ACADEMIA NUTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Children’s Thainews celebrates first anniversary

Chiang Mai Ballet Academy donates to Thai Red Cross

Honda continues school environmental project competition

Prem Tinsulanonda International School promotes drug awareness

Children’s Thainews celebrates first anniversary

Governor Suwat Tantipat (3rd right) presents financial support to the editor of Child’s Thainews, Thawatchai Tanchaiwong, witnessed by Monchai Thesaphad, the editor of Thainews newspaper (middle).

Preeyanoot Jittawong
September 30 saw the one year anniversary of “Children’s Thainews,” a news organisation written by children and young adults concerning issues that face young people.
Children’s Thai news was set up one year ago by the Thainews newspaper. It hoped to achieve a wide range of objectives, including encouraging young people to use their creativity, become more observant concerning social issues and read newspapers. It also hoped to involve young people in solving the problems facing young people.
Among the young people who had worked on the newspaper, those who had made outstanding contributions towards preventing social problems were awarded with prizes presented by HRH the Crown Prince. Also present at the celebration was Governor Suwat Tantipat.
Children’s Thainews involves students from elementary, middle and high school levels of five local educational institutes. Their writings mainly concern the education system, children’s rights and social problems such as drugs or the environment. Children’s Thainews is available across the 17 northern provinces, and has proved a useful resource in gauging young people’s opinions in various matters.
At the celebration administrators of Children’s Thainews announced that they would be offering the opportunity for another five schools to learn media and communication skills as part of a project to expand the Children’s Thainews network.


Chiang Mai Ballet Academy donates to Thai Red Cross

The Government Lottery Office, Thai Airways International Plc., along with parents, staff and students of the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy donated 200,000 baht to the Thai Red Cross in Chiang Mai and the Northern Mentally Retarded Welfare Centre at a recent ceremony at the Governor’s house.
The money was raised from the 5th musical dance play “The Ugly Duckling 2006” and “Swan Lake Act II”.
Pictured from the left are: Lindy Pohl, Michelle Ring, Mom Luang Preeyapun Sridhavat; director of the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy, Onnadda Tantipat; chairperson of the Red Cross, Chiang Mai and chairperson of the Northern Mentally Retarded Welfare Center, Chiang Mai and Tanawat Hiranyalekha, district sales manager, Upper Northern Thailand, of Thai Airways International Plc.


Honda continues school environmental project competition

Preeyanoot Jittawong
Honda Automobile Co. Ltd., in cooperation with four government ministries, has organised the fourth “School Environmental Project to Honour HM the King”. The project will see schools around the country competing to develop projects that solve environmental problems associated with polluted water, garbage and energy.
The fourth “School Environmental Project to Honour HM the King” was announced on September 29 by representatives of Honda Automobiles (Thailand), the Office of the Royal Development Projects Board (RDPB), the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Energy, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Over the past four years Honda has donated 21 million baht to 450 schools across Thailand. The competition encourages students to use local knowledge to solve environmental problems. Each year the winner of the competition is awarded with a honourary cup.
This year’s project will be part of the joint celebrations of HM the King’s 60th year as King of Thailand and the occasion of his 80th birthday in 2007. The theme for this year’s project was “Follow HM the King with Honda” and asked students to focus on three environmental problems: water pollution, garbage and energy.
Schools across Thailand have been invited to submit proposals for the environmental project before October 31. A committee will consider the proposals and select 60 schools to receive funds of between 10,000 and 60,000 baht each from Honda. The committee will visit participating schools throughout 2007 and select one outstanding project to be the recipients of the honourary cup.


Prem Tinsulanonda International School promotes drug awareness

Students view presentation by AHRN.

On September 14, Prem Tinsulanonda International School held its first “Day Out” for students, an event which encourages activities beyond the academic curriculum to be explored. On this day, workshops were held for Grade 11 and 12 students regarding drug abuse and the consequences associated with it as a part of an educational drug awareness program at the school. The workshops consisted of a number of presentations by prominent speakers who have worked in various fields related to drugs.
One of these speakers was Rebecca Lomax, who has extensive experience working in this field, having completed a PhD in Public Health and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. In her presentation, she informed students about the health effects of drugs such as marijuana and the complications associated with its use.
Another speaker was Frank Weicks, who has worked in law enforcement and juvenile justice for many years in the United States, holding a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. His presentation greatly stressed the consequences of drugs in terms of Thai law and punishment.
Also discussing the consequences of drugs in the Thai Justice System, Soipetch Resanond gave students a glimpse into the conditions of the juvenile detention centers in Thailand. She has worked as a social worker in these centers for over 10 years and holds a PhD in Resource Management.
Apart from this, a presentation was also given by representatives of the Asian Harm Reduction Network (AHRN), which emphasises the dangers of contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis from the needles used in injecting various drugs.
After taking part in these workshops, the Grade 11 and 12 students gathered into small groups specialising in Drama, Visual Art and the Written Word. Using the knowledge gained through the day’s events, each group developed original initiatives to increase drug awareness within the school community.
As Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power”, and with greater knowledge of this issue, students will hopefully be able to make positive, life-changing decisions regarding the use of drugs in the future.