Needy pupils get satellite TV learning
In his last act as education minister, Somchai Wongsawat launched the distance learning television channel yesterday, a 3.25-billion-baht scheme. The four-year project, called MOE Channel, is operated by Samart Communication Services Co, which was selected by the ministry to bring long-distance study to 3,000 needy schools.
''Actually, I tried to secure a 10-billion-baht budget for this project, but I could not,'' Mr Somchai said.
''It requires massive investment to bridge the gap between rural and city students. I know the feeling well. I was a straight-A student in Nakhon Si Thammarat, but I struggled and almost flunked in Bangkok.''
The project will allow students in remote schools which have teacher shortages to learn from experienced teachers in Bangkok. The channel will be broadcast via satellite.
Subjects offered will be mathematics, science and English. Students can send questions to teachers online.
The schools need only a television set and satellite dish.
The pilot run started this year for Mathayom 3 (grade 9) students in 12 schools in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Khon Kaen, Buri Ram, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Phatthalung, Suphan Buri and Ratchaburi.
When the project is completed, students from Pathom 4 to Mathayom 3 in 3,112 schools will have access to the channel.
Samart Corporation president Watchai Vilailuck said the firm will provide broadcasting systems, learning software, video multimedia and teacher training.
Bangkok Post | General news | Needy pupils get satellite TV learning
Somchai = brother-in-law of Thaksin
Thaksin = owner of Samart
Having seen the quality of the distance learning programmes on UBC, unless these are radically different this will be, from an educational point of view, a waste of 3.25 billion Baht. Still, could be a nice little earner for Samart.
Zehner, you state "Thaksin = owner of Samart " - surely Samart is a public company listed on the SET?
Samart-Shin Corps. Form Strategic Alliance: Ready to Tackle OpenTelecommunications PolicyFollowing the WTO policy to introduce a future open competition in telecommunications business, it is expected to generate a high degree of business competition especially from foreign investors. This lead to an alliance between Shin Corporations, Samart Group and Telekom Malaysia, under the management agreement of Digital Phone Company Limited or DPC, Hello 1800 operator, in order to prepare and develop greater potential for these business organizations. Under the agreement, Shin Corporations will be holding a 46 percent share in DPC instead of the previous shareholder, Samart Group. Samart Group will in turn hold a 5.6 percent share in Shin Corporations with a given seat in Shin Corp's Board of Directors. The overall structure of DPC shareholders after the alliance takes effect will comprise of Shin Corporations 46 percent, Telekom Malaysia 49 percent and others 5 percent.
and read page 44 of "The Thaksinization of Thailand" here: The Thaksinization of Thailand - Google Book Search
and this post in the soapbox thread about Somchai...
Last edited by zehner; 18th September 2008 at 14:04. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Complete waste of money and another attempt go for the glorious technical solution rather than find the real problem and deal with it. What does a teacher in Bangkok know about the learning difficulties of people in remote areas and what does he care? He gets paid to rattle off the same tripe as every programme on UBC does.
The solution is easy. Teach kids how to read first, provide schools with resources to make learning fun and train teachers to actually teach rather than sit on their arse and preach. When local T.V news staions in Isaan can't even produce understandable subtitles for news events its no wonder students learn virtually zippo.
My school is one that does the distance learning...we have a nice high tech TV studio, but the students still use the same desks and chairs that there parents probably used.
For the English lessons, only the Thai teachers do it...none of the farangs have ever been approached. Guess they figure it would raise the price of poker.