Lanna Grade 3 Students
visit Chiang Mai Ram Hospital
Studying the human body at close quarters
Grade 3 students of Lanna International School, dressed
in their shirts displaying the main organs of the body, visited the Chiang
Mai Ram hospital as part of their curriculum on the ‘human body’.
one of them will be a future scientist after experiencing the miracle of the
They were welcomed by the Medical Director, Dr Thawatchai
Tansathit, and then visited many of the departments of the hospital,
including the dentistry and X-ray departments and the laboratories, and
wherever possible, they were given the opportunity to experience using the
opportunity to try out the specialized equipment.
The students learned how the heart rate and blood
pressure are checked and saw how ultrasound was performed. In the maternity
unit they were also lucky enough to see a two day old baby.
The students learned a great deal during their visit and
were most appreciative of all the hospital staff for the attention and
instruction they were given during the visit.
And as an added bonus, they were able to take all of their own bodies
home. No organs were left behind!
THAI packages Panda tours including entry ticket to the zoo
Will there be double pricing for this too?
By Chin Ratitamkul
Thai Airways International (THAI), one of the sponsors of
Chiang Mai’s Giant Pandas, has organized a “Love Chiang Mai, Love
Panda” promotion, running from December 1, 2003-February 29, 2004.
regional Office Upper North welcomed 114 students of Buranit School from
Chonburi province, the first group of students enjoying the special Panda
Tanawat Hiranyalekha, Direct Sales Manager THAI, said the
company is presenting the panda tour packages to Thai youths around the
country, to allow them to visit the goodwill ambassadors currently living at
Chiang Mai Zoo.
The initial one day tour package includes a round trip
air ticket, transportation, lunch, and an entrance ticket to the Zoo, aimed
at children under the age of twelve.
The package costs 1,500 baht for the under twelve
students, but students aged 12-18 will have to pay 2,500 baht. Accompanying
parents pay 3,500 baht per person. The special rate also only applies to
groups with more than 10 people, and groups over 15 people will receive one
free package air ticket for a teacher. THAI will provide 840 seats per day
for this program, from Mondays to Thursdays.
The first group in this panda package came from Buranit
School, Chonburi, and 114 young students flew up to Chiang Mai. Ajarn Arunee
Ocharoen, a teacher from Buranit School, said that when the school learned
about this project, many students and their parents showed immediate
Danaipat Puangkanok, a Mathayom 6 student from Buranit
School, said he joined the excursion because he wanted to see the Giant
Pandas. However, Danaipat said the trip was too short and he wanted more
time to travel around Chiang Mai.
and TV programs for children
‘Soaps’ to be banned? Not likely!
Angsana Tippaya PRD, Chiang Mai
Wichien Noonrod, chief of Chiang Mai Provincial Public
Relations Office, said that the Cabinet had agreed at their meeting on
December 4, 2003, to provide more air time for national radio and television
broadcasters to add more educational programs for children and families,
which will be supervised by the Public Relations Department (PRD).
He added that the PRD, being the license issuing
authority, is looking for more cooperation from the national radio and
television broadcasters to designate 10-15 percent of broadcasting time to
feature children, youth, and family-related programs. The PRD will begin to
broadcast these specific programs from January 1, 2004, onwards, most
probably from 4-6.30 p.m. daily, the prime time for family viewing, other
than the nightly soaps.
Boy Scout Troop No. 731
holds a two day Merit Badge Meet
About 15 boys (aged 12-16), from CMIS and GIS
participated at the two day merit badge meeting. The scouts learned how to
prevent fires and have a safe and secure home. They learned various cooking
techniques, courtesy of Barb Sandell, especially trail mixes and power bars
to have energy while on the trail.
scouts listen attentively during the dentistry class
The badges which were covered for troop 731, were: Fire
Fighting, Fire, Communications, Dentistry and Cooking. But the highlight
seemed to be the Dentistry merit badge. To give the boys first hand
experience, volunteer Doug Tell allowed his already painful wisdom tooth to
be extracted. The boys were privileged to observe this procedure first hand.
Doug is also much happier now!
Troop 731 has officially existed for 37 years and meets every Monday at
CMIS at 6:30 p.m. It is chartered under the Far East Council (Japan), of the
Boy Scouts of America. There are monthly camp outs, fishing trips and other
fun activities. Call Dean Overholt at 053-282-620 for more information.
Studying education in Chiang Mai: Social Equality and the Needs of Students
by Alexei Andre Waters
Social equality is a curious intellectual invention. Like
peace, almost everyone claims to be committed to it, yet few are willing to
sacrifice their own interests for the welfare and security of abstract ideas
or faceless others.
The paradox has always been this: the promotion of social
equality requires treating people unequally at times. That is because in
pluralistic democratic societies, sharp divergences exist between people and
groups with different capabilities.
In A Theory of Justice (1971), the late Harvard
philosopher John Rawls demonstrated that a just liberal democratic society
could permit social inequalities under two conditions. His liberty principle
required that citizens of a given polity be provided with a fully adequate
scheme of basic liberties; and his difference principle required that
inequalities in wealth and social position be arranged in such a manner as
to benefit the worst off groups in society.
Yet, in education, the idea that institutions have a
moral obligation to treat students with differences in abilities and needs
differently, incites passions, creates animosity and challenges long-held
assumptions about the best interests of students. That explains the dearth -
indeed absence - of programs for gifted students and those in need of
intensive academic remedial education in Chiang Mai. There are complex
cultural and political reasons for this situation, all of which make sense,
but none of which stand up to scrutiny if the interests of students are
Consider some real cases (names have been changed).
Yeon-Jung is an 8th grade student at an international school, and is Korean.
She was placed in the English as Second Language (ESL) program and has been
making enough progress that she will probably be able to leave the ESL
program at the end of the current academic year. In contrast, her cousin
Hyung-Jung, is struggling. Despite the small class size, enthusiastic and
qualified teachers, Hyung-Jung is gradually losing all of her confidence
since her abilities are much lower than Yeon-Jung and her peers.
Hiroaki is a 7th grade Japanese boy at another
international school. He studied English in Japan for six years prior to his
father’s relocation to Thailand. He reads at least two years above his
grade level but his math skills are below grade level. He is among the best
students in his class. He finds the homework uninspiring (it is too easy)
and he is never permitted to read more challenging works that would be more
appropriate for a student of his abilities. His teachers simply encourage
him to write more ambitious essays on the assigned topics, something he
finds increasingly monotonous.
Jinny is a 6th grade Thai national attending one of the
best Thai schools in Chiang Mai. Her parents are displeased with the slow
pace of her English language courses and believe an international school
would be more suitable for her. Yet her scores on the English proficiency
exam demonstrated that she is well below grade level and her parents are
afraid that the time spent in ESL classes will hinder her progress in other
courses. Despite the superior counseling they have received from the
prospective school, they remain adamant in their position.
These are representative examples of students with larger
implications. Many parents - even teachers, believe that remedial programs
stigmatize students. Gifted programs, say critics, lead students to become
arrogant and gives them a false sense of superiority. Students in the
regular classes, by virtue of comparisons with gifted students, represent
the dreaded statistical average.
So why do school administrators refrain from articulating
an alternative to this conundrum? To broach the subject with parents might
lead to misunderstandings, invite unwelcome criticism and promote
cross-cultural conflict - something definitely unpleasant for the principals
and emotionally harmful to the students.
It is time to rethink what happens to students and why.
That makes it necessary for adults - parents, educators and policy experts -
to dampen their pride to reasonable proportions. Then they can begin to
critically assess how best to meet the specific aspirations and distinct
needs of students. Our educational impasse might then be overcome.
But for this to occur, we must never cower before the hard-won majesty of
our most cherished convictions: a commitment to a reasonable model of
education means we should embrace the paradoxes of liberal democracy. The
alternative is the beginning of a life-long journey down to the precious
middle, where mediocrity dwells.
66 children rejoice from the Rejoice Urban Development Project
Xmas - a time to forget one’s troubles
Photos by Michael Vogt
The annual children’s Christmas party proved again what
three people with their hearts in the right place can do, if they set a
goal. Dot Delaney, Poolsuk Mansfield and Kobkaew Tucker made it possible
that 66 children from the Rejoice Urban Development Project (RUDP) could be
invited to the Christmas party at ‘The Pub’.
most important man was of course ‘Santa’
The RUDP visits 200 people every week who carry the Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). 70 are children, but four could not be present
as they were too weak to leave their village.
Steve Hallem, the director and project founder was
overjoyed for ‘his kids’. He told Chiangmai Mail that children with HIV
and AIDS can suffer from many health problems related to their illness.
Twenty percent of children diagnosed with HIV develop AIDS and die within
four years. The other eighty percent have a slower progression, not
developing the symptoms of AIDS until they are of school age or older.
children waiting for the ‘Magic Man’ while Steve Hallam (back row with
glasses), next to Dot Delaney and Poolsuk Mansfield, looks relaxed.
But infirmity was not apparent that afternoon. The mood
was carefree and joyful. The shyness which was felt one year ago was gone,
Steve saying that the children who were here last year were talking about
nothing else for the last couple of weeks. Those children who were well
enough to come were sponsored, and all the RUDP had to provide were the
names and gender of the children. Everything else was taken care of by the
three big-hearted ladies and volunteers who selected presents and toys, with
the remainder of the money donated going on medicines for the children.
am just peeping ‘a little bit’...
During the afternoon, a magician with a green parrot on
his shoulder showed his tricks and a clown blew up funny balloons and taught
little dancing games to the children, while people walked in with envelopes
whose contents would buy more medicine, while others were seen carrying in
trays of food or soft drinks.
The highlight was Santa’s visit, and of course the
receiving of something which otherwise would only exist in the fantasy of
The organizers thanked all supporters who donated food, space, helping
hands or money. Every little drop fills the ocean and sometimes a little
something for an individual means the world for someone else. Merry
bring me something as well? Just for me?
Magic Man with his parrot had everyone joining in.
Hair Pro Saloon was one of the donors who came during the afternoon and made
a donation to help purchase medicine for the children.