Buddhist’s television monk teaches
Dharma to 4,000 Pattaya kids
In addition to teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, Thailand’s
schools try to teach morality and ethics through Buddhism. The message
doesn’t always get through in the classroom, however, so Pattaya authorities
rounded up 4,000 youngsters to hear a monk known for his unorthodox teaching
style to teach them the word of Buddha.
Maha Sompong Talaputto talks about “Teenagers and Dharma.”
Phra Maha Sompong Talaputto brought his “Dharma on Delivery” service to the
Indoor Sports Arena for the Sept. 4 event chaired by Pattaya Deputy Mayor
Verawat Khakhay and Nawarat Khakhay, head of the Pattaya Cultural Council.
With literally thousands of area students in the house, the Soi Thong Temple
preacher’s theme this day was “Teenagers and Dharma.”
After the opening ceremonies, Sompong immediately took charge of the hall
with his popular sermon-making style, which draws lots of laughter while
also being profound as he integrates Buddhist teachings with trendy terms he
reinvents from popular songs and TV commercials. While the subject matter is
deep - what is the meaning of life according to the five precepts of Dharma,
or Buddha’s teachings - the atmosphere was jovial with students
participating in games and answering questions posed by the monk.
Verawat said the seminar aimed at encouraging students to become better
Buddhists was part of the Ministry of Education’s overall mandate. In
addition from general education and technical training, schools have a
responsibility to foster morality in their pupils, he said.
“Morals and ethical behavior are an important key for development of spirit
and are considered as an effective measure for children’s development and
for them to grow up to be quality adults in society,” he said.
One of Thailand’s most-famous monks, Sompong calls the Bangkok temple his
home base, but often travels to teach Dharma and hosts several television
shows each week.
4,000 Pattaya teens took part
in the event.
Nine top Thai schools named National Research Universities
Representatives of the nine national
research universities cited by the Ministry of Education, led by
Education Minister Jurin Laksanawisit (center), are presented to the
Nine of Thailand’s top institutions of higher learning were
named as the first to participate in the country’s National Research
Universities project, which rewards schools that publish large amounts
of original research and employ a broad staff of doctorate-level
The Education Ministry Aug. 29 named six universities that rank as
Thailand’s highest on the 2008 Times Higher Education QS World
University Rankings - Chiang Mai, Chulalongkorn, Kasetsart, Mahidol,
Thammasat universities and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology in
Thonburi - as the country’s first research institutions. The awards were
held at the Dusit Thani Hotel.
Also added to the program were three schools in the THEQS Top 500 the
ministry had not named in its preliminary list released in early August:
Khon Kaen, Songkla Nakarin, and Suranaree Technology universities.
The government has allocated a 9 billion baht budget to develop research
institutes in an attempt to improve the reputation of the country’s top
universities. Each school can receive 100 million to 500 million baht
per year for each of the program’s three years.
Universities in the program “focus on research work in response to
economic and social development in order to improve the quality of
people’s lives,” Education Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said. “The aim is
for Thailand to establish up to 10 national research universities
focusing on things such as medicine, sciences, agriculture and
Jurin said the ministry had applied the same criteria used
internationally in choosing its first research schools and will monitor
each university to make sure they maintain the standards that won them
the honor. Each school must publish at least 100 research papers a year
and maintain their ranking in the THEQS. If a ranking slips, the budget
will be cut. If the university drops out of the Top 500, it will be
removed from the program.
Some universities had criticized the ministry’s criteria, claiming they
were being penalized for not having enough doctorate-level professors on
staff despite publishing sufficient amounts of research. Officials from
two King Mongkut institutes were among them. The Thonburi school was
eventually included, but northern Bangkok’s Ladkrabang campus, which was
listed among initial finalists, was excluded.
Jurin noted that a secondary three-year budget of 3 billion baht was
also allocated to support 69 other universities which did not make last
week’s list. These schools, he said, also address practical application
and research challenges to meet local needs for economic development and
small- and medium-sized enterprises. He added that if these schools
raise their standards they can eventually be ranked with the first nine
Pattaya schools join EGAT
‘Green Classroom’ project
Students from all 11
schools in Pattaya are taking part in the project.
Energy conservation will become a new theme in Pattaya schools as the
city’s 11 campuses are set to join the Electricity Generating Authority
of Thailand’s nationwide “Green Classroom” project.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome announced the arrival of the program in city
schools Sept. 4 at Banglamung School. EGAT’s project provides knowledge
and encourages the learning of energy and power conservation while
supplying schools with energy-conservation equipment to help students
learn about power use.
During two days of training, teachers and school officials learned how
to use the new electronic energy devices and review the academic lessons
provided by EGAT.
“Activities like these helps Thai youths get a better understanding of
environmental issues and teach them about sustainable development,
conservation and environmentalism,” the mayor said.
EGAT has sponsored similar programs around Thailand for some time, but
the five-unit curriculum is new to Pattaya, which has only recently
stepped up city-wide efforts to improve power efficiency and reduce
Pattaya’s first primary school
celebrates 54 years of learning
including former Pattaya Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn (back row, 3rd
left) pose with children wearing traditional Thai dress.
Fifty-four years ago, Pattaya was little more than farmland and
a fishing village, but local children still had a place to learn:
Pattaya School #9.
It wasn’t known by that name back then, of course. The area’s first
campus opened Sept. 2, 1955 on the grounds of a Naklua temple as “Wat
Phodi Samphan School,” set up by the Banglamung District government and
run in the temple’s main hall. Only once the Pattaya-Naklua area was
incorporated in 1978 was the school transferred to the city.
dressed in traditional Thai clothes, take part in the coconut scraping
As it does every year, Pattaya School #9 remembers its long history each
September with a Foundation Day celebration. This year was no different,
with top city education officials joining teachers and students to
remember 54 years of learning in Pattaya.
The day started with a historical presentation about Wat Phodi Samphan
abbot and school founder Luang Por Boomee. Students also showed off
their academic work and fine arts skills, while school officials showed
how they work to maintain Thai culture and teach HM the King’s
principles of creating a self-sufficient economy.
In the afternoon, school members gave alms to monks and prayed for good
luck and prosperity.
Dancers perform the ram
kala dance - using
coconut shells to provide the rhythm.
Regent’s hold Round Square
Council Elections for 2009 - 2010
Tae Kwan Lee -
Year 13 IB student
RS Pillar Leader for Democracy
The first week of September was the Regent’s Round Square
Council campaigning week where candidates could apply for the leadership
positions and promote themselves to be new members of the RS Council. A
new Student Guild Executive, consisting of a chairperson, secretary,
treasurer and visual arts coordinator were popular positions as well as
the senior and junior house captains. Also during the week every form
class elected a form representative to sit on the Student Guild to work
with the soon to be announced Executive.
Alicea attempts to
persuade Blue House to vote for her.
On the 4th of September was Round Square elections
speech day during assembly time in the Globe Theatre. Each candidate
made a maximum of one minute speech to persuade students to vote for
them. Although one minute could be considered a short time, all the
candidates did their best on the stage to make impressive comments and
to grab the students’ attention.
Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th September were the actual designated school
voting days for the senior positions. Almost all the students took part
in the process and cast a precious vote to the people they support. For
the new students, it was a great opportunity to learn how the democratic
system and Round Square constitution of the school works and to also
become familiar with their new school environment.
I would like to thank all the students who took part in the election
process and congratulate the new Student Guild Executive, form
representatives and house captains in advance. Overall, the past 2 weeks
have been successful, and even more so because of the enthusiastic
student participation and involvement.
Melissa stands for Student Guild
visual arts director.
Ralf goes for Senior Yellow House