Rural Empowement and Development (READ): Visit to Mechai Pattana Bamboo School 2018Date: 10th January to 14th January 2018
“There is a widening gap between the skills that children learn in school and the skills that people need in life… and does not prepare students for the world of tomorrow.”
– Mr. Isadore Reaud, Project Coordinator, The Mechai Pattana Bamboo School
“…if we have something more we should share with other people, and the best way to share is to give them a better opportunity in life through education which will give them life skills as well as occupational skills and integrity.”
– Mr. Mechai Viradvaya, Founder, The Mechai Pattana Bamboo School
The Mechai Pattana Bamboo School was founded by Mr. Khun Mechai Viravaidya in 2009 in Buriram, whose residents have one of the lowest educational attainment levels in Thailand. Students come from different parts of the country: Prae, Roi Et, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Sa Kaeo, and Songkhla, to name a few.
It aims to provide education to rural, stateless, and less-privileged children through innovative and revolutionary educational techniques. Students learn practical skills such as agriculture and social enterprise to ensure they grow up with the relevant skills, giving them the opportunity to break out of the poverty cycle so many rural villagers face and have a chance at a better life. The school and its curriculum was also designed to nurture the best values and leaders out of their students, all the while making sure they do their part for their community and the environment around them.
With its mission to create a generation of honest leaders who will improve rural Thailand, foster good citizens, honesty, willingness to share, management, and possession of life skills and occupational skills, it serves as a life-long learning center. It promotes values on environmental protection, education, poverty eradication, philanthropy, integrity, democracy, and gender inequality.
The school stimulates resourcefulness and creativity, the ability of students to think critically, and to always think outside the box.
One of the best things in The Mechai Pattana Bamboo School is that students help to run the school through student leaders (student captains) and student committees. School fees are not settled using money; instead, paid through community service and planting of trees. Parents and students perform 400 hours of community service and planting 400 trees per year.
Not only are the students taught lessons and its practices, they are social entrepreneurs themselves. The school highly regards everybody as able, no matter the age, gender, the race, and the physical challenges one may have. Everyone is empowered by the trust that come along the opportunities given to them.
“It (The Mechai Pattana Bamboo School) is very important attempt to change the lack of opportunities that is in existence in society. We want to create greater equality, that’s what we are trying to do.”
The winds of life may blow wild and free, but it takes as much deal of strength to go against and to bend with the wind. The Mechai Pattana Bamboo school proves that no matter the adversity, the constraints, and the situation you are in, it is always important to plant seeds of hope; hence it has become a new dawn to Thailand’s rural education.
So join us at the Mechai Pattana Bamboo School in January 2018 and experience its unique ways for yourself!
|Day 0 10 Jan 2018|
AM – PM
|Arrival in Bangkok|
|Participants to proceed to airport on their own
|Free and Easy|
|Day 1 11 Jan 2018|
|Breakfast at hotel|
|Transfer to Bamboo School (approx.. 4.5hours from Bangkok)|
|Welcome Lunch at Bamboo School|
|Ice breaking/Team bonding games|
|PM||Introduction of Bamboo School|
|Day 2 12 Jan 2018|
|AM||Breakfast at Bamboo School|
|Enironmental Learning Activity (eg. farming, etc.) facilitated by students from Bamboo School|
|PM||Values in Action (Community Service) facilitated by Bamboo School|
|Talent Show and Cultural Performance by participating students|
|Day 3 13 Jan 2018|
|Social Enterprise Workshop|
|Reflection and Group Discussion|
|Reflection and Party (Fire Lantern)|
|Day 4 14 Jan 2018|
|AM – PM||Breakfast|
|Transfer to Bangkok to Don Muang Airport or Suvarrnabhumi Airport|