The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children (FERC)
held a Scholarship Day ceremony on June 2, 2010 at the Office of Education
Service Area Four (San Patong). Area Four is responsible for the supervision
of 136 schools, kindergarten through high school, with students who are both
Thai and tribal. All are rural schools, and some of them serve many
villages. Many of the schools provide dormitories for their students as home
villages may be too far away for the students to travel every day. And, as
is the case with many remote villages, roads may become virtually impassable
during the rainy season.
Needy students from the San Patong area receive
scholarships from the Foundation for the Education of Rural Children (FERC)
on June 2, 2010.
FERC is registered in Thailand and the United States, is
fully transparent in handling its money, and has no paid staff. One of our
most important projects is awarding scholarships. Scholarship recipients are
chosen based on financial need, the ability to succeed academically, and
demonstrated commitment to complete their educations. Students are first
recommended by their teachers, and then screened by administrative staff
before being recommended to the FERC Scholarship Committee. Committee
members screen the students and make further recommendations to the
Foundation Board Members. Scholarship Committee members continue to monitor
the students’ progress and needs throughout the year. All expenditure of
scholarship funds is recorded jointly by the students and teachers, and
approved by the Scholarship Committee.
Almost 100 emergency and enrichment scholarships were
given to children from the schools. While many of these students’ families
are able to pay for their basic needs, most need help in funding special
educational subjects such as computer science, biology, music, and sports.
Some of these younger students come from families that have suffered the
death or absence of a parent, and some live with grandparents. All, however,
need help in meeting their educational needs.
Twenty-one high school students were given scholarships
of 10,000 baht each. Seven of these were previous scholarship recipients who
continue to need help to complete their high school educations, and fourteen
were new scholarships. Once FERC awards a scholarship to a high school
student, it continues to fund that student through high school. Recent FERC
scholarship recipients who have graduated from high school are now studying
at Chiang Mai University and the Rajabaht University. One is studying
engineering in Bangkok at the Engineering Institute of Thailand.
In addition to awarding scholarships, the FERC board
members, teachers and administrators were delighted to hear short “thank you”
speeches in both English and Thai made by scholarship recipients. www.thai-rural-education.org
for more information.