By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
11 FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA CHOSEN FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE TO YOUNG LIVES
ELEVEN inspiring teachers from 11 Southeast Asian countries who have made a difference in children’s lives will become the first recipients of the Princess Maha Chakri Awards.
This year marks the first time that such regional-level awards will be handed out to outstanding teachers from 10 Asean nations as well as Timor-Leste.
Each country has just one nominee.
“Two main factors for the nomination are that nominees must change their students’ lives for the better and inspire the good practice to the other teachers,” Kritsanapong Kriratikorn said yesterday in his capacity as the president of the Princess Maha Chakri Award Foundation Committee.
The award is named after HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, as she is the public figure who has devoted herself to educational causes and celebrates her 60th birthday this year.
In Thai society, the 60th birthday is an important occasion.
The recipients for the awards are Hajah Ratnawati Binti Haji Mohammad from Brunei, Tauch Bundaul from Cambodia, Herwin Hamid from Indonesia, Vongsamphanh Khamsoy from Laos, Zainuddin Zakaria from Malaysia, Yee Mon Soe from Myanmar, William Moraca from the Philippines, Wang-Lim Ai Lian from Singapore, Julio Ximenes Madeira from Timor-Leste, Tran Thi Thuy Dung from Vietnam and Chalermporn Phongtheerawan from Thailand.
“I am very excited and glad to have won this award,” said Chalermporn, who teaches at the Suratpittaya School in the southern province of Surat Thani.
This outstanding teacher has taught science in a way that effectively promotes analytical thinking and problem-solving skills among students. Thanks to his contributions, three minor planets are named after three students from his school.
“The selection process of this award is unique as we offer the opportunity for people to nominate their beloved teacher to the committee and we also allow the public to make a comment and remonstrate with the selection result,” Kritsanapong said.
Lagging just behind Chalermporn are Chatri Samran and Natchata Thamthanakom. Both will receive the Kunakorn Prizes.
Kritsanapong said teachers among the top ranks will be encouraged and supported by the Education Ministry to improve the education system in their own way.
“This award ceremony intends to show that we have many good teachers who have a teacher spirit to improve the ability of their students.
“We are trying to bring the good teachers from every corner of our region to inspire other teachers and improve the education system together,” he said.