From Thailand: Pondok Students Learn In and Outside the Classroom
April 30, 2008
Nakmeen Waeming is a 14-year-old student who dreams of becoming a diplomat. “In the future I would like to be Thailand’s ambassador to Malaysia and work on border issues between the two countries.”
To achieve her goals, Nakmeen understands that having foreign language proficiency, in particular English, is an essential part of her future. Yet students from Thailand’s southernmost provinces face particular challenges. Along with the near-daily violence plaguing the region, private Islamic schools (pondoks) operate on a more restricted budget than their government-funded counterparts. This has resulted in a shortage of funding for teacher training, school supplies, and extracurricular activities. In addition, few people in the region speak English, so students have limited opportunities for practicing outside of the classroom.
To help students like Nakmeen, The Asia Foundation has been working with pondoks to improve the quality of their secular instruction. Currently, the Foundation has three major projects. The first is to introduce modern pedagogy that replaces lecturing and rote teaching with a student-centered approach. The second aims to build detailed lesson plans based on the government curriculum to ensure high-quality instruction in all project schools. The third focuses on providing students with extra-curricular opportunities that take learning outside the classroom, like social studies camps: “English camp was great. I didn’t just improve my vocabulary and accent, but I learned to speak in a natural way,” says Nakmeen. By helping improve the quality of secular education, Islamic secondary school students will be better prepared to enter Thailand’s competitive job market and gain access to higher education.
About our blog, InAsia
InAsia is posted and distributed every other Wednesday evening, Pacific Time. If you have any questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ContactFor questions about InAsia, or for our cross-post and re-use policy, please send an email to email@example.com.
The Asia Foundation
465 California St., 9th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
PO Box 193223
San Francisco, CA 94119-3223
HIGHLIGHTS ACROSS ASIA
The Asia Foundation Supports APEC Policy Brief on Women, Covid-19, and the Future of Work
January 4, 2021
North Korean Refugee Entrepreneurs in South Korea: Unveiling Korea’s Hidden Potential
December 30, 2020
Asia Foundation Tackles Governance Challenges in GovLab’s 100 Questions Initiative
December 16, 2020
Myanmar Business Environment Index: Covid-19 Impact on Businesses
December 15, 2020
Impact Report 2020
Leading through change