Our Teachers for Thailand campaign this #GivingTuesday, which kicked off end of last month, is off to a great start! We went to Kamplafa School today to meet with Director Kittichai and give an installment of donations to support his teachers. We were also able to drop off some toothpaste for the teachers so the kids can brush their teeth after lunch. Thank you donors, let’s keep it up! 🙂
While most small schools are letting the budget cuts affect them, Kittichai is not giving up. Two teachers have already retired and, on top of excellent budgeting skills to best utilize the minimal funds they have, he and the government teachers remaining at the school have pooled their resources to privately hire two teachers to replace the ones who retired. This upcoming year another teacher is retiring, which means they will need to hire a another private teacher out of pocket.
As well as hiring teachers privately to help his students, the support staff at school work together to give the kids the most nutritious meal possible! The janitor, who enjoys cooking and would often cook for the teachers, has volunteered to cook for the kids as well. This eliminates the need to hire someone to cook the student lunches, and that money can instead go towards giving the kids a nutritious meal with plenty of rice as well as a protein of some sort and fresh vegetables.
At Kamplafa the students are taught not only academia but also social skills, mindfulness, and practical life skills. Every Friday afternoon a monk will visit the school for an hour to practice meditation with the students. Since this program began, the students have been more focused and less stressed; their grades have improved and they have greater attention spans in class. The students help keep their classrooms tidy, they help clean dishes after lunch before their classes resume, and they are polite to teachers, peers, and strangers alike. Monks have also donated a cow to the school (with strict rules NOT to kill it!) and the students learn about agriculture and farming by helping take care of the cow and taking “school trips” to local farms. They have planted rice, which was able to feed the students and teachers for at least 2 months this past year, and will start a school garden later this year.
The results of the O-NET (a standardized national education test in Thailand) have come in for this year and Kamplafa has ranked higher than most schools in the area. This is great news! These test results prove that not only are smaller class sizes better for the students, but also affirms our efforts to help him by sponsoring teachers. The only subject the students generally did not perform well in was science, and there is currently no science teacher at Kamplafa. The long term teachers and two teachers he has recently privately hired are teaching subjects that they specialized in, and as a result the students have performed exceptionally in these subjects – especially math! We would like to continue to give these kids the best opportunity possible for education.
Click here to learn more about Kamplafa and why we chose this school, and please donate to help this wonderful school continue to prepare these children for the best future.