Country Group Holdings Keeps Expanding Educational Opportunity
through Fields Trips to Train Sustainable Occupational Skills to School Kids Nationwide in
“Education on Wheels by CGH” Programme
Bangkok – Country Group Holdings (CGH) is extending educational opportunity to Thai children as the company drums up its social focus on ‘Sustainable Education Investment’. In the latest move under the ongoing ‘Education on Wheels by CGH’ programme, the company has engaged vocational students of Nan Technical College in a field trip to provide vocational skills training to primary school students at Bannakok School in Wiang Sa District, Nan Province—a school in the ‘ICU’ list of 50 that suffer an academic crisis. The programme seeks to equip school kids in upper-elementary years with practical skills and provide guidance on making a sustainable livelihood, as well as to help build good educators of tomorrow out of participating vocational students.
Tommy Taechaubol, Chief Executive Officer of Country Group Holdings Public Company Limited (CGH) revealed, “CGH has a vision to thrive as one of the most diverse investment companies while giving high priority to our corporate citizenship with a social goal in line with His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s royal intention to steer Thailand towards sustainable development. We actively support the national policy on education, particularly the mission to revivify schools in the so-called ‘ICU’ list and the policy, ‘Moderate Class, More Knowledge’ to slash classroom time in favor of experiential learning, which will broaden children’s opportunity to gain occupational skills. To support schools in need of learning resources, we’ve launched Education on Wheels by CGH, an initiative based on our Sustainable Education Investment concept to equip Thai children with sustainable skills to make a living and ensure that they will enjoy an economically secure life in the future and to reflex our effective investment for elevating the standard of Thai education.”
Education on Wheels by CGH is a collaboration of CGH and two agencies under the Ministry of Education, the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) and the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC). To find pilot schools as beneficiaries in the first phase, OBEC has recruited 50 small-to-medium-sized primary schools which fall short of learning tools and human resources. Meanwhile, OVEC has built a field force by recruiting and training vocational students to teach the skills to senior primary school students, in addition to designing the skills training courses. Three groups of occupational skills are included: 1) Basic mechanics 2) Computing and 3) Farming. The training for each school varies according to their specific needs. The series of school visits kicked off in June, 2017 at primary schools in the central part of Thailand and will be reaching out to other parts to cover all the 50 schools nationwide. Most recently, the northern leg has already begun with a visit to Bannakok School in Wiang Sa District, Nan Province.
“We at Bannakok School are glad that the programme values competency development of Thai children, and we feel thankful for being here to teach occupational skills to our students,” said Ajarn Srinian Phankamwang, Director of Bannakok School. “We enrolled our senior primary school students from fourth to sixth graders in computing and farming courses because these are the skills our students should be able to top up and make a living on later in their life. At first we thought the subjects could be too difficult and too complicated for children in this age range, but the courses came with a strength: they were designed to uncover and unleash occupational potentials of the children. In particular, they train the kids to be thoughtful and work hands-on in realistic environment. The training ambience was filled with kinsfolk comfort because the instructors themselves are vocational students in Nan and the training were conducted in our local dialect with great fun and congeniality, thanks to close and caring instruction of these vocational students. The result is good comprehension of the subjects being taught, which will lead to the kids’ ability to deal with basic problems on their own and will pave way for self-discovery and development of their occupational potentials.”
The computing course is focused on giving children a clear understanding of computers right from the basics, starting with the key components such as computer processor and memory or RAM, including their functions, and complementary components such as power supply, hard disk, case, etc. The course then gets deeper into computer usage, maintenance, programme installation, basic diagnostics and repairs, and computer assembly and disassembly skills.
In the farming course, the children learn how to farm vegetables in limited land space. Thai morning glory and straw mushroom were chosen for the training because they are farmable despite space restrictions, fast-growing, and take only a short period to reach their harvestable stage. Moreover, they are highly sellable because they are used in numerous dishes. The training course introduces the students to the life cycle of Thai morning glory and straw mushroom, their harvest time, farming supplies and preparation, cultivation, care, pest control and harvesting in detail. Basic farming knowledge for other veggies are also included.
The programme also offers another training course in basic mechanics, which is focused on skills for household needs including change and repair of plumbing fixtures, chair repair, and crafts using waste materials, such as making a chair from plastic bottles. The students get to know various tools and learn how to use them, as well as how to detect different types of damage that need a repair and how to fix them. Each task is done with close assistance and advice of the vocational students.
“Education on Wheels by CGH will empower children by equipping them with greater occupational skills. These knowledge and skills can also be relayed from one generation to the next: elder students who have undergone the training can pass on the skills in all the three areas to their younger school peers. Moreover, the trained students should be able to make an income from these skills for themselves and their family sustainably. In addition to 50 pilot schools included in the first phase, we will continue to expand the outreach of this skills training programme to more and more schools nationwide in the future,” concluded Tommy.
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