By Chuleeporn Aramnet,
Pakjira Janyong, Delada Haeng-thanirames and Pann Yodwongkong – all Mathayom 2 pupils at Wisutrangsi School in Kanchanaburi – said it was common for Thai youngsters to spend the break in tutoring classes. The three friends came to Bangkok, a hub of tutoring schools, as it is “a constructive way to spend free time”.
“It’s not like we only study – we can spend after-class time in activities such as visiting learning centres,” Pakjira said. They also assess what they have learnt as they are registered at various schools in different subjects according to each individual’s interest. Finding themselves as roommates for this break, they agreed it was an experience to boost life skills such as how to take care of themselves and be responsible.
Pongpak Trisang, a Mathayom 4 student at St Gabriel’s College in Bangkok, said he attended tutoring classes for subjects he wants to learn more about, like biology and chemistry. He studies one subject a day for up to three hours, but has also found time to attend a Dhamma camp, do some exercise, and join family trips.
Kesaraporn Rujayakornkul, a Mathayom 2 student at Samsen Wittayalai School, studies science and maths every afternoon this break because her parents want her to be a doctor. She is keen prepare for the Mathayom 4 entrance exam at the prestigious Triam Udom Suksa School.
Pimchanok Jenkosol, who attends Silpakorn University’s Demonstration School in Nakhon Pathom, said she joined tutoring classes for better understanding of subjects, learning techniques and fun as most tutoring classes were not boring and even made young people enjoy learning.
She planned leisure activities such as going to malls with her friends, learning music and art, or visiting attractions with family or friends.
“School break is a time of freedom to learn about interesting skills or visit places to open up your world,” she said, urging parents to support their kids to join activities they want to do – rather than what parents want them to do.
Pantaree Jirachotikul, a Mathayom 2 pupil at Satriwithaya School, attends tutoring in English, physics and chemistry from 8am till 3pm to prepare for the Mathayom 4 entrance exam. She wants to be a doctor like her dad.
Besides gaining knowledge in these subjects, she also got to make friends from other schools, she said.
Housewife Karuna Pitiwiwat, whose two children study at Chula-longkorn University Demonstration Secondary School, said parents had to keep up with their children’s expenses, including tutoring and extra-curricular fees, while also making time to take care of them, especially those poised to study higher education.
“We have to prepare our kids to have competitive skills in the ever-changing world and let their potential be fully realised,” she said.
Nakhon Si Thammarat rubber tapper Thitipa Pikhro, who earns Bt15,000 a month while her truck-driver husband Luan Phrakaew earns up to Bt30,000, said their two elder sons stopped after graduating from Mathayom 6 to let their youngest brother to study at a higher level.
Being among the top 10 in his class, Meen, who is studying Mathayom 5 at Bangkok’s Debsirin School, was supported by his family to study hard for a good future, so tutoring classes were deemed necessary.
Meen can visit his family for 10 days after which he must attend tutoring. His father gave him Bt6,000 to rent an apartment near the school, Bt4,000 for expenses and Bt10,000 for tutors’ fees.
Chawannat Niponkij, who was waiting for her Prathom 6 student son at a tutoring school, said classes during the break would help him revise lessons and improve his learning skills.