Graduating with Pride
At the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with
Disabilities the first Saturday in December is always reserved for the
graduation ceremony. More than sixty students, who actually left the school
in March and September, returned to Pattaya to receive their graduation
certificates from Father Peter, Acting President of the Father Ray
Students on the Media Course also graduated.
Each student was dressed in their graduation uniform,
consisting of a yellow and red shirt, each one with a small bunch of orchids
pinned to their lapel. The name of each student was in turn called and they
made their way towards the stage where they were presented with a red folder
containing a certificate and a list of subjects studied.
Family members travelled from all four corners of the
Kingdom to watch with pride as the name of their child was called and their
current place of employment was announced.
Computer Business in English course students are now fluent in English.
Next year there will be another graduation ceremony, and
as in previous years the teaching staff and volunteers will watch their
students with pride and delight. From the shy and nervous young people who
arrived two years earlier, their lives have been changed beyond recognition;
they are now confident, knowledgeable and they have skills that will give
them independence and the ability to go out into the world as equals.
Almost two thousand five hundred young people with
disabilities have graduated from the school since it opened in 1984, and the
school continues to grow with a new campus being planned for the northern
city of Nong Khai.
The Redemptorist Vocational School for People with
Disabilities is part of the Father Ray Foundation. More information can be
found at www.fr-ray.org or email
Peter presented graduation certificates to the students.
the Electronic Repair students will own their open businesses within one
Electronic Repair student Pradit was joined by his family who travelled from
Chiang Rai for the ceremony.
form the Information Systems course all now have jobs to go to.
Education, Education, Education
The literacy rate amongst adults in Thailand is estimated
to be 95%, but this also means that there are approximately two million
adults who are unable to read and write. Of those who are classed as
literate many may have only received a basic education and can write their
name and not much else.
scholarship worth 5000 baht will mean that this young student can study
Education starts in the home, but if a family is too poor
to pay for their child to be educated, or there is a need for the child to
work rather than attend school there is a likelihood that future employment
opportunities will be limited.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for providing
pre-school, primary and secondary education, all free of charge to the
student. However, the student’s family or guardian must pay for books and
stationary as well as uniforms, with most government schools requiring
students to have four different outfits; a regular school uniform, a school
tunic, a Scouts uniform and a sports kit.
student gives thanks to the Father Ray Children’s Home.
Many local families are unable to provide the funds for
uniforms and necessities; therefore the Father Ray Children’s Home provides
scholarships to ensure that local children can receive the education which
could change their lives.
At a recent ceremony at the Father Ray Children’s Home
thirty-six youngsters arrived to receive their scholarship funds. From
several local school the amounts ranged from 2000 - 5000 baht, all of which
will be managed by the school and will be used to provide the students with
what they need.
The Father Ray Children’s Home is part of the Father Ray
Foundation. More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email
Scholarships are awarded to students of all ages.
students from Soi Nern Plub Wan School
are now ensured of an education.
six students received scholarships.
Students become teachers for a day
students from ISE explain a game.
Students from the International School Eastern
Seaboard took time to visit a local Thai school and help pupils learn
The Grade 7 ESL-A students went to the nearby
Phansadetnai Elementary School to play English learning games with Grade
To prepare for the visit, students first created
games that encouraged speaking and participation. They then practiced
writing clear instructions, teaching their games, and playing them with
their classmates. The visit was a fun learning activity not only for the
elementary students at the Thai school, but also a valuable one for ISE
All the ISE students said the November 18 visit had
been beneficial. One student, Tuck, said, “Before I visited the Thai
school, I thought I would be shy. But when I visited and met them, I
changed my thoughts. Many students there were friendly and when we
started to play the games, they listened to me and they tried to play.”
Another student, Karn, said, “I felt good that the
children tried to participate in every game. I learned how to speak
aloud in front of the class and I felt proud that the children learned
some new words from our games.”
Dutch stream, St Andrews celebrates Sinterklaas
Sinterklaas is also helped by older children, like Luca and Thomas here,
by raffling their gifts among each other.
Peter van Bochoven
and Arja Slagboom
Ever since the Dutch Stream at St Andrews Green
Valley Campus started in 2006, they have been responsible for providing
Dutch lessons and organizing cultural events. The latter has made it
possible that everybody at St Andrews knows ‘Sinterklaas’. Do you?
Sinterklaas / Santa Claus
When people ask us to pronounce ‘Sinterklaas’, mostly
they reply: “O, you mean Santa Claus”. A fair conclusion as the word
nearly sounds the same. There are other similarities, for example:
Sinterklaas and Santa Claus hand out presents to children; they come
around in December and you can find your gift(s), near the chimney. What
set them apart?
Children anxiously wait for Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas arrives half way through the month of
November in Holland by boat. He celebrates his birthday on the 5th of
December by handing out presents to children. As there are many kids in
Holland, and because Sinterklaas is already an old man, he brings along
his helpers: ‘Black’ Peters. Actually their name is Peter. As their face
always becomes black after throwing presents through the chimney, their
nickname became ‘Black ‘Peter. The camouflage comes in handy for when at
night they climb on the roof of the houses. Nobody can see them. That
way you can never tell when he comes to your house to bring you a
present. That’s the best part of the festivity: the surprise.
Sinterklaas and his helpers: ‘Black’ Peters.
Sinterklaas not only hands out gifts. He also makes
sure to bring along candy; lots of candy, like: pepernoten, speculaas,
marsepein and chocolate letters. Especially the first and last mentioned
sweets cause bakeries to work around the clock in November and December.
When you taste them, you’ll know why. If there is no bakery in your
area, don’t worry; you can bake them yourself.
At the side of Black Peter, Sinterklaas is also
helped by older children by ways of raffling their gifts among each
other. How does that work? Each child writes his or her name on a piece
of paper, next to the list of gifts they’d like to get. This secret
ballot goes into a basket. On a specific day, they come together and
raffle a ticket. When they unfold it, they see the name of a child for
whom they will buy a present, which you just do not get easily. They are
wrapped, hidden, cemented in a so called surprise along with a poem,
especially written for you.
Sinterklaas is coming to … school
On the 5th of December Sinterklaas makes sure he
visits children at their school. If that is not possible on that day, he
reschedules the appointment. That’s exactly what happened at St Andrews.
In his agenda the 30th of November was still open and so on that day he
came to the Dutch Stream at St Andrews, Green Valley. He brought along
the mentioned pepernoten and handed out gifts to children of whom he
keeps record in a big red book. As there is no water around the St
Andrews premise, coming by boat was not an option. No problem for ‘Sint
and Piet’. They opted for something very common in Thailand.
If you wish to know more about the Dutch tradition of
Sinterklaas, or if you want to know more about the Dutch Stream at St
Andrews, feel free to send an e-mail to:
there is no bakery in your area,
don’t worry; you can make pepernoten yourself.
child writes his or her name on a piece of paper, next to the list of
gifts they’d like to get.
there is no water around the St Andrews premise, coming by boat was not
an option. No problem for ‘Sint and Piet’.
Regent’s students visit Buriram
of the Regent’s students - Mae and Jennifer - calculate expected returns
from selling the school rice.
Jen Sims and Mae
Underwood, Year 10 students at The Regent’s School
On the 25th of November 11 students and 2 teachers
from The Regent’s School set off at around 6.30 a.m. to the Mechai
Pattana School in Lamplaimat, Buriram. It was a long journey but we were
able to stop for 2 or 3 times for a rest and to buy snacks.
We arrived at our destination at about 12.30 p.m.
where we dined with the students of Mechai Pattana School. After lunch,
the school’s English teacher gave us a tour around the school, where we
later interacted with some students in a classroom. Half of us helped
the students with snipping off plant labels whilst the other half helped
out with some tissue painting of the map of Australia.
At 4 p.m. we had a basketball match, which was made
up of mixed teams between the students there, and us, the Regents
students. The game was a lot of fun and we got to know the students of
Mechai Pattana a lot more.
After that we had a rest and it was dinner time. We
ate some delicious northeast food which was sticky rice mixed with egg
yolk and sausages. In the night time we performed some songs and music
as well as playing games with the Mechai Pattana students. The time went
by fairly fast and it wasn’t until 10 p.m. before we all got back to our
bungalows for a sleep.
We woke up at 7.30 the next morning and had
breakfast. Then we set off to a local village called ‘Baan Mai Kee Tun’.
We heard some of the villagers speak and got to learn about their own
banking system, called Mai Kee Tun Development Bank.
After that we visited a small lime farm where the
teenagers in the village are responsible for looking after the plants.
We learnt about many other different projects as well, including the toy
library where village children do community service in exchange for
borrowing toys, and their rice project. The rice project was discussed
during our Gold Fish PLC meeting back at the school where we purchased
rice to sell at the Regent’s Christmas Concert and Bazaar. The rice
helps the rural people in Buriram directly and profits are returned to
Mechai Pattana School and other development projects in the communities,
so I felt delighted and confident that we will be able to sell rice with
Our meeting went a little overtime but we were able
to eat some lunch and return to our bungalows to pack. We said goodbye
to the students and set off for our 6 hours or so journey back to
Regent’s students in the lime garden that is looked after and cared for
by the young people from Baan Mai Kee Tun.
Regent’s students and some of the Mechai Pattana School students.
World AIDS Day
at the Regent’s School Pattaya
Service Group presents Dr. Philippe with 7,000 baht to help him provide
anti-retroviral drugs for his many patients in and around Pattaya.
Tripopnakkul (Year 11 student and Assistant Pillar Leader for Service)
On Tuesday the 30th of November, the Regent’s Service
Group organised a World AIDS Day assembly in order to raise awareness
about this global epidemic.
Following the drama performances and educational
videos presented to the students in the school’s Globe Theatre, the
group then arranged an AIDS quiz for years 7 to 11 to participate in
during PSHE. The students had to go around school and try to find clues
leading to their next destination, at which they would be answering a
variety of different questions about AIDS. The aim of this activity was
to create a learning experience which would be both memorable and fun.
Dr. Philippe Seur from HEARTT 2000 was our special
guest for the morning and enjoyed the informational assembly and was
especially impressed with HIV / AIDS quiz-type-treasure hunt. At break
time the Service Group presented Dr. Philippe with 7,000 baht to help
him provide anti-retroviral drugs for his many patients in and around
On the next day, 1st December - World AIDS Day, the
service group organized a mufti day where students were encouraged to
wear something red in recognition of Worlds AIDS Day. Everyone who came
in mufti had to pay 40 baht each; the money raised was donated by the
school’s Student Guild to the Abundant Life Home in Bang Saen, a home
for children living with HIV.
The Service Group also prepared and distributed red
AIDS ribbons to every student and teacher in the Secondary School which
they could wear in order to show their support on this day. As usual
Kidzpositive beaded badges have also been on sale for the last month.
These are badges that were bought from South Africa to help support
women and children living with HIV and AIDS in this country.
In the evening Mr. Terry Wilcox delivered an
informative presentation on the brain and gaming to a room full of
students, staff and parents. People from the Abundant Life Home were the
special guests and the children also performed some amazing break
dancing routines and Thai dance.
The main purpose of the night was to raise important
funds for the Home and it was great to be able to present 32,000 baht to
Karen Sanchez from the ALH at the end of an enjoyable evening. Many
thanks must go to the Service Group, Mr. Terry Wilcox, Dr. Philippe and
the Abundant Life Home for their passion and commitment to improve the
issue of HIV and AIDS through education.
Pattaya Mail director lectures
at Burapha University on good PR
Suwanthep Malhotra, executive business development director of Pattaya
Mail Publishing Co., presents his talk to PR personnel of Burapha
University on “Writing a Press Release in English”.
Public Relations has become a most vital element in
practically every segment of life, be they in private, public and in
In the last few years, educational institutions have
emphasized the importance of adding this subject into their educational
The subject of Public Relations is taught from high
schools all the way up to post graduate education. There is a need for
skilled publicists who are capable of presenting a company, organization
and individuals to the masses of the world in a good light. The
reputation of these organizations are protected and enhanced by the
right professional and expert PR person.
To this end, Burapha University located in Bangsaen,
Chonburi, not only encourages but also emphasizes this branch of
education in their syllabus.
On November 29, the institute of higher education
organized a seminar on Public Relations which was attended by 32 PR
specialists from the various faculties in the campus.
Guest lecturer for the day was Suwanthep Malhotra,
better known as ‘Tony’, the executive business development director of
the Pattaya Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
Tony’s theme was “Writing PR News in English and
Tony, a ten-year veteran in the publishing business,
expounded on how to professionally create and assemble components of a
truly useful and effective press release.
To indicate the importance of PR Tony said, “The
business world of today is extremely competitive. Companies need to have
an edge that makes them stand out from the crowd, something that makes
them more appealing and interesting to both the public and the media.
The public are the buyers of the product and the media are responsible
for selling it.”
University Special Affairs Vice President Banpot
Wirunrat said the two-day workshop was aimed at giving all the Public
Relation executives and managers from all the faculties of Burapha
University the English language tools they need. Their knowledge and
success in implementing effective public relations will enhance
Thailand’s reputation and ensure that Thailand will be looked up as the
leader in this field when the country becomes an active member in the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations free trade zone set to take
effect in 2015.
He said that Tony was a superb example of a Burapha
University Alumni who graduated with a Masters Degree in International
Business Management and has made excellent use of his PR skills in his
Tony’s lecture included a slideshow presentation of
Pattaya Mail operations. He said, “It is quite a unique profession
publishing foreign language newspapers and television shows. Our
reporters write the news in Thai. They are then translated into English,
sent to a sub-editor and on to the executive editor, a native English
speaker and an expert in his field, who plans and designs the
composition of the papers, before going on to our graphics layout
department and finally to the printing press.”
“For our German language newspaper, the Pattaya Blatt,
the process also involves translating the news into German.”
Tony advised the seminar participants that editors
are very demanding when it comes to press releases and they insist on
relevant and well-organized facts.
In closing Tony said, “A journalist must always
remember to follow these cardinal rules when writing a report, ‘Who’
is it about? ‘What’ happened? ‘Where’ did it take place? ‘When’
did it take place? ‘Why’ did it happen? and ‘How’ did it
happen? (W-W-W-W-W & H)