Student from Chiang Mai University Demonstration School wins study trip to USA
One hundred students from around the northern
region took part in a quiz competition organised by the US Embassy to
Thailand and Channel 11 radio and television station. The “US Embassy’s
Quiz USA” had participants from Mathayom 1 – 6 (grades 7-12) and took
place between August 26 and 27. Six lucky winners from around the country
will receive a free 10 day study trip to the USA in October.
students from schools in Northern Region participating in the quiz contest.
This is the third time the US Embassy has organised the “US Embassy’s
Quiz USA”. The competition takes place in six groups of regions. The
thirteen northern provinces of Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang,
Nan, Mae Hong Son, Phayao, Phrae, Uttaradit, Phetchabun, Phitsanulok,
Sukhothai, and Kamphaeng Phet were all represented by the 100 Mathayom
The first round was held at the International Centre, Chiang Mai, on August
26. The 39 winners from the first round then competed in the second round at
the Channel 11 television station on August 27. After a two hour
competition, Phanaphat Tharanad, a student at Chiang Mai University
Demonstration School, emerged as the winner.
She received a prize of a study trip and the opportunity to study at the
International Centre. She will be travelling to the USA along with winners
from five other regions. Officers from the News and Public Relations
Department of the US Embassy will be on hand to take care of the students
and lend financial support.
Welcome back party at CMIS
Nikki Gamble, CMIS
The Parent Teacher Group (PTG) of Chiang Mai International School recently
sponsored a huge welcome back party for everyone in our school community to
help celebrate the beginning of the academic year.
at the CMIS welcome back party.
Director Supaporn Yanasarn, Principal Terry Gamble, and PTG President Caryl
Ryan contributed a few formal words of welcome, and new teachers and parents
were given special recognition through the presentation of jasmine leis.
For the rest of the time, parents had an opportunity to eat, chat, meet, and
mingle with their children’s teachers in a casual setting, as well as to
learn about school clubs and athletic activities, purchase school
memorabilia, and sign up for future PTG events and fundraisers.
This year CMIS opened its doors to 82 new students from Kindergarten through
to Grade 12, all of whom will add richness to our school’s diverse
community of nearly 30 different nationalities.
Long Neck Karen in Chiang Mai treated as if in a human zoo
In recent weeks Chiangmai Mail reporters got wind of numerous
complaints of mistreatment of Long Neck Karen in Mae Taeng, Mae Rim and
Chiang Dao districts of Chiang Mai. The stories came from foreign tourists
and human rights groups, disgusted at what they saw as exploitation by Thai
business owners of the Long-neck Karen tribes-people. Visitors proclaimed
that they were charged between 250-500 baht for visiting the Long Neck Karen
and saw these people treated as if in a human zoo.
Various people alleged that in Mae Rim District, a business owner had rented
an area of land from local villagers and allowed 16 Long Neck Karen people
holding Burmese nationality to live there. They said that the business owner
proclaimed that these Long Neck Karen people had already received permission
to work on a farm, but in fact they were put on display to attract tourists.
In the meantime, at Baan Huay Chomphu Village in Mae Taeng District, another
7 Long Neck Karen families, or 15 persons were also on display, although
they had asked for permission to work on a farm in return for a rai of land.
As well as telling the media, the foreign tourists and human rights
organizations also informed Pol. Col. Chamnan Ruadreuw, deputy commander of
Chiang Mai Provincial Police about this issue and asked him to take some
action. The deputy commander reported the situation to Pol. Lt. Gen.
Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5
and Pol. Maj. Gen. Jiruj Promobol, commander of Chiang Mai Provincial
Police. He then assigned police of Mae Rim and Mae Taeng stations to check
at those points, where everyone claimed the Long Neck Karen were being
After making enquiries, Pol. Col. Chamnan disclosed that the business owners
claimed that as well as providing homes for the tribes people, they also
showed the art and culture of the Long Neck Karen, so from the police point
of view, this case needed further clarification to see if what was occurring
was illegal or not. However, it was later learnt that immediately after the
police had checked the two places displaying the Long Neck Karen in Chiang
Dao and Mae Taeng, the business-owners had shut up shop and took the Long
Neck Karen back to Mae Ai. The police also checked a similar situation in
Mae Rim, but the Long-neck Karen are still continuing to live there.
A tour agency in the city of Chiang Mai also revealed that it had received a
brochure from a business owner displaying Long Neck Karen and this
information was also being published on a website www.baantongluang.com
The website offered tourists the opportunity to visit this tribe for free
during the starting period but introduced a visiting fee since August 25th,
charging each individual visitor 500 baht; and 300 baht per person if part
of a tour group.
Not satisfied with the outcome of the police investigation, Chiangmai
Mail reporters interviewed several of the Long-neck Karen remaining at
Mae Rim. Many were reluctant to speak out for fear of reprisals, but finally
one tribes-man, who did not wish to be named, suggested that we should ask
questions of Somjai Lewongdipong, president of Tribes Lifestyle and
Bio-Agriculture Conservation Group.
Chiangmai Mail spoke to Somjai, who disclosed that he had officially
registered the Long Neck Karen as alien laborers and they were allowed by
the government to stay legally in Mae Ai as alien citizens. He said that he
also secured work permits for them to work on farms and he had found them
jobs for the last three years. He, in cooperation with several associates
had planned to run an agro-tourism business in the home-stay style in Mae
Rim District. He invited the Long Neck Karen people from Mae Ai to move to
Mae Rim District in order to do agricultural work there; and allow tourists
to come and see them in their homes and experience their culture and
lifestyle. He accepted that he had handed out the brochures persuading
tourists to visit the Long Neck Karen in Mae Rim but it was just a tourism
promotion. However, he later collected the brochures back after learning
that there was a problem with the authorities regarding the work permit of
the Long Neck Karen. He was informed by an official that his agro-tourism
business using the Long Neck Karen as a tourist attraction was improper. He
left the Long Neck Karen to stay at Mae Rim carrying on their usual
lifestyle and stopped charging visitors to come and see them.
He added that the group of Long Neck Karen, who had moved from Mae Ai to Mae
Rim, were willing to stay there with him because they had worked with him
for several years prior to relocating there. He and his associates had just
offered them a job, but other people pointed out that it was a tourism
business. He strongly denied curtailing their freedom or controlling them in
any way. They lived their normal lives the same as other people and tourists
were allowed to visit them. They were employed as day laborers and each
person received a wage of 135 baht a day. He said he was now taking care of
11 females, 2 males and 5 children. This Long Neck Karen home stay village
had only been established 2-3 months, and he accused the media of
criticizing the situation without learning all the facts of the case. He
claimed that contrary to the stories that had been spread about the case,
the Long Neck Karen had been treated well.
Having interviewed Somjai, reporters learned that some other businessmen in
Mae Ai were afraid they would lose benefits if the Long-neck Karen left Mae
Ai, so they spread rumors of abuse and malpractice to the human rights
organizations and police, to discredit the Long Neck Karen village in the
An International Qualification for an International World
Jon Hartmann College
International schools have usually sprung up around the world to satisfy the
needs of expatriate students. They exist in a foreign education environment
but offer similar programs to their national system to allow students from
them to gain entry to universities in their home country. The idea of an
international education is also attractive to local residents who want to
see their sons and daughters speaking good English and studying overseas.
Hence the International School grows. Some of these schools have American
roots while some have English or French and they deliver an education
similar to what the best schools, and national systems in the home country,
could offer. No wonder they are popular! These schools offer good education
with a national flavor and relatively smooth transition into universities of
the home country. Some of these schools have become so large they can offer
more than one graduation qualification. There is however another pathway in
This pathway is a qualification that does not have its roots in the
educational systems of home countries but is international in outlook and
tries to incorporate the best elements of many education systems into one. I
am referring to the International Baccalaureate which is run from
Switzerland through an organization called the International Baccalaureate
Organisation (IBO) and produces a holistic education system running from
Kindergarten to grade 12.
The final two years of the International Baccalaureate are called the IB
Diploma Program (grades 11 and 12) and students who complete this have had
to do more than just study subjects. They have had to fulfill, in a
documented and rigorous fashion, the mission of the IBO which is to
“develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to
create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding
and respect. The emphasis is on encouraging students across the world to
become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other
people with their differences can also be right.”
How are these noble international ideals achieved? Each Diploma student must
choose one subject from all of the 6 main areas of learning which are
language, second language, individuals and societies, experimental sciences,
mathematics and computer sciences, and the arts & electives. At least 3
of these and not more than 4 must be taken at a Higher Level.
This is a deliberate compromise between the depth of some national systems
and the breadth of others. There are 3 additional requirements which make
the IB Diploma different. All students must study the Theory of Knowledge
(TOK), an interdisciplinary subject that unifies academic areas and promotes
wide cultural appreciation by considering global issues through critical and
All students must also write a 4000 word extended essay in the subject of
the student’s choice allowing in-depth exploration of the students’
ideas. This extended essay requires the students to utilize all the skills
of research and writing expected at university. Finally students must
participate for 150 hours in creative pursuits, physical activities and
service projects. This is called the CAS requirement for the IB Diploma.
This huge program is all done in 2 years.
Taken as a package, the IB Diploma Program has much to recommend it and has
spread rapidly world wide and is being introduced within many of the
national systems as an alternative. It combines serious scholarship at a
high level with breadth and service and ensures all students have the
necessary experience and commitment to handle university. It is significant
that some of the best schools in the USA, Australia and the UK have
introduced the IB.
So do IB students have any advantage in gaining entry to universities? A
recent British study found that IB students compare favorably with A level
students in the depth of what they study but their breadth gives them an
advantage when taking combined degrees. IB students generally outperform A
level students in critical thinking skills which the Theory of Knowledge
course is based around.
97% of respondents from UK Universities were satisfied that the IB diploma
prepares students well for University.
57% felt it gave them an advantage over A level students.
40% thought it gave them no advantage and 3% thought it disadvantaged them.
The conclusion is IB students are well received by British Universities.
What about the USA? There is no national body to make policy so each
university has its own criteria. As an example, two Ivy League schools
Stanford University and Princeton University give advanced credit for the IB
In Australia the IB is so well accepted the required score is in most
handbooks. It is similarly accepted in Japan Canada, Singapore and Europe. IB
students are therefore well received by all world University systems.
In conclusion why would a student want to do the IB Diploma?
1. It is a coherent program with a range of disciplines, all of which are
2. Its’ courses are divided into Higher and Standard levels allowing for
3. It incorporates mind broadening and skill developing activities like TOK,
CAS and extended essay.
4. The assessment strategies are many and varied and designed to test a
range of skills
5. Students are studying a genuine international course which promotes
international understanding in an ever increasing international world.
6. It is widely accepted as a College /University entrance criteria and
preferred by some.
The IB diploma is therefore an interesting and different qualification for a
secondary school student and worthy of careful consideration.