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.  (Taken from an article Thai Voices Getting Louder September 2020)
Since this story was written and following the success of the Thai Voices project at Phetchaburi Panyanukul school, the Thai Ministry of Education has supported a request from all the Panyanukul schools to adopt a similar approach in their schools.  Following an initial meeting in Cha Am of all the school directors this project will formally begin in May 2021.

The challenge is that the four-year project has no funding and the contribution led by Ajarn Weera the Director of Phetchaburi Panyanukul school and Keith Humphreys will be on a voluntary basis. The Ministry and Schools have no funding available because of other more important demands especially Covid19.

Because the schools are all over Thailand only a few senior teachers from each school can meet once a semester. To achieve change and not just innovation we have developed a strategy of regional school support for every teacher using a basic form of Technology Enhanced Learning. For this strategy to be effective we need a bespoke website that can deliver folders and files and hyperlinks of good practice on a weekly basis that allows Panyanukul school teacher community interaction.

Dr Humphreys informed the Board of Directors that the Thai Voices project now has national recognition. The website is a vital tool to deliver Technology Enhanced Learning to the 19 school. Dr Humphreys has developed two web-sites in the past on for EQUALS in the UK and one for the SAME, SELTAS project in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong website for which he was director, has won international prizes. So, we have the experience of using websites to deliver professional development to outreach schools. The basic pages for the website are already written we just need the technical structure in place.
The Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin Board of Directors have agreed to fund the website to the tune of 196,370 Thai Baht 50% payable up front the remaining 50% when the website is completed. However this figure was rounded up to 200,000 Thai Baht to enable certain contingencies.
The 19 Panyanukul Schools who between them have 926 teachers and 4,435 students; have agreed collectively to fund the annual 50,000 Bhat Maintenance fee at a cost of 2,700 Thai Baht per School after the first year. Dr Humphreys went onto say that in four years the 19 Schools will contribute 50,000 Baht which will in essence equal the RCRHH contribution.

IPP Napa one of the main supporters for the project informed the Board that she was so proud of the work Dr Humphreys has done for Education in Thailand.

This website should be ready by May 2021. Watch this space for further updates.