An Initiative by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and a Joint Effort by NSTDA, IPST, Mahidol Wittayanusorn School, OBEC and SAS Software (Thailand) to Enhance Education in Thailand
SAS Software (Thailand) is joining with the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), The Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), Mahidol Wittayanusorn School and the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) to introduce the SAS Curriculum Pathways Project, an initiative by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to offer online lessons for the enhancement of academic skills and creative thinking. Currently, over 60 schools across Thailand have already adopted this solution.
Regarding the project background, Associate Professor Khunying Sumonta Promboon, Chairman of SAS Curriculum Pathways Project, remarked, “SAS is globally recognized as the leading business analytics software company, and has developed web-based curriculum resources called SAS Curriculum Pathways. SAS has provided Curriculum Pathways to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for distribution to schools across Thailand since 2010. The Project is implemented and run by the National Science and Technology Development Agency, which is a Project’s Secretariat, The Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), Mahidol Wittayanusorn School and Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) and SAS Software (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Thaweesak Koanantakool, President of National Science and Technology Development Agency, a Committee Member of The Executive Committee of the Information Technology Project under the Initiative of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn stated, “After studying SAS Curriculum Pathways web-based curriculum resources, we believe the resources promote analytical thinking. While the science and mathematics resources are very interesting and easy to understand, social science and history were particularly admired by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for their analytical contents which would greatly benefit education upon implementation. NSTDA, IPST, OBEC and SAS Software appreciated the offering of SAS Curriculum Pathways in Thailand, and all parties have promoted it to schools, which have implemented the courses for free of charge since 2010. Upon inception, 10 secondary schools joined as the pilot sites. It will reach 65 schools in 2012 and 195 schools in the next two years.”
“The adoption of SAS Curriculum Pathways by schools in Thailand aims to allow teachers and students gain more lessons and enhance their teaching and studying processes. Teachers will get new teaching concepts that focus on analytical thinking, and stimulate further studying, while students can enhance their systematic thinking on science, mathematics, social science and history as well as improving English skills. Though SAS Curriculum Pathways is not specially developed for the Thai education system, educators can select the lessons that can relate to Thai courses while students can obtain additional sources of knowledge besides their existing curriculum. Moreover, NSTDA has prepared social network tools including Facebook and Ning.com for educators to exchange their guidelines in various subjects, exchange experiences and help each other. Currently, many schools have taken advantages of the social network by using it as an online classroom to communicate between teachers and students,” added Thaweesak.
Taveesak Saengthong, Managing Director of SAS Software (Thailand) Co., Ltd., noted “Created at the SAS world headquarters in the USA, SAS Curriculum Pathways web-based curriculum resources have been available at no cost since 2008 in the USA to improve teaching and learning for middle and high school students in Science, Mathematics, Social Studies English, and Spanish, regardless of place and time. Currently, more than 70,000 teachers in 18,000 primary and secondary schools across USA use the resources.
SAS Curriculum Pathways is part of SAS’ commitment to supporting education. The content is designed to engage today’s tech-smart students with interactive resources so that they are more excited and involved in learning.
“After the successful implementation in schools across the USA, we are pleased to offer SAS Curriculum Pathways to schools in Thailand to enhance educational processes by presenting to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for distribution to schools as per her royal commands,” added Taveesak Saengthong.
Pornpun Waitayangkoon, President of The Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), said “After studying SAS Curriculum Pathways, we found that its lessons are easy to understand as they are all illustrated by beautiful graphics so the learning process is interesting. Moreover, it offers interactive lessons with students. IPST has prepared the manuals and training courses for participating schools. The responses from participating schools, teachers and students are very positive.”
“The characteristics of SAS Curriculum Pathways include a wide range of academic tools in both interactive and traditional formats which offer lectures and documents for reading. All materials are systematically arranged including curriculum layout, online activities, simulations and other resources on website focusing on educational enhancement and skill development in individual contents. All are easy to search without sophistication. Hints and tips are available for all processes. Difficulty levels are optional. The system is designed to train educators as Teaching Facilitators or Coaches. Implementation is very flexible based on individual expertise, class context and teacher’s judgments.”
Yuvadee Nakapadungrat, Principla of Mahidol Wittayanusorn School, noted “According to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the social science and history content in SAS Curriculum Pathways has good analysis, which would greatly benefit the education upon implementation. Our school supported her royal initiative by recruiting our scholar on social science and history (Professor Vachiravan Bunnag) who is our head of social science and art department to lead the pilot implementation of SAS Curriculum Pathways and analyze how it would benefit the teaching and learning of social science and history subjects, especially inquiry-based activity or knowledge-seeking teaching style. Moreover, she can impart the know-how and experiences on implementation to other teachers from other schools to educate them on how to implement SAS Curriculum Pathways for their further adoption and adaptation.”