At the middle of March, the Half Day School completed a very successful 2011-2012 school year. The new academic year at the Half Day School began on the 23rd of May, 2012. The student’s first exams of the year are also coming up in early October so it will be time for the students prepare for them soon! Thanks to all of your generous assistance, the Half Day School provided vital education, vocational training, and material support for over 150 children from vulnerable communities in Thailand’s northern border areas.
DEPDC has once again come alive with the sounds of students working hard in classes and enjoying their lunch break. Teachers are back in class teaching, English, Mathematics, Thai, Computer skills, Science, Social Studies, Health and various Vocational Skills training. Our blog documents the diverse range of learning opportunities and fun-filled activities that the children of the HDS partake in, which is made possible by generous donors like you. Please follow the links in this document to read the relevant articles and view pictures.
Recent start-of-the-school-year activities in the Half Day School include:
- Teachers Day: students pay respect and show gratitude to their teachers in this nationally celebrated Thai tradition.
- Travelling filmmaker: Some of our older youth leaders got a taste of film making with Liam Davies who hosted a 2 day workshop.
- ISV and DEPDC: International Student Volunteers have been helping out at the Half Day School; you can read all about it here!
The Half Day School continuously tries to improve and diversify the student’s experience and learning opportunities. We’d like to tell you about some of our ongoing activities as well as some new ones.
- Life Skills – On Wednesdays after lunch Kindergarten and Grade 1-3 participate in Life Skills which teach them about social issues such as drugs, sex education, child labor, child rights, prostitution, and also incorporates sports and games.
- Ethnic tribe studies - On Thursdays in the afternoon students participate in learning and sharing their ethnic languages in an effort to conserve their culture’s language. This class was added to the curriculum so that the children would value and not forget their heritage.
- Buddhist Project – Every Friday the Half Day School students participate in Buddhist learning day where Buddhist monks teach the students about morals, ethics, right living and other Buddhist principles. The monks also teach through media training, videos and games. The objective of the project is to bring confidence, guidance, hope, and peace in to the student’s lives.
- Youth Leadership Programme – The Youth Leadership Programme is for G.4-6 students. It is designed to educate the students to be leaders who are knowledgeable about social issues, articulate, outspoken and are involved in their personal development as well as the development of their families, communities and the wider society. The aim is for the students to be able to look after themselves, live safely in society and protect themselves from dangers in society. The students learn in the classroom and outside the classroom from teachers, local knowledgeable members of the community, and representatives from different government and non-governmental agencies.
All HDS students are also provided with lunch every day. Besides their academic education students at the HDS also participate in vocational workshops including:
- Performing Arts – This workshop is designed to teach students acting and storytelling skills. As well as giving them the opportunity to be creative and have fun.
- Weaving – This workshop is designed to teach students how to weave clothe using a loom. The workshop teaches students how to use various techniques on the loom to weave cloth. Scarves and ‘Pha Kha Mah’ which can be used as a scarf but is also large enough to use as a towel or wear as a sarong.
- Electrical training – This workshop is designed to teach students about electrical appliances and how to fix them. They are introduced to the material and tools used by an electrician and safety procedures.
- Culinary Arts: Students get an opportunity to learn how to make different types of traditional Thai snacks, desserts and entrée dishes. HDS believes that it is important to instill a healthy idea of food and the importance of establishing healthy eating habits.
- Art and Culture: This workshop provides both an academic and hands-on component for students to get exposed and to actively engage in Thai culture and heritage for example by studying various traditional Thai and ethnic decorations and learning how to make paper lanterns, lamps and lampshades using locally made paper.
- Handicrafting: Here students express their creativity and artistic ability by learning how to make small, sellable goods such as cotton used to create mobile phone holders, crocheting dolls and other small decorative items as well as re-think creative ways to recycle leftover materials and turn them into something both useful and beautiful.
- Agriculture Studies: Students learn how to plant and grow vegetables in a designated plot of land on-site, and then maintain the area as an organic farm. From tilting the soil to planting seeds to maintaining the farm by themselves, students have the opportunity to experience first-hand the whole process of farming.
We are delighted to have received new students and welcome back our old students. As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions on improving our students’ learning experiences. Once again, on behalf of the Half Day School students and their families, I extend my most sincere thanks to you for making it all possible. From the special contributions of so many friends, we are demonstrating that even the children most at-risk for sex and labor trafficking can learn and grow!
Thank you so much,
DEPDC Director of Projects
(Travelling filmmaker visits the Half Day School
(ISV and DEPDC)