Right to Play for Peace and Development

Right to Play is working toimprove the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.
They use sports, physical activity and play to attain specific development and peace objectives, including the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They believe they cancreate a healthier and safer world through the power of sport and play.Currently, Right To Play has programs in the following countries:
Benin, Botswana, Burundi, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza), Peru, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.

They work towards inclusion and give children a chance to become constructive participants in society, regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, social background or religion. A team of top athletes from more than 40 countries support Right to Play. As role models, these athletes inspire children and raise awareness about Right To Play internationally. Right To Play uses sport and play programs to promote opportunities for development, teach life skills and health education and build stronger, more peaceful communities. To do this, Right To Play trains local Coaches to run programs, thereby creating the foundation in a community for regular and long-term sport and play programming and for individual and community leadership. Right To Play also uses sport and play to mobilize and educate communities around key health issues to support national health objectives, in particular HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness and vaccination campaigns.

The Red Ball is the symbol and logo for Right to Play. Right To Play’s philosophy “LOOK AFTER YOURSELF, LOOK AFTER ONE ANOTHER” is written on the Red Ball. This philosophy embodies the ideas of looking after ones own bodies and well-being, as well as advocating teamwork and cooperation in looking after one another.

These videos feature a refugee camp on the border of Thai and Myanmar. Since more than half of the refugees are children, these sports programs become an important part of the children’s lives and uplifting their spirits.

PART 1

PART 2

Gender Equality Calendar 2011

This year, the calender that sits on my desk is the UNESCO-UNGEI Asia-Pacific 2011 Gender Equality in Education calendar.

The calendar is filled with wonderful photos captured throughout the Asia-Pacific region as part of a photo contest. Over 250 entries were submitted from 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The photos were taken by students, teachers, government workers, development workers and photographers. The 13 winning photos are featured for the cover and each month of the calendar. You can see the amazing cover photo of school children in Bhutan below.

Gender equality is more than treating women and men exactly the same. It means providing equal access and participation in decision-making processes, social responsibilities and so forth. UNESCO has the specific objective to ensuring that men and women or boys and girls, all have equal access to achieve in education to their highest potential, not on whether they are born male or female.

School Vegetable Garden in Northern Thailand

This video provides introduction to maintaining a useful vegetable garden. The school garden is cared for by the teachers and students at a border police-run school in Ban Pha Kha, Fang, Chiang Mai Province. The teacher discusses methods for caring for the various plants in the garden ranging from climbing plants which are trained on a bamboo trellis to salad greens and local fruits. She also talks about the fence that was built around the garden to prevent pigs from neighboring farms from coming into the garden and eating the vegetables. Shan and Thai language spoken in this video. (No English!)

Case Study on Thailand’s Pwo-Karen

From the DVD “Promoting Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education,” this segment highlights the development of the Pwo-Karen mother tongue instruction program in the northern region of Thailand. The Pwo-Karen community came together to make an agreed upon alphabet and picture dictionary. After that, the community developed big books with local stories, and small reading books on cultural topics.

Stage 1 students focus on learning to listen, speak, read and write in Pwo-Karen. Stage 2 students continue to learn in Pwo-Karen but are now exposed to oral Thai language. In Stage 3, a Thai teacher is added to build their Thai listening and speaking skills and a transition primer is used until the languages are taught about 50-50. In Stage 4 & 5, the amount of teaching in Pwo-Karen decreases while the amount of teaching in Thai increases. English is also added in this stage.

UNESCO video on Ethics and Bioethics Workshop

Filmed at a workshop at the Science Center in Bangkok, Thailand, this video is a presentation on “Our Common Future: Our Planet, Our Oasis” for science teachers in Thailand. The displays at the workshop are shown, along with the workshop participants and some scenes from around Bangkok. For the interviews of the Thai science teachers, English subtitles are provided, and overall it seems that they acquired new ideas and learnings that they will share with their students in the classroom.

Description:

Societies and communities will progress in a more just, equitable and sustainable direction if the cultural, ethical, and spiritual values of those societies are central determinants in shaping science and technology. Bioethics and environmental ethics have been core areas of action in the Social and Human Science Sector of UNESCO for the past decade. The video shows people participating and learning, through games, about how to attain the goals of bioethics and values education

Use of mother tongue vital, studies show

In the Nation article, Use of mother tongue vital, studies show, several speakers and their research results at the Language, Education and Millennium Development Goals were highlighted. Experts in the field of language related their experiences and findings from several countries, including the USA, Canada, Thailand, China, Cambodia and Vietnam. The resounding message from researchers, government officials and teachers was the same, children should learn in their mother tongue before learning a national or international language. With more and evidence to support this philosophy, it has been show by many groups working independently across the globe that the cognitive development of children is supported by learning concrete and abstract concepts in the child’s home langauge first. Then, when the child learns a second or third language, the concepts are easily applied and transferred because the thinking skills and processes are already developed.

I especially think the case in Thailand with the Patani-Malay speaking children was encouraging. Professor of linguistics, Suwilai Premsrirat, from Mahidol University’s Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia explained the process of identifying an appropriate script for the Patani-Malay language, developing learning materials based on the local language, culture and traditions in collaboration with community, teachers, parents and learners. After a few years of implementation, the results are amazing. The project has a 99% approval rate from the community and children are now transitioning from the Thai-based script of Patani-Malay to learning Thai in grade 3 onwards. I think the results are very hopeful and is a critical step in the right direction for solving the problems and conflicts in Thailand’s Deep South.

Source: The Nation

Learning English by reading The Bangkok Post

In this book review of “You Can Read the Bangkok Post”, is touted as a way to independent learn and improve your English with using a dictionary. The book provides strategies that can be applied to any issue of the Bangkok Post and includes some general information about how to read newspapers.

The review provides some examples of the different articles, activities and content in the book, so you can see how the book is set up before you even go to buy it or look at it in the books store. One thing that I thought was humorous is that the English version of the text is provided concurrently with the Thai translation. This means that you don’t need to open a dictionary, but it also means you don’t have to work very hard for comprehension. I don’t know if that’s a pro or a con since working with the text is crucial. I would prefer an emphasis on using context clues and working with word bases to infer meaning of unknown words rather than providing the translation. Maybe I can use this book in reverse to increase the level of my Thai language vocabulary and proficiency.

Source: Bangkok Post

Conference stresses the importance of Language

The Nation newspaper in Bangkok published this article regarding the recent International Language, Education and Millenium Development Goals Conference held on November 9-11, 2010. Many reknown experts in the field, academics, educators, practioners and government officials attended this conference in addition to representatives from various international agencies and NGOs. Over the three days of the conference, many papers were presented regarding the power of language in increasing access for disadvantaged people to access basic services such as health care and education. Langauge is also crucial in decrease their poverty level through better school and income generation opportunities, as well as more sustainable lifestyles. As Dr. Suzanne Romaine, a well-published author on socio-linguistics, stated “language is the missing link” to having our world and its peoples develop sustainablty and equitably. Without language, we will lose to reach lingusitic and cutlural heritage and knowledge, much of which resides with the most disadvantaged and lingusitically diverse group of all, indigenous people. The speeches and talks echoed the central message that languages must be preserved and cherish and its role towards reaching important social and econmic goals must be recognized and brought to the front of the development and planning agendas.

Source: Nation

Language, Educaion and Millenium Development Goals Conference 2010

Right now there International Conference going on which brings nearly 400 participants from almost 30 countries from around the world. The three day event began today with a welcoming speech from the Prime minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva highlighting Thailands progress in Multilingual Education, particularily in the deep south.
The event is organized and funde by the Multilingual Work Group, consisting of UNESCO Bangkok, UNICEF, Save the Children, Asian Institute of Technology, Mahidol University, CARE, SEAMEO, ASPBAE. The event is held from November 9-11,2010 at the Twin Towers Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

Will Education for All be Achieved in Thailand?

In this video clip from UNESCO’s channel on youtube, Will Education for All be Achieved?, several Thai educators and UNESCO staff comment on the status of EFA in Thailand. Part of EFA is to provide universal primary education to all children as a basic human right. Thailand has been working on these issues for many years but there is still 5% which are still not being reached because they live in remote areas, are disable or have other barriers to attending school. EFA encompasses early childhood, primary and secondary education as well as higher education and adult education. The EFA goals were establish in 2000 and are expected to be reached by 2015, so in June 2010 there was an EFA Global Monitoring Report to look at the progress on these goals. Each country will be expected to make as much progress towards these goals in order to ensure that sustainable development in possible by having educated citizens.