In less than two weeks Dr. Warong’s pilot project of teaching kindergartens will kick off. The pressure is piling up. I am beginning to feel nervous and nauseated. Will this work out? Will it yield an expected result? What if not?
Exactly on the first of November, the class will start. Two groups of students will be the subjects, one hour each. Two teachers including myself are also involved.
A few days before the end of this month, I’ll be getting a call. It will be from Dr. Warong and friends. He said he would like me and Ajarn Lloyd to be at the meeting with people involved in the project. If time permits, former Finance Minister Khun Korn will be present. Possibly, even Democrat Leader and former Prime Minister of Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva will be there as well. If they cannot make it at the meeting, they will be present during the first few weeks of the project to observe.
Dr. Warong is really serious to build a strong foundation for Thailand when it comes to English. He doesn’t have problems in other fields like engineering, medicine, etc. However, when it comes to language such as English, Thailand is trailing behind other ASEAN countries. He wants to move English from a foreign language to a second language in a few years. He wants to change the current trend. With the advent of ASEAN and the stiff global competition for work, things including communication and language competitiveness give someone an edge over the others, and building a strong foundation starts at teaching kindergartens.
“For years the government gives a rather more focus on university students. Since they are the ones who will be working in different fields when they graduate, they are being prioritized. If you have noticed, some graduates can’t make a rather understandable sentence. They may be good in Thailand, but they won’t make a difference if they work abroad,” Dr. Warong said.
There is more to his plan than just the language. Ethics and protecting ones’ rights are also on the list. He has quite a long list, actually. But I can’t spill all the beans just yet. I’ll let him do it when he’s ready. Above all though, he believes everything should start at the early stage of education.