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Tambons in bid to improve early schooling

Feb 09. 2016
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By VISARUT SANKHAM
THE NATION

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DOZENs of tambon administrative organisations in the Northeast have joined a project to reduce the social gap in early-childhood education.
At the heart of the scheme is the goal to create better learning environments at local nurseries. 
The project, called “Reducing Inequality through Early Childhood Education”, took off yesterday with 24 tambon administrative organisations from the northeastern provinces of Maha Sarakham and Kalasin inking a memorandum of understanding with the Quality Learning Foundation and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Research Institute for Policy Evaluation and Design. 
The initiative frames the learning environment in “Plan”, “Do” and “Review” stages, enabling children to choose what they want to learn, allowing them to proceed with their ideas and finally reviewing what they have done or learnt. 
Son Bualad, who heads the Tambon Tha Song Khon Administrative Organisation, said he hoped the initiative would ultimately be offered to all 130 nursery pupils in his area.
“It will be great to cooperate with the universities that have researchers. Research will be useful for improvement of the education system in local nursery schools,” he added.
Project director Weerachart Kilenthong said early childhood or primary school education is the key factor to improve human capital for the country’s development.
There are about 50 nursery schools in Maha Sarakham and Kalasin joining the pilot programme covering 2,000 children aged between two and four. He added that the project found 42.17 per cent of children at these nurseries did not live with their parents, which was above the national average of 30 per cent. 
“This situation called the ‘skipped generation family’ will affect children’s life quality, as they lack quality time with their parents,” Son said. 
The project survey shows that children staying with their parents tend to have 2.57 hours of play-for-learning time compared to 1.89 hours for children who do not live with parents. 
The project is expected to increase quality time for childre, the study said.

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