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HRH Princess Sirindhorn donates school equipment to quake victims

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn donated school equipment and materials to schools damaged by the earthquake in Chiang Rai. The Princess also plans on building earthquake proof school buildings for damaged schools.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously donated educational equipment and materials to schools affected by the earthquake in Chiang Rai on June 5, 2014. HRH Princess Sirindhorn was represented by Samroeng Iamsa-ard, Assistant Secretary to Her Royal Highness, at the donation ceremony.
Governor of Chiang Rai Pongsak Wangsamer was on hand to greet K. Samroeng along with Chief District Officer of Phan Samrit Sawamipak, Director of the Secondary Educational Service Area Office 36 Thongpond Sard-on, and school directors, teachers, and students.
The Royal donations included 40 computers, 10 projectors with screens, and 20 canvas tents for Phan Pittayakom School, Mae Lao Wittayakom School, Mon Wittayakom School, Charoen Muang Wittayakom School, Dong Mada Wittayakom School, and Bann Saalaa School in Phan District.
Samroeng Iamsa-ard said that HRH Princess had been very concerned for those who had been affected by the earthquake, particularly affecting the school buildings, and also teaching and learning equipment and materials. The working group under the HRH Princess’s Private Secretary was continuing to investigate damages and requirements and would report to the Princess as to the needs of schools in Chiang Rai. HRH Princess ordered that they build new earthquake proof school buildings for Phan Pittayakom School, Mae Lao Wittayakom School, Baan Prong Prae School, Baan Paa Ruak School, and Baan Thanthong Wittayakom School. The building structure plans were currently in the process of design by the Engineering Institute of Thailand under H.M. the King’s Patronage (EIT), while the construction was expected to be started shortly after the plans were finished.


Bicycles for Kids from the Provincial Red Cross Chapter of Chiang Mai

The Provincial Red Cross Chapter of Chiang Mai held Bicycles for Kids project honoring HRH Princess Sirindhorn, the vice president of Thai Red Cross Society on the occasion of her 60th birthday anniversary. Angkana Puthiwinyoo, the President of the Provincial Red Cross, Chiang Mai Chapter held the Bicycles for Kids project at the Governor’s Official Residence on May 29, 2014. The Red Cross distributed 500 bicycles to 25 districts, 20 bicycles per each district, for disadvantaged children who are good students and well-behaved.
The Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross Chapter also donated 10,000 baht to Thanawan Khamsaen whose mother died in the accident on April in Hod district and 10,000 baht per person to Chawo Chalo and Kamol Laowang, whose houses were burnt in Hang Dong district.


Boarding as an anthropological field

Third Culture Kids

By Nina Kaae, MA student in educational anthropology, Aarhus University, Denmark
Told in two parts by Nina, this is the second of two parts on her fieldwork in Chiang Mai.
Later in my time at the school some students told me that they were Third Culture Kids – a term I had never heard before. According to American sociologist David C. Pollock, a “Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.”
I realised that several students in boarding were more used to being in an international environment than a national one. It was inevitable, but how could I not have predicted that when I put up my world map? I wondered how the TCK understood the world and their opportunities in it. Were these the future global citizens of the world?
At the same time I saw cultural bonds between the students, and several times experienced it myself.
Children in many countries enjoy Advent calendars – colourful Christmas pictures with twenty-four or twenty-five small “windows” with the dates written on them. Each day one “window” is opened to see the picture hidden behind it. It’s our countdown to Christmas and every day we are excited to open and talk about what is behind the window. I noted that some of the boarding students from European or Australian countries had these calendars, and it was like a “secret bond” as we talked about what was in the window for each day. The other students did not value the calendars in the same way since they did not have the same meaning to them.
It was not only the calendars that connected us. It was food (certain noodles or types of bread), words, languages, humour, gestures or ways of greeting a person (a node, a bow, a “Hello” or “How are you?”). This insider knowledge made connections between the students and staff and seemed to be a bond between people who understood the other person’s sense of “home”. I wonder which things connect the Chinese, the Koreans and the Japanese and the Third Culture Kids? It seems that we all had different bonds to one another – small cultural “secrets”.
I was mulling over this idea a lot while at Prem. What did these students learn from each other? When a western Third Culture Kid showed me a YouTube video with his favourite Japanese music, I started thinking of the students’ interaction at Prem as a cultural hybrid – a constant exchange, an on-going process where thoughts and ideas are constantly challenged, shared and redefined.
Do you still consider yourself fully German if you have lived in Thailand for two years? Do you inevitably start thinking with a global mind-set after a while living with people from all over the world and attending an international school? Do you develop a different taste in music? Which cultural codes do you keep - and which do you get rid of?
These are some of the thoughts I had here at Prem. The input, conversations and interviews from students, staff and parents of an international community has helped greatly with my research and I hope new ideas will unfold as I go back to the University to do further analysis.


Technology in the Prem PYP Exhibition

Prem students focus on technology at the PYP Exhibition

By Joy Huss
The PYP Exhibition is a big moment for IB schools. The way students investigate, act, reflect and present during the PYP Exhibition gives us a direct window into how students are developing as life-long learners throughout their time in the Junior School and beyond. Therefore, it has been very valuable to see how flawlessly the Grade 5 students at Prem International School have engaged with technology tightly weaving Approaches to Learning with skills necessary for thriving in the digital age.
Some Grade 5 students chose to use a particular technological platform as the base of their projects. For example, Oki sought out to create a mobile application called ‘Air Alert’. Motivated by air pollution, he and his group designed the app to collect air quality information and share it on a smart device. Their investigations took them on field trips to Manao Software Co., Ltd. and Digital Zoo, where they collaborated with like-minded experts and got motivation and ideas to take their plan further.
Another group was passionate about helping endangered animals as well as coding to design video games. Ugen and Niall resolved to design a video game using Scratch, a coding community for students. They created an educational game challenging players to buy and use products that don’t harm animals, and they presented the game to the Prem community on the day of the Exhibition.
Some students chose not to focus primarily on technology; however IT skills were deeply embedded into all aspects of Exhibition work for each group. From collaborating on shared documents from different cities using Google Drive, blogging as the main form of Exhibition reflection, writing emails to government officials, using iMovie to synthesize the inquiry process to creating and promoting an online survey with social media to learn people’s views on discrimination, the use of technology has become nearly synonymous with learning itself.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story] :

HRH Princess Sirindhorn donates school equipment to quake victims

Bicycles for Kids from the Provincial Red Cross Chapter of Chiang Mai

Boarding as an anthropological field

Technology in the Prem PYP Exhibition