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Isaan News / housing project for the poor in Khon Kaen
« Last post by Newsy on October 18, 2018, 11:51:53 AM »

A housing project for the poor in Khon Kaen inspires plan to lift lives of 4 million families

File photo // Photo from www.

THE SUCCESS of the Ban Mankong housing project for the poor in Khon Kaen province has inspired the military government to adopt an ambitious goal of creating accommodation for 4 million poor people over the next 20 years.

More than a thousand underprivileged families live in houses built by community savings in the province’s Chum Phae district, courtesy of low-interest loans from a government housing agency, the Community Organisations Development Institute (CODI).

“We are self-reliant. We have formed a community group, acquired a collective land title and we pay our house loans by ourselves,” said Chum Phae community leader Sanong Rauysungnoen, at a panel held to commemorate World Habitat Day and World Cities Day hosted by UNESCAP and UN Habitat.

From humble beginnings …

The Ban Mankong housing project started nationwide in 2003. The panel discussion was held to commemorate one project – a collaboration between the Chum Phae town municipality and the CODI along with those people, including Sanong, who were sorely in need of a house.

The Chum Phae district started with only eight housing projects for 400 poor households but expanded to 13 projects covering a further 600 households, Sanong said. “First, there were as many as 3,000 households who wanted a house, but when they knew the house was not given for free and they had to save money to buy it, some left the project, leaving only 395 households in real need,” she said.

Under the scheme, low-income families have managed to buy a home through loans with generous conditions they could never have dreamed of getting from commercial banks.

According to a book about the Chum Phai community published by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, the first phase started in 2003 with 30 houses, worth about Bt4.3 million in total.

It took the community two years to save the down payments before construction began. After that, each family paid about Bt1,200-Bt1,400 a month. Within the next two years or so, the first 30 Chum Phae households will have paid off their entire loans. As many as a thousand houses have so far been built for the poorest people in Chum Phae, which has become a model for other communities nationwide and inspired the Housing Master Plan launched in 2017.

Under that master plan, about 4 million households now living precariously will enjoy decent houses and good livelihoods by 2036.

The three agencies responsible for the housing scheme are the CODI, the National Housing Authority and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

The CODI alone is expected to provide accommodation to 1 million poor people.
Education and Teachers Forum / Finnish education sector offers invaluable lessons
« Last post by Newsy on October 18, 2018, 11:46:06 AM »

Finnish education sector offers invaluable lessons

 Local educators attend summit to learn how Finland tops in rankings.

THAILAND HOPES to learn and perhaps implement the highly successful educational reform of Finland, where nearly a third of the adult population was uneducated a mere six decades ago.

Today, Finnish education unarguably ranks among the world’s best.

 More than 100 Thai teachers and educators attended the Educa 2018 Pre-Conference Finnish Teacher Education Forum at Kasetsart University yesterday in the hope of learning exactly how Thailand can improve its educational quality.

For much of the 21st century, Finland has been one of the very top performers in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), a study administered every three years that tests the reading, maths and science abilities of 15-year-olds in developed nations.

Low scores

 Thailand has not fared well. Thai students’ scores in 2015 PISA showed a drop despite the fact that the country has been pumping more and more funds into its educational sector and trying hard to implement educational reform.

At yesterday’s forum, Professor Hannele Niemi from the University of Helsinki told participants that the idea of “free school for everyone” was solidified in her country in 1968 through the Comprehensive School Framework Law.

“That law also stipulated that all citizens shall have an equal opportunity to receive basic education regardless of age, domicile, financial situation, sex, mother tongue or residence,” she pointed out.

Niemi, who is also research director for Unesco, said the law also engaged municipalities as local providers of education.

Finland’s educational sector has since gone from strength to strength. In 1970, a new law was passed to prescribe massive in-service training for all teachers.

During the 1980s, Finland’s educational sector started placing a strong emphasis on mixed ability groups, special-needs education support, inclusion and assurance that a learner can always continue in the system.

“Our school law of 1998 then accorded importance to responsibility, civilisation and connection to national development,” Niemi said. “Pupils are groomed for growth into humanity and into ethically responsible membership in society.”

She added that Finnish education also sought to provide pupils with knowledge and skills needed in life.

Sanna Vahtivuori-Hanninen, adviser to the permanent secretary of Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture, believed teacher education was a key success factor in Finnish education. A high percentage of Finnish teachers hold a master’s degree.

“Because we have highly qualified

 teachers, we can produce excellent students,” she said.

In Finland, teachers are well respected and the profession is popular. Very few teachers jump to other fields. A survey by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reflects that Finnish teachers are happy with their profession. Findings show that more than 80 per cent of Finnish teachers say they would choose to become teachers if they were told to decide again.

“Teachers and high-quality teacher education are the core of the Finnish education system,” Vahtivuori-Hanninen said.

She added that Finland was also supportive of teachers’ life-long professional development.

“We also support their collaboration and networking,” she added.
Transport & Traffic / Alcohol Control Committee
« Last post by Newsy on October 18, 2018, 11:41:21 AM »

Alcohol Control Committee urges all provinces to form provincial alcohol control committees before New Year

The Alcohol Control Committee has urged each province to form a provincial alcohol control committee before this coming New Year.

The Public Health Minister, Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, said the Alcohol Control Committee had a meeting on Monday (Oct 8 ) to follow up on its plan to set up the provincial alcohol committees nationwide. So far, 42 provinces have already appointed such committees.

Dr. Piyasakol has urged the remaining provinces to form them before the New Year to accommodate the implementation of safety measures during the holidays.

He said the safety measures focus on strict law enforcement at provincial, district, subdistrict, and community levels to reduce injuries and deaths from road accidents caused by drink-driving during the New Year festival.

Chiang Mai abbot defrocked over sexual abuse charges

An abbot in Chiang Mai has been arrested and defrocked for allegedly sexually abusing “more than 10” boys at his temple in Hang Dong district.

37 year old, has now had his title reverted back to his lay name, following his arrest at Wat Sriwaree Sathan in Tambon Sob Mae Kha. The warrant was issued on October 11 after several boys and their parents filed complaints with Provincial Police Bureau 5.

The mothers of the boys had collaborated their stories following their sons approaching them individually. When the mothers met to discuss the issue they decided to go to police.

The former Abbot has been accused of buying sex from multiple boys under age 18, paying them in either cash or valuables.
Energy & Environment / Re: Nine major dams at less than 60% capacity
« Last post by thaiga on October 17, 2018, 11:36:31 PM »
Nine major dams at less than 60% capacity

The Smart Water Operation Center (SWOC) has cited the need to manage water consumption more carefully as the quantity of water in nine major dams is now less than expected.

According to the SWOC, dams containing less than 60% of their capacity include Chiang Mai’s Mae Kuang Udom Thara Dam at 44%, Lampang’s Mae Mhok Dam at 32% , Nakhon Ratchasima’s Moon Bon Dam at 54%, Udon Thani’s Huai Luang Dam at 50% , Khon Kaen’s Ubonrat Dam at 35%, Buriram’s Lam Nang Rong Dam at 34%, Suphanburi’s Krasieaw Dam at 36%, Uthai Thani’s Thap Salao Dam at 30%, and Yala’s Bang Lang Dam at 59%.

Dams with less than 30% of water will supply only domestic consumption and enough to sustain the ecosystem.

Secretary-General of the Office of the National Water Resource Mr. Somkiat Prajamwong has held a meeting to find ways to handle runoffs in the west and south of Thailand as well as a possible drought crisis in summer.

According to the Meteorology Department, heavy rains have been forecast this weekend particularly in Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces.
Beer Hunting in Thailand

General Discussions / Re: What does make an expat depressed
« Last post by Johnnie F. on October 17, 2018, 05:23:33 PM »
What does make an expat depressed, err! reading Thaiga's posts ;)

I wouldn't dare to contradict you! But couldn't it also be not having all this comfort back at home, having to go to a foreign country for that?
General Discussions / Re: What does make an expat depressed
« Last post by thaiga on October 17, 2018, 04:25:10 PM »
Whoopie! i scored 0 in the test - Based on your responses today it's unlikely you're suffering from depression. :)
but after reading this post the outlook could change - lets not wander away from the truth ::) OK ere we go.

You could not get more depressed than a failed relationship and although its cost you money and you once again have to sort your life out, doesn't mean the journey here was worthless you have learnt something about life experiences. one minute you are attracted by the warmth of that Thai woman, the next you may see the coldness and cruelty of that same person. the dark sides could emerge in full swing.

i've seen grown men brought to tears over a break in a relationship, oddly enough their partner, the woman always seems to whether it well, more than depressing for the guy as its his money been spent, his heart broke, she falls back on her family, your left standing in a strange country on your own. the emotion of all this can make this extremely exhausting, enough that you just want to end it all, a horrible feeling, i have experienced back home, you can get buy, yes easier if your back with your folks i know.

we haven't mentioned age yet, most of us guys are getting on a bit which would make the situation even worse, at the time of life when you think and need someone that will take care of you and i sincerely hope they do. till the end. these are not nice words, we don't want to even think about it, but don't dismiss it. if you have a few bob its much easier, but imagine being old and broke, not a nice thought guys, put a bit by for a rainy day if you can. keep mum and i wish you all the best.

What does make an expat depressed, err! reading Thaiga's posts ;)
Brit expat charged for horrific Phuket accident

Police confirmed today (Oct 17) that British expat Paul John Mercer has been charged with reckless driving causing death.

Mercer was driving northbound on Thepkrasattri Rd in Muang Mai, Thalang at 4:45am last Wednesday (Oct 10) when his Mercedes-Benz C250 struck a man who was collecting recyclable litter from alongside the road opposite the PTT petrol station.

The man, who police have yet to name, was torn to pieces by the impact, with parts of his body left strewn across the road. (See story here)

Capt Warawud Sansop of the Thalang Police told The Phuket News today (Oct 17), “Officers were waiting for results of blood tests done by the hospital to check his (Mercer’s) alcohol level.

“We have now received those and police yesterday charged Mr Mercer with careless driving causing death.”

Capt Warawud declined to reveal the results of the alcohol blood test or whether Mercer was tested for any other substances, or reveal any further details about the case, including whether Mercer had been released on bail.

A worker from the PTT petrol station who witnessed the accident said that the deceased was a man who always collected sellable rubbish from the area.

At the time of the accident he was collecting plastic bottles from the side of the road when the car crashed into him and dragged him about 40 metres before coming to a stop.
Transport & Traffic / Korat bus leaves road, overturns
« Last post by thaiga on October 17, 2018, 02:36:48 PM »

Eight injured after Korat bus leaves road, overturns

The driver and seven passengers were injured when an air-conditioned bus fell into a ditch in the middle of a road and flipped over in Nakhon Ratchasima early on Wednesday.

The driver of the Bangkok-Si Sa Ket bus, Somyos Thammawat, 41, was severely injured in the crash.

Police said the accident happened at 3.35am on highway No 24 near the Ban Nong Waeng intersection in Tambon Nong Tako, Sung None district.

The injured passengers told police that the bus swayed before it fell into the ditch and overturned.

Police believe the drive dozed off behind the wheel.

The injured were taken to the district hospital.
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