Working for the community

business March 09, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

2,900 Viewed

Samsung Smart Learning enjoys success in first year as more schools ready to join programme

Fifteen Thai schools will have the opportunity to join an inspiring educational programme run by multinational tech giant Samsung this year. 
Dubbed the “Samsung Smart Learning Centre” scheme, the programme run by the local unit of the South Korean company promotes the problem-based learning (PBL) method among students and provides support for their schools’ efforts to introduce useful projects for their communities. 
Tablets, computers, equipment and counselling are among the support that Thai Samsung Electronics is ready to offer. 
Students from each participating school can propose their ideas, and get the tools needed for materialising their initiatives. 
“Schools interested in joining the campaign this year should start submitting applications from now on,” said Sasithorn Kupattanakul, senior director, Corporate Marketing, of Thai Samsung Electronics.
Students from 10 schools took part in the scheme in its first year, and the results were impressive, she said. 
“We have already delivered 10 futuristic classrooms called the Samsung Smart Learning Centre to 10 schools nationwide and provided them with caring support, including our highly flexible in-school projects’ training courses based on students’ ideas, or workshops for students, instructors and teachers at the administrative level,” she added. 
To celebrate the first anniversary of the Samsung Smart Learning Centre programme, a “Discovery Day” has been organised by the company.
The Thai subsidiary will host a series of students’ accomplishments at the 10 participating schools around the country, and more than 60 projects completed with study approaches for the 21st century will be unveiled to the public in the exhibition series. 
Six projects related to the Ing River, which runs through a community in Chiang Rai, will be presented by Thoeng Wittayakhom School, one of the institutions taking part in the first year of the cutting-edge educational programme. 
All projects displayed by students from this school are considered as great achievements, as the PBL method has flourished in students’ hearts after they were exposed to innovations provided in the Samsung Smart Learning Centre, she said. 
For this year, Samsung will lay a wider path for students in the new century, with 15 smart learning rooms in other schools around the Kingdom.
Sasithorn said Thai Samsung had decided late in 2012 to initiate the educational project to develop skills required for Thai students in the 21st century.
 “These documentaries cover many topics from food, local professions and problems in the communities, to local arts and culture. Local people who, at the end, benefit from students’ ideas also enthusiastically helped students to complete their projects. In conclusion, the initiatives of the students are the clear sign of positive change, development and progress of the students who take part in our educational-contribution plan,” she said.
More participants
Besides Thoeng Wittayakhom School in Chiang Rai, the other pilot schools around Thailand participating in the first year of the Samsung Smart Learning Centre project are Ban Check Noi School in Phetchabun, Ban Mee Wittaya School in Lop Buri, Phu Kradueng Wittayocomin in Loei, Bhramanusorn School in Phethchaburi, Nonchai Municipality School in Khon Kaen, Ban Bang Lamung Kindergarten School in Chon Buri, Wat Tung Luang School in Surat Thani, Klung Ratchadapisek School in Chanthaburi, and Klong Ban Prao School in Pathum Thani.
Kanchana Aksorndit, Samsung Smart Learning Centre project adviser at Thoeng Wittayakhom School, said six projects for its community by students who joined the programme are related to its beloved Ing River. Its community has been rapidly expanding, and this expansion is the cause of damage to natural resources and the environment in the area. 
“The community’s atmosphere and economic capability have been destroyed since the Ing River, which is the main source of water for consumption and livelihoods, is contaminated. In 2005, an activity club for students in Thoeng Wittayakhom School named the ‘Students Love Ing River Club’ was established. 
“The club’s main purpose is to observe and do some basic inspection of the water in the river, and to solve any problems found. Sadly, the club does not have scientifically correct data-collection methods and proper research methodologies that can be publicly distributed to local people. 
“After our school joined Samsung’s educational initiative, our students were exposed to a ground-breaking learning centre like the Samsung Smart Learning Centre, and to the PBL concept. Innovative solutions or equipment provided in Samsung’s learning room truly fulfil our students’ learning process, as they are taught to master insightful learning approaches and are offered devices that help them systematically search for or collect data. Furthermore, they can show their findings in a way that people in their community can fully understand and then use the students’ findings for their future benefit.”
Ronnachai Kampin, one of the Thoeng Wittayakhom School students taking part in the Samsung Smart Learning Centre programme, shared his experience of the educational-contribution project, saying, “After we joined Samsung’s workshop, we were assigned to create projects that can be used to develop our community based on the PBL method. To complete the assigned target, we had to conduct many experiments by ourselves. After we fully understood the problems, we wanted to tackle and build our knowledge frameworks, then we used our knowledge and devices provided in Samsung’s best-learning centre to solve the problems.
Chularat Intasin, another Samsung Smart Learning Centre programme student from Thoeng Wittayakhom School, added: “Our short documentaries show that our projects related to the Ing River have been successfully carried out because of the top-class innovations provided in the learning centre of Samsung. When we do our research, we keep our collected data systematically for easy reference in future, as we believe that our projects are keys to future conservation projects and the sustainability of the Ing.