Kanyanat or ‘Cartoon’ is going over a lesson she’s learnt from school. He grandmother is sitting by her side, smiling happily. She knows that knowledge is gradually building up in her little granddaughter. “The book is easy to read. It is fun,” said Cartoon.
Not much different from other poor families in the northeast, Cartoon’s parents were reluctant to leave home for job opportunities in town to provide for family, leaving their daughter under care of the grandparents. Once in a long while they all would have an opportunity to get together. “Our family are rice farmers but we rarely pull it off. We’ve faced rain shortage and, some years, floods. To make the matter worse, rice price drops, among other many problems. So, Cartoon’s parents needed to find jobs in town, leaving the kid for us granny and grandpa to look after. Yet, the money they send back is not much. We grandparents need to earn extra wages by transplanting rice seedlings, pulling rice seedlings, harvesting rice and whatever general labours they pay us to do, so that we have income to buy food to keep our grandkid well-fed and to pay for her tuition. I want her to have high education, so she won’t be in troubles like me or her parents,” said Grandma Nuch, Cartoon’s grandmother.
The kindness from sponsors pouring down onto Cartoon through “Child Sponsorship Project” of World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) has equipped her with educational opportunities, as well as educational necessities, including school uniform, school bag and other school supplies. “Thank you for your kindness. You have greatly helped my granddaughter and me,” Grandma Nuch expressed her gratitude.
Child Sponsorship Project has also addressed child illiteracy problem in the implementing areas by carrying out interventions, both at school and home, to engage all relevant stakeholders in child literacy promotion and improvement.
Teachers from the school Cartoon goes, as well as other schools in Phu Sing Area Development Programme, have received instruction techniques development which enables children to read and write properly according to the standard, to lay the groundwork for studying other classes in the future. “This year (2017) WVFT has provided an internally-developed reading-promotion material called Accelerated Literacy for Life Quality, which has already been certified by Ministry of Education to use as a Thai language textbook to teach school children. The material includes a student’s book and a teacher’s guideline which advises how to systematically manage the instruction for students from kindergarten level 2 – grade 3. They include many fun activities, such as movement song singing. If students can sing the songs, they’ll remember consonants and vowels as these have been blended into the lyrics,” Cartoon’s teacher said.
Cartoon’s granny also has had an opportunity to attend Child Learning Development and Child Literacy Skill Enhancement training, which was held to raise awareness among parents of proper child care and child learning promotion. “I went to the parent meeting. They taught me how to take care of my grandkid at home. I need to coach and persuade her to read and study, as well as give her encouragement. It’s not only the role of the teacher, but parents or grandparents must also take part,” said Grandma Nuch.
According to the joint effort to promote learning-enabling environment both at home and school, Cartoon, as well as other students, has developed their age-appropriate reading and writing skills. Now Cartoon is in grade 1 and be able to read and write properly according to the standard, resulting in her good academic achievement.
“I love reading to Granny. I want to get good grades, so that Granny will love me a lot,” Cartoon said innocently.