Mahasarakham (17 June 2023) ─ SEAMEO STEM-ED and partners made a covenant with 12 Thai universities by inking a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen teacher education and give birth to a new generation of competent teachers.
The MoU signing is to highlight a commitment to Strengthening Teacher Education Program (STEP), a program established by SEAMEO STEM-ED, Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO), and The Teachers’ Council of Thailand (Kurusapa).
STEP was tasked with a three-year determination to counter national and regional education standards, which ultimately, will thrive for instructional reform in universities. The program undertakes pre-service education reform, which deploys “core practices (practices that identify fundamental components of teaching that teachers enact to support learning)” for teaching practicum. In particular, STEP will enhance classroom practice for novice teachers and reinforce attention given to method teaching.
Pertaining to the program establishment and the official launch at Chamchuri Square (on 31 October 2022), SEAMEO STEM-ED united its partners and official representatives of 12 Thai universities (who enrolled in the program) to sign the MoU at Mahasarakham University.
A change in education is on the way
SEAMEO STEM-ED Centre Director, Dr. Kritsachai Somsaman, in the opening remarks, affirmed his belief in making the impossible possible. First cited how the world is constantly evolving, and that SEAMEO STEM-ED and its partners have the responsibility in producing quality teachers that will bring prosperity to the future.
“We all see many changes in the world and it is our role to produce skilled teachers, human resources, and a new generation of individuals of the future. More importantly, it is our (SEAMEO STEM-ED and partners) task to foresee those individuals are empowered and make change possible,” the SEAMEO STEM-ED Director voiced his vision and determination.
He further underlined the contribution of SEAMEO STEM-ED in connecting Southeast Asian expertise together, and at the moment, STEP is expanding to the regional stage.
Another key partner from NXPO, Asst. Prof. Dr. Poolsak Koseeyaporn, the Vice President of the organization said the MoU marks “a big change in education.” The NXPO Vice President stated it is time for the education system, along with its measurement to be elevated to another level.
“We are entering the phase where Thailand should move forward to being a developed country, this comprises of development in thinking processes and practices. Teacher development is highly crucial in this regard and we must establish a new mechanism of pioneering education standards along with its innovations,” the NXPO Vice President highlighted.
Two key partners highlight their roles and contributions
Meanwhile, Asst. Prof. Dr. Amolwan Weerathammo, Secretary-General of The Teachers’ Council said it is Kurusapa’s great pleasure in being a part of this teacher development movement. Elucidating the role of Kurusapa mission of producing, and ensuring quality teachers and educational personnel of Thailand are produced.
“This program will push forward competent teachers along with human resources in Thai education,” the Kurusapa Secretary General commented on how this MoU will shape the education system.
The main sponsor of STEP, Chevron Thailand Exploration & Production, Ltd., Corporate Affairs Department representative Chalida Narongsirikul first cited the success of STEP’s launch. Here, she provided insights into how private organizations opined toward this program ─ that it captures international attention to human development, which is the core mission of Chevron Corporation.
We are a “human energy” organization, and education is the first matter of scrutiny in our social investment activity, Ms. Narongsirikul who is also Chevron Enjoy Science Project (a program founded to pioneer Thai STEM education and create careers for the youth) Manager said.
“STEP will mark such of great importance to create a forefront individual in education,” she added while sharing Chevron’s future determination in expanding the program to three of its operating bases in Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Cambodia.
Prior to the MoU signing ceremony, STEP held its three virtual workshops for the participating universities to familiarize themselves with core practices and together prepare for the upcoming future.
After the MoU, the program will pick up its pace in adapting the method course by integrating core practices, whilst practicum seminars will be organized once a week ─ and within the next three years, mentor teachers will implement instructional teaching.
Participating universities in STEP include:
- Buriram Rajabhat University
- Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University
- Chaiyaphum Rajabhat University
- Fatoni University
- Mahasarakham University
- Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University
- Phuket Rajabhat University
- Surindra Rajabhat University
- Thaksin University
- Ubon Ratchathani Rajabhat University
- Nakhon Sawan Rajabhat University
- Suratthani Rajabhat University
Watch full recording of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7ClYi7O3I8&ab_channel=SEAMEOSTEM-EDCentre