HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

6th annual IBAP workshop

Mae Hong Son tourism badly affected after THAI breakdowns

Chiang Mai University presents Golden Elephant Awards

Money wisely spent

6th annual IBAP workshop

Simon Greenslade, IB Workshop Coordinator, Prem Center

PYP workshop participants

For the sixth consecutive year the Prem Center, on behalf of the International Baccalaureate Organization Asia-Pacific (IBAP), has hosted a series of regional teacher training workshops. The eight workshops were for IB teachers of primary and secondary age children and took place in January and February.

Three workshops focusing on the teaching of the Primary Years Program (PYP) started the annual conference season at Prem and attracted almost 100 teachers from Syria and Papua New Guinea during the third weekend in January. The workshop presenters included some of the most experienced PYP teachers in the region, including PTIS’ own PYP Coordinator Amanda Gulliver.

The second and third rounds of workshops were for teachers of the IB Diploma and focused on Chemistry, Maths, Economics, Computer Science, and Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS).

The workshops were a resounding success. The IB Diploma Associate Regional Manager, Nigel Forbes-Harper, said, “As always Prem has provided an ideal venue for participants to engage in discussion of their IB subjects. Participants from all over the Asia-Pacific region have found the environment and organization conducive to learning.”

Mae Hong Son tourism badly affected after THAI breakdowns

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

In a press release endeavoring to explain his company’s position regarding the recent loss of air service between Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai, Taewan Damronghad, manager of Thai Airways International (THAI) Mae Hong Son office said that Thai Airways normally used two ATR 72 airplanes flying between the two cities. On January 13, one of the planes was sent to Bangkok for its annual maintenance check leaving just one plane serving eight flights a day from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son. However, on January 15, this plane developed a fault requiring it to be taken out of service for repair. The repairs were expected to take only three days, but the problem with the aircraft proved to be more severe than first thought and it was still not known when the plane would return to service. He contacted the head office in Bangkok to enquire when they expected the aircraft to be back in service and was told that the company would effect repairs as quickly as possible as they were fully aware of their responsibilities to customers who had already booked tickets to fly with them.

Wisoot Buachum, head of Mae Hong Son Tourism Authority of Thailand stressed that tourism in Mae Hong Son province depended heavily on air travel and after the planes were taken out of service, it massively affected tourism in the area. He added that many businesses had lost money because tourist numbers fell drastically, with many hotels having to return deposits when bookings were cancelled.

Jaroon Khamnuanta, president of the Mae Hong Son Hotels Club said that the province’s economy was hit hard when the airline stopped the scheduled flights. THAI knows that a high proportion of the income of the province is derived from tourism and must realize the effect that losing the revenue from 150-200 visitors per day would have on local businesses. He added that surely a company the size of THAI could find other planes to fulfill their obligations to continue an airline service to the area. This is a situation that needs resolving urgently not only because of the negative image this portrays to tourists, but more importantly, the detrimental effect it is having on the province’s economy.

Rajabhat University, in Mae Hong Son have lost some of their teaching staff because several lecturers who usually travel by plane from Chiang Mai to teach there, have been unable to do so since the flights were stopped. To travel by road is not an option, due to the fact that it takes several hours.

Chiang Mai University presents Golden Elephant Awards

Kittiyaporn Kanjam and Pinutda Suwanchaisri (Student Trainee MFLU)

Prof. (Hon.) Dr. Kasem Watthanachai, Privy Councilor and President of Chiang Mai University Council (middle) as the chairman of the ceremony together with Prof. Dr. Pongsak Angkasit, President of CMU (right), and Prof. Grp. Capt. Dr. Tawan Kangwanwong, Vice President of Chiang Mai University Council (left) participated in the merit making ceremony

Chiang Mai University held a merit making ceremony on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of it’s founding, on January 25, 2006 attended by many staff and students. The occasion offered the opportunity to present the “Golden Elephant” prizes to three excellent researchers, certificates to administrators who retired this year, honorable plates to professors who were appointed by the King in the 2005 academic year, and the Prof. (Hon.) Dr. Kasem Watthanachai Prize to the teacher whose work has contributed most in developing the virtue and morality of the students.

After the religious ceremony the “Golden Elephant” awards were made to Assist. Prof. Dr. Sasiphen Puangsaijai of the Humanities and Social
Sciences department, Assoc. Prof. Nantha Leksawat of the Health Science department, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sanit Rattanaphumma of the Science and Technology department.

The Golden Elephant award is presented to the researcher in any department, who excels in knowledge, has excellent academic qualifications and teaching abilities, has morality and virtue, good human relations, and helps others.

Money wisely spent

Sandy Clark

Do I also get something? A new diaper maybe?

The Hillside Rooftop party in January raised, with the help of many Chiang Mai citizens and businesses, 766,000 baht. As agreed by the committee, no cash was given out to the recipients of the largesse, but goods or items needed were to be purchased instead.

In the three weeks after the party, separate bank accounts were set up for Baan Kinkaew Orphanage and the Down Syndrome Center in Chiang Mai. Both of these accounts will pay the electricity bills direct from the electric company.

Viengping Orphanage however was in need of goods and people went out with a huge list to go shopping. Items purchased included breathing aids, 16 cases of dried milk lactose free, cases of dried milk, three dozen baby potties, sandals in various sizes, 78 pairs of shoes, 60 pairs of flip flops, dozens of towels, diapers, underwear, T-Shirts, shorts, night gowns, milk bottles, teatys, sanitary napkins, jeans and peddle pusher pants. It takes a lot to feed and clothe all these children!

One would imagine that the committee of this huge event now takes a rest, but next years party is already in the first planning stages, once again for early January.

Small and bigger ones, everybody got their share of needed goods, essential living items which take the pressure off for a while.