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New TVET Model urges hands on- and teamwork skill

Over 2 years that Ms. Silarat ongsirichaisakulat has spent her career as an Active Physics teacher at Chachoengsao Technical College, where many young-blood technicians were trained to become the workforce for the labour market.   Ms. Silarat discussed her outlook on education with a soft voice filled with joy that “An important teaching technique is to set up the workshop class for students to do hands-on learning, and students will be happy to learn in class.”

Ms. Silarat sees a major opportunity for workers from technical and vocational fields. From the perspective of the public and private sectors, Thai workers need to urgently develop skills needed for the future demands. Students must be trained to follow the demands of the industry trends. It’s not just about memorizing details like in the past. But employers require the workers who know how to fix the problems, be disciplined, and well collaborate with others. These skills do not only come from the lecture in class. However, teachers need to keep this active learning activity through hands-on activities or workshop.

In the present day, Thai students have various skills which could be the challenge for the teacher to find out and bring out their best potential to apply while learning in class. Literally, many good students are knowledge hungers and want to show their leadership skills as a group leader. Conversely, students who slowly learn tend to have a feeling of being disengaged in class. So, this is an uneasy task for the teacher to blend these 2 groups together as one team. More importantly, teachers need to keep in mind that students like to study with fun and engagement among friends and that is what makes the teacher happy along with them as well. ”

In addition, for the daily preparations in class, Ms. Silarat focuses on creating a success atmosphere. By motivating students to pursue the goal of each activity, Ms. Silarat usually assigns a teamwork project learning where good students are forced to partner with slow learners to work as a team. Obviously, students are willing to learn from their friends. They love to share smiles and laughers together when each team member runs the process successfully. Finally, the leader of each team who want his or her work well accepted will be determined to find room for improvement. What Ms. Silarat could see is, the team leader would summarize the work process and assign some members to thoroughly find out small errors to fix before going out to present in front of the class.  This way, the teacher comparatively acts as a business owner, so if all students are taught to understand the holistic process and objectives, they would become the goal based- learners who always look for the future improvement. They will be interested in editing and finding out what is not yet good enough and correct it for perfection.

From years of working experiences in the organization, Ms. Silarat believes continual learning is a value for life. During her class workshop, students show their characteristics through their preferences in selecting the roles for the teamwork assignments. Literally, people are born from a different family background. They do not share the same opportunity in lives. As a teacher, it is obvious how students would react to others during the workshop assignment. For example, smart students are loves to know that their ideas are correct and could influence the team. But slow learners seem uncomfortable to lead the ideas and tend to work by orders from the group leaders. At least, the slow learners got something to do for the team, and they would not feel worthless. With this method, the teacher must be able to see through and gradually motivate these slow learners to memorize data and think along with the team leader. Ultimately, we all come to school to study well enough just to be able to work in the future.

In order to empower these students with knowledge and skills to succeed in the future, Ms. Silarat believed students should follow what are required by the industry. Basically, skills are required, but discipline is compulsory.  She personally believed that Thai students need to be emphasized more about disciplines. Actually, the concept of 5S is what students should keep in mind so that they can deliver the quality work on time as well as being perceived ethical from colleagues.

Regarding to her opportunity to serve as a Master Teacher to train more than 100 teachers from technical and vocational school for 3 years,  Ms.Silarat wished  to see the collaborative effort from these teachers to bring the activity or workshops learning to the classroom. At the same time, it is necessary to always be aware of what would be required by the labor markets now and in the future.  Not only to empower students with the necessary skills as mentioned above, but student’s English skills must also be improved. Besides, students need to understand the culture of how to work with foreigners. Lastly, Ms. Silarat said “I want to see teachers bring this knowledge to classes. It would be amazing if our youth students grow up to help leverage Thailand to same level of the leading industrialized nation in the future.”


September 5, 2018