A clinic is a place where patients go to consult the doctor regarding their ailment. Based on this concept, Thai Language Clinic has been established at Ban Thung Rak Chaiphat School, due to the support of Child Sponsorship Programme, by World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT), in Kuraburi Area Development Programme (ADP), Pang-nga province to treat the problem of students’ illiteracy. Almost over a decade since its establishment, the clinic has not only enhanced students’ reading and writing abilities, but also promoted them to develop agricultural skills based on King Rama IX’s initiative, which the school has integrated into the Thai Language Clinic’s activities.
The launch Before 2010, Ban Thung Rak Chaiphat School had found that most of the students, even those in the 6th grade, which is the school’s highest level, could not fluently read and write Thai language. WVFT’s Child Sponsorship Programme, through Kuraburi ADP, has proposed the establishment of the Thai Language Clinic as a solution, along with the support of effective instructional materials. The ‘doctors’ in the clinic who treat students’ illiteracy problems are selected from a group of students in each level who can read and write well.
Every Thursday, the clinic operated from 2 to 3 pm by specialists in charge in 4 units: Screening, Reading Practice, Writing Practice, and Reading Effectiveness Enhancement. After seeing 2 doctors at the Screening Unit for diagnosis to either receive reading or writing therapy, patients would be treated accordingly until their reading or writing ability is improved, and finally would be sent to the Reading Effectiveness Enhancement Unit. “After coming to the clinic, most of the children have been able to read, except those who have physical impairment,” said Ms Yaowalak Phensiri, the teacher supervising the Thai Language Clinic during the launch phase.
Thai Language Clinic integrated with life skillsSince the first year of its launch, the operations of the Thai Language Clinic have been so satisfactory that many schools have expressed their interest to pay a study visit. Yet, Ban Thung Rak Chaiphat School and Kuraburi ADP have not stopped seeking ways to further develop the clinic for students’ optimal benefits.
“WVFT has taken us on a study trip to learn about King Rama IX’s farming initiative to be applied in the lunch project. But what I’ve seen has ignited my idea to integrate the activities with the Thai Language Clinic,” said Ms Saengduean Wannarat, Ban Thung Rak Chaiphat Director.
Therefore, the Integration Unit has been added to the Thai Language Clinic to have students learn different skills from 6 learning bases, namely, co-operative base, integrated vegetable base, chicken base, mushroom base, catfish base, waste bank and organic compost base.
“Once students have completed reading and writing therapy, they’ll move to the integration bases for learning. They’ll be assigned to work on their projects according to the bases. For example, if they attend mushroom base, they’ll make a one-page book about mushrooms.” Bao, a 6th grade ‘doctor’ in the Integration Unit briefly explained.
Students attending other learning bases will apply the knowledge gained to make their own booklets or ‘magical boxes’ or other learning materials as specified. All these processes promote students to gain literacy, life skills, and responsibilities, as well as better focus, which will contribute to more effective learning.
Today Ban Thung Rak Chaiphat’s Thai Language Clinic operates daily during “Less Studying Time, More Learning Hours” period. Director Saengduean said with a smile: “Our activities are all children inclusive. Students from all levels, both normal and special children, are included to learn together. This is a single project which addresses many issues. Thank you WVFT so much.”