Posted by Martin Harrison
The Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin has for the last three years provided support for the “Thai Voices” project that has been the vision and inspiration of Dr Keith Humphreys closely supported by IPP Napa Keawtem who have worked tirelessly with the School Directors, Senior teachers and support staff at the Phetchaburi Panyanukul School to strive to change the way children with learning difficulties are taught.
The challenges this invoked was changing the mindset of the teachers and the Education system here in Thailand to move away from teacher led teaching to giving a voice to the children.
The development of and assessment process to overcome the current situation where every child is taught the same thing in line with the 8 core subjects in the current Thai National curriculum, that does not take into account the levels of individual children’s learning needs, abilities and disabilities.  Currently only a small percentage of each class actually learn something from the lessons the rest the subject matter is lost on them.
This will now start to charge as the first Ministry of Education recognised National Curriculum assessment document for students with Learning Difficulties has been produced. Dr Keith praised the leadership of Ajarn Weera the School Director, and Senior Management team who have worked to produce this document.
The creation of this document and the work undertaken at the Phetchaburi Panyanukul School has come under the microscope of the Ministry of Education and several meetings have taken place with a view of rolling out the “Thai Voices” project to all 19 Panyanukul Schools here in Thailand. This was further supported when on the 20th August a major National Conference involving all 19 Panyanukul Schools and the Special Education Department was held at the Golden Beach resort in Cha Am. Around 80 people attended this event and Dr Keith and IPP Napa presented at the conference on the work of the ‘Thai Voices’ project.
Support for this project has also been received from the King Mongkuts University of Technology Thonburi in Bangkok. Dr Keith stated that the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin have played a central role in initiating and supporting this ground breaking project.