When COVID-19 hit, we saw schools all around the world shut-down. There were concerns everywhere for how students would learn from home and the struggles they may face, particularly for those who don’t have access to laptops, internet or comfortable and productive spaces to learn. Schools in Thailand were no exception.
Our Thailand Team had been working on a project long before COVID-19, but with this crisis impacting our partner schools and students, it took on a new twist and sense of urgency. The team quickly came together to prepare an Education Box for our partner schools, containing exercises and information on Health and Education, to help support students and keep them engaged whilst they were at home. This project involved the following steps:
- Further aligning our existing Health Promotion and English syllabuses with the Thai government curricula
- The team obtained the Thai curricula, reviewing and condensing it into a more easily manageable document for the rest of the Thailand team, as well as for volunteers who can use it to gain a greater understanding of the Thai Education system structure
- They then used their existing syllabuses to ensure they could better align these with the learning objectives of the Thai curricular, as well as the Foundations own objectives for improving conversational English, through engaging workshops and life-skills development
- Further aligning these syllabuses with the needs of our partners
- The team had previously hosted their annual partner meeting and received requests on more long-term projects that the students could be left with to work on and practice along with potential smaller homework components
- They added components into their own syllabuses for small homework components as well as suggestion for volunteers to give to students in the beginning of the week to then later be reviewed and incorporated into activities later in the week
- They also added more longer-term, ‘do at home projects’ to the syllabuses to allow for students to work on things in their own time with the aim of enhancing their language skills, healthy habits, creativity and environmental knowledge.
As mentioned above, this was a project started before COVID-19, but with all the new and consolidated information, our Thailand Team now worked to put this information into Education Boxes. The boxes contain exercises and work sheets from the English syllabus, along with homework components and long-term project ideas which are being provided to the students of our partner schools so they can do them at home. They also include basic supporting material in Thai to ensure the students and their families understand the tasks, whilst also allowing them to use their English skills to complete them.
The boxes which will be distributed to our partner schools on a fortnightly basis will include activities promoting:
- Usage of English knowledge
- Creativity, innovation and problem- solving skills
- Environmental Sustainability awareness
- Livelihoods preparation (older students)
- Non-verbal communication (animations, art and images) that matches verbal communication – ability to link images with words or gestures/behaviours with words.
- Understanding of diversity
- Ability to follow instructions
- Health awareness
- Engaging in healthy activities and practices
As an organisation we’ve been proud to see how our teams across the world have pivoted and adapted throughout this crisis to ensure we are still providing essential support to our partners. We’re excited to see how the Education Boxes in Thailand evolve and how they are received by our partners and students!