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Distance Learning Project to Celebrate HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorns 60th Birthday

4 February 2015 (Readers 1383)
An online communication system for a distance learning project has been launched, as part of the celebrations of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorns 60th birthday anniversary in 2015.

The project is a joint effort by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Science and Technology Development Agency, and the Ministry of Education.

The Permanent Secretary for Science and Technology, Associate Professor Dr. Weerapong Pairsuwan, said that the e-learning project will benefit students and the general public across the country. It will also promote lifelong learning, since everyone will have free access to education content through this open online system.

The President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool, said that the project aims to improve the quality of education and develop the teaching potential of large and medium-sized schools in the country. Under the project, a new system, called "Repository for Open Educational Resources, will be introduced in March 2015 as the base to create various online lessons that teachers may use for teaching.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is well-aware that science and technology, including information and communication technology (ICT), are important tools that can help a country achieve the goal of sustainable development. They enhance peoples capabilities to learn, create, and innovate and can drive a community toward more self-reliance.

Her Royal Highness has set up an ICT Fund to promote the use of ICT to enhance the quality of life, improve education, and increase employment opportunities for the disadvantaged. The goal is to empower them, so that they will benefit from the use of ICT and be able to participate fully in the countrys political, economic, and social development. She hopes that, at least, they can use ICT to earn their living once they complete their compulsory education.

Today, the ICT Fund is used to help four groups of disadvantaged people: rural school students, sick children in hospitals, prison inmates, and persons with disabilities. Her Royal Highness started with acquiring computers and parts for rural remote schools, hospitals, prisons, and schools for people with disabilities. Training was arranged for teachers and necessary materials were provided.

In addition, capacity-building for teachers has been emphasized. Her Royal Highness realizes the importance of developing teachers on a continual basis, so that they will be equipped with more ICT skills for the maximum benefit of their students.

She sees that a rural school with ICT capabilities has the opportunity to serve as a village center that can provide various services to local villagers, in the form of training, information about modern agricultural practices, and other services.

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