16-17, 2013 at the Briza Beach Resort Hotel, Krabi Province in order to enhance understanding about it. Big thanks go to Associate professor Pairot Kirirat and TA Narapon Asapan from Prince of Songkhla Univeresity, Hadyai, Songkhla.
After two years of conducting activities raising awareness of ASEAN 2015, we agree to take a week excursion to the south of the country where we can visit their ASEAN Centers. We spent a few days searching on the internet and ringing them to ask if they are available for our short visits. Finally, there are 4 places as our destinations namely Ban Nam Krajai school, Learning Park of Hatyai Municipality, Mahavajiravudh Changwat Songkhla School, and Woranari Chaloem Songkhla School.
We've learned about how to establish the Center, how to develop it, and in which way they organize activities to activate students' knowledge so that they can be well-prepared for the coming ASEAN Community due on December 31, 2015.
Situated in town, Phangnga General Hospital is usually visited by many foreign patients so it is crucial for its personnel to be able to communicate with them. Basic English is considered the first course for 20 staffs, total time 30 hours, 2 hours after work, every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Thanks to Stephen and Jacob who are volunteer teachers from the USA, teaching English at a high school nearby.
As the fiscal year end is nearing, we have to plan in advance what to conduct for the new one and the plans need to be reasonable as well as feasible. Therefore, expertises about writing projects are invited to be our trainers August 23-25, 2013 at the Elements Krabi Resort, Maung Krabi.
After a few weeks preparation, Open House III is officially organized August 19-20, 2013. There are a number of exhibitions and contests from Project- Based activities namely Project of Local Food, Project of Community Tourism, Project of Organic Agriculture, Project of Short Courses, and Project of Developing Community Potential towards ASEAN Community.
The aims of this event are to display our performance conducted in the past year, to publicize our activities, and to engage local people as well as to inspire their attitude.
Apart from various ASEAN information decoration, there are many activities for the interested to take part such as ASEAN testing in pairs, dressing in ASEAN costumes and photographing, selling ASEAN T-shirts and local products.
As education institutions in rural areas, community colleges in Thailand have been granted a fair amount of annual budget to conduct various projects for local people to become more developed. One of such projects aims at preparing people to ready for ASEAN Community effecting in two years' time, official date December 31, 2015.
In order to examine the progressive projects, every college was invited to share their experiences. The 3 day seminar organized 17-19 July, 2013 at Sakaeo Community College was projected to be a platform for ASEAN working committee to present their activities conducted in this fiscal year.
Apart from the lively opening shows from the host, there are a number of interesting exhibitions decorated on display boards and some local products for sale from 18 community colleges countrywide. It is a great opportunity for us to chitchat and exchange ideas related to ASEAN projects so that we can reflect our own performances and adjust them to suit the local more effectively.
In order to fresh up our energy and strengthen unity, PCC colleagues are invited to join a two-day seminar organised July 8-9, 2013 at a resort in Krabi province. Everybody is supposed to be good learners and obey the trainers at all time and has to do whatever they command. We are assigned lots of funny activities and instructed how they are related to our work situations: for example, responsibilities, paying respects to each other, open-minded attitudes, collaborations etc.
Wai Kru is one of Thai cultures always organised every year in most educational institutes countrywide. Normally, it takes place on a Thursday particularly in early weeks of a new academic year as Thai believe that it is a good day for schooling. Students show their high respects to teachers by handing them colorful flowers, incense sticks and a candle to worship them and promise that they will obey them and be good students all year long. As a result, students who attend this traditional event are likely to study well with encouragement and long attention spans.
July 7-8, 2013 there are two activities for all PCC students - a 2 days camp for new students and Wai Kru ceremony for everybody. New students from every teaching center are invited to stay overnight and teachers introduced to them; some rules are also elaborated so that they can abide by them properly. In addition, there is a 'Campaign Against Drug' session taught by invited trainers after the morning orientation.
Juvenile Court and Family of Phangnga Province realizes the importance of professional development in terms of communicative skill in English, and court personnel sometimes have to deal with foreigners in some cases.
Beginning June 19, 2013, the English course lasts 20 hours, 2 hours per day, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The lesson starts at 4:30 pm and finished 6:30 pm. As learners request a Thai teacher for the course, I have to set my daily schedule for them and prepare some activities to suit their requirement.
The class is comprised of 19 people who work at the court: one of them is a court policeman and all are active and friendly students.
After spending 2 months surveying and evaluating a number of health care volunteers in 7 different villages in Thapput District, the real workshop was conducted June 24, 2013. Dr. Daongjai Panitchareonkit, an expertise in Social Studies from Phuket Rajabhat University, was invited to be our trainer. There were 108 local people attending the meeting and some of our personnel.
The morning session, after the PCC Director's opening speech, was the presentation about ASEAN history, its aims, missions, principles and related contents. The guest trainer presented such through multimedia materials which interested the audience greatly. In the afternoon, they worked in groups: the discussion about how to prepare their local products for ASEAN was raised. After an hour's time, representatives from each group informed their interesting conclusions and requested some help from PCC which will be considered carefully before any further movement.
However, the average scores after attending the workshop turned to be satisfied: it was higher than the previous ones and one of them even got all correct.
Thank you so much everybody for good collaboration.
Between 4-9 April, 2013 a group of 13 Thai people selected and supported by ASEAN Project of People's Empowerment Foundation(PEF) travel to Brunei Darussalam to attend ASEAN Civil Society Conference 10th/ASEAN People's Forum 2013(ACSC/APF 2013). We depart Suvarnabhumi Airport at 8.20 pm by Royal Brunei and arrive Bandar Seri Begawan Airport at 12.20 am after midnight. There is a very friendly welcome from Bruneian staff and we are taken straight away to Jerudong Hotel on a minibus. It takes about half an hour from the airport to the hotel. After waiting for checking in for awhile, we are paired for one bedroom, climb up with the heavy luggage to the 3rd floor, and ready to go to bed at 2 am...(Brunei time is an hour ahead of Thailand.)
The conference is organized annually for civil society among 10 ASEAN nations to voice their opinions in various topics and then summarize into a statement in order to propose it to the country leaders at ASEAN Summit conducted later in Brunei. This event always takes place in the ASEAN Chairman country.
This year, the conference's theme is "ASEAN: Building Our Future Together" and its venue is LR ASMA Hotel, Jalan Jerudong. It is organized and hosted by the Council of Woman of Brunei Darussalam and supported by Civil Society Organisation in Brunei Darussalam. There are 8 plenaries and 8 workshops for more than 300 delegates representing CSOs from ASEAN member states. The topics include Understanding Brunei Darussalam, ASEAN's Vision, Youth Participation, Follow-up Mechanism of ACSC/APF Recommendations, Green Growth Strategy for ASEAN Countries, Labour Rights and Migrant Workers, Social Protection, Peace and Security, Women,Health and Migration, etc.
Our group comprises 13 representatives from different fields namely 3 from PEF(khun Ab, Khun Dao, Khun Gif), 1 from Community Organization Council Network(Chiangrai - Khun Taew), 1 from Migrant Worker Network(khun Sue), 1 from Prachathai(khun Pat), 1 from Youth for Peace and Development Academy(Khun Aladee), 1 from Karen Network for Culture and Environment(Khun Kai), 1 from Community Radio Network(Khun Somchai), 1 from MPlus Foundation(Khun Tor), 1 from Ministry of Social Development and Human Security(Khun Morn), 1 from Muslim Students Federation of Thailand(Khun San), and 1 from Phangnga Community College.
We have learnt something about Brunei from the trip:
1. on Brunei(BI) airline, you will be offered choices of food one by one so you have to be able to communicate for that
2. there are not many female attendants on board
3. you cannot see light posts with tangled lines, people walking in the street, motorcyclists, cyclists, passenger buses, taxis, street vendors, nor street posters
4. you can see only private cars in the street
5. colorful flowers in the hotel halls and dining rooms are all artificial, only few red ones decorated at the stage in the Conference
What I had experienced above can be planned and conducted as follows:
1. introducing People's Empowerment Foundation and its purposes to PCC personnel, PCC students as well as local community
2. sharing my direct 3-day experiences about Brunei with PCC personnel, PCC students as well as local community
3. exchanging opinions with group members via social network and maintaining good friendship
4. encouraging PCC personnel, PCC students as well as local community to study and practice more communicative English
5. keeping up with news and information about ACSC via its website
We all know that the main aim of the Project of Developing Community Potential Towards ASEAN 2015 is intended to provide insights about ASEAN and enhance local people's potential so that they can be ready to embrace it appropriately. In doing so, we approach 7 Tambol Hospitals in Thapput District and meet up with 377 health-care volunteers. They are provided with 15 ASEAN questions and requested to choose the correct answers to each. The average turns out to be very low so those local need to be instructed. More to come...
As English is the official language for ASEAN Community, our PCC staffs have to be prepared to use it correctly, meaningfully, politely and properly in the coming years. We try to set the right time for them to attend class because everyone has so many responsibilities to do that we may not have time to be trained. However, we agree that every Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning are the better parts of the week to study communicative English skills. Ms Margaret Lee Keene Srirach is invited to be our teacher for a group of 16 personnel and a course of 30 hours. The course begins February 5, 2013.
The training includes explaining, doing written exercises, practicing speaking in pairs, and demonstrating cooking American food for the last lessens. We have macaroni salad, potato salad, cabbage salad, tuna sandwiches, devil eggs, crackers and fruit juice as our lunch together on March 22, 2013 which is the date of our course completion.
Thanks very much Ajan Margaret for the friendly and helpful training and big thanks also go to every trainee for your good attention and collaboration.
This activity begins December 20, 2012 and continues all year long - one hour every Thursday afternoon. We present latest PCC movement and informative news about our neighboring countries - ASEAN nations as well as dialogue partner countries - plus a few songs from other nations. We also share local listeners our various projects conducted in the past year and some PCC news such as applying to be new students, interesting training and so on. We have a question about what is presented during the session for listeners to call in and answer. A Burmese mini-book and Everyday Expressions book are rewarded to the winners.
The Project of Developing Community Potential Towards ASEAN 2015 has been resumed and conducted continuously this year. The first activity is a Burmese course for training the local hospital personnel. It started November 20, 2012 and lasts for 20 weekends. There are 60 trainees studying the communicative language every Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning - divided into 2 groups. The total study hours are 60 for each group and the guest teacher is Ms Nan Ni Lar Htwe. Thanks everyone for your good attention and participation.
Between 15-16 September,2012 there is an English camp for PCC students at Thai Muang Teaching Center. The aims are to activate, motivate and encourage adult students to communicate in the foreign language with native English speakers as well as enjoy using English in desinated activities.
Our NES are from the USA - 2 from New York City and the other Boston. They are currently working at Satree Phangnga school and Deebuk school. Thanks very much helpful and friendly trainers as well as attentive campers.
ONESQA stands for the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment(Public Organization).
Between 13-14 September 2012 , PCC is due to be assessed by ONESQA. It's the second assessment for our school - 2008 for the first one. Everybody joins their hands and tries our best to prepare any documents to show the assessors what we had done in the past 4 years.
A number of related people are invited to be our testimonies such as alumni and their employers, present students, community representatives, college committee, and some college personnel as well as our Director.
In order to ensure that we have conducted Local Food Project effectively, a group of interested people are taught how to cook two Thai local food in front of the assessors around midday. Later, the food is intendedly served them for lunch with pleasure.
After one day and a half of such examination, we are informed the result ;the assessment score is 4.67 out of 5.00! We've passed it with pride!