Author Topic: Chicken-and-egg approach offers Nakhon Ratchasima youth key lessons  (Read 281 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.

THE IMPORTANT lessons in life for many children have little to do with computers or the Digital Age but lie in the farmlands here, where there are no substitutes for hard work, honesty and love for the community.

In Ban Mai Samrong School in Sikhio district of Nakhon Ratchasima province, students from Grade 1 to 9 are taught farming skills and assume responsibility at a young age.

“A programme in raising chickens for eggs and other food production now includes having students participate in trading goods they produce at the school to the villagers,” says teacher Chaochavan Chanla as he helps boys and girls set up stalls to offer eggs, vegetables and fruits in the schoolyard.

“This is part of an integrated programme by the Ministry of Education and local food giant CPF to honour HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Sufficiency Economy teachings,” he says.

The market provides first-hand experience for children to develop a service-oriented mind and allows them to cultivate customer relations, which is often absent in today’s industries, teachers here note.

They apply honesty and courtesy, paying keen attention to the needs of their buyers – vital human touches that city youngsters lose by being too preoccupied with smartphones.

“When children start to develop cognitive skills, they will be more successful in later life, having the abilities to relate to other people around them. They will be much better adjusted,” Chaochavan says.

He notices how quickly one of the boys responds when a housewife finds they have run out of eggs.

“I shall get a tray for you this afternoon when you come by,” the boy tells the woman, who is pleased the eggs will be promptly reserved and ready for delivery soon.

“There’s no need for apps, Internet or Thailand 4.0 policy. Also no need for drone delivery,” says another teacher.

The school has 193 students. They run a pen with 200 chickens that lay eggs daily.

Students consume the eggs three times a week as part of their school lunch to boost protein intake, which prevents stunted growth and poor mental development.

“The remaining eggs are sold to the community. The children learn that healthy fresh eggs fetch higher prices. The eggs you buy at supermarkets are often pre-frozen and can be a month old,” says Chaochavan, who is from Loei province.

“This is the third year of the project and the children have learned a lot. They now realise it is very important to work diligently to care for the hens. A sick bird will produce sickly eggs, usually shown by a pale coloured shell as opposed to a tanned, shiny look.

“The pen has to be stocked with food and water. Water is most important. Hens can survive without food for a while but not water.

“In the first year, a quarter of the hens died from changes in temperature. Violent climate swings are the biggest killer.

“Another killer is loud noise, which creates stress that kills chickens easily, so the pen needs to be placed in a quiet area.

“Children also learn not to enter the pen if they are sick or have open wounds. Human infections can be lethal to hens.”

Modern technology is used in farming but not the digital approach of “disruption” where eating other people’s lunch is seen to be a good thing and undercutting the competition is allowed.

Depriving people of jobs is also not part of the make-up in this programme where the late King’s sufficiency economy stresses the need to have a moral compass in life.

For the past six months, the school has earned about Bt120,000 from the sale of eggs.

After paying for animal feed and other expenses, the net profit is about Bt50,000. The kids learn to put money in a bank account to be later used as cash flow and capital for investments,” says Chaochavan

Introducing students to commerce allows them to develop an appreciation for business and the deployment of money while saving for retirement.

This is all in line with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s move to get farmers not to become overly dependent on state handouts and enable them to stand on their own feet.

The school is among the best-performing more than 70 learning institutions participating in the programme set up in 2015 to celebrate the Princess’s 60th birthday. It is also seen as a deterrent for urban migration as provincial youth can obtain income by working in the countryside.

The Nation
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Offline thaiga

Re: Chicken-and-egg approach offers Nakhon Ratchasima youth key lessons
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2017, 04:05:12 PM »
Piece of poetry here about students from who else, Orlando Burton.

One of the most common piles of steaming misinformation I hear over and over again is that Thai students can’t think their way out of a wet paper bag. Many is the time some bleary eyed barstool sociologist has explained to me, “Ya see, the Thai school system is based on rote learning. They’re just taught to write down what they see on the blackboard and regurgitate it back to the teacher. They don’t have any critical thinking or problem solving skills. They are afraid to voice an opinion for fear of insulting the teacher.” I’ve heard it from literally dozens of crusty old expats who consider themselves experts on all things Thai; Thai kids can’t think.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.