There are still good people with a big heart! A company partly owned by Tommi Ijäs, drove 640 km with two cars back and forth from Bangkok to deliver our children a huge amount of cloth, toys and computers. Tommi himself was driving one of the cars. There is no words to say, how thankful we are.
New Partnership? (21-22.4)
The founder of Genius School Thailand together with her Team visited us to discuss about possible cooperation. They have several modules that could complement our present Program. It looks like they could also help us financially and if needed, help us to scale the Program to other areas in Thailand. Pat, the CEO, promised to come with a concrete plan concerning how to get started.
One of the things our visitors got interested in, was the Moomin English Program.
In picture from left behind: Bee, Ja-oh and Nat and in front Dan, Jo and Pat.
Student Panels (12.4)
As a part of a larger interview process, we interviewed 4 13-year old students, who have moved from Huana School to Obodjo School. On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is very, very poor and 10 is excellent, Obodjo got 10 and Huana 1. The good thing is that now we know WHY Huana have problems, which should help us in trying to develop the school. As said before, not an easy task.
Meeting Mr. Sarawut (8.4)
Mr. Sarawut is the founder and leader of the Obodjo School in Chiang Rai.The School is one of the three most advanced schools in Thailand. Mr. Sarawut had the task to build a new school for Obodjo in Chiang Rai 12 years ago. As an extremely clever person, he has expanded the school from 430 students to over 3.000 students. With the new technology, he believes his school can serve up to 30.000 students in future.
Mr. Sarawut is ready to assist in developing our own Obodjo School in Phetchabun. "We are like sister and brother, why not", he says.
Jo is buying 60 books for Kindergarten (3.4)
Huana School is having a library, that no-one is using. Thai people are not used to read books. One great feature in our new HighScope Kindergarten is, that every child borrows daily a book back home, and brings it back next morning. This is how we try to teach a habit to read books. As we have right now 60 children in Kindergarten, Jo baught 60 books to start with. Several people in Bangkok have promised to send us more books.
Top Training 27-28.3
Top Thai educators came to Phetchabun to teach, how young children should be raised by parents and grandparents.
Our Jo, Ja-oh and Canoon (in the middle) were participating and praising the seminar as outstanding.
Excellent material for our Parent School.
A try to develop our School 26.3
There is a reason, why Thailand is among the last in the PISA assessment (where Finland is one of the leading). The education system is rigged. As we cannot change the whole School, we try to start with the three lower grades (6 to 8 years old). The answer:"Yes, we would like to, but government insists that we use 100% television in our teaching. It means at least 5 hours every day. And we would like children to develop their skill of thinking. But sooner or later...
The Big Opening Day 25.3
Today it finally happened; Our own unique HighScope Kindergarten was opened. In picture one of the five corners, the Block corner. The others are Science, Kitchen, Art and Readers corner. It is said that this is the quality of an International School, and provided for poor countryside kids for free. We work with over 60 kids and 6 teachers.
Genius School 22.3
We had an interesting meeting with Mr. Nukul representing the Genius School in Thailand. If we are unable to modernice the teaching in Huana School, Genius School concept could be an alternative. In the concept, the "teachers" become coaches. Very interesting. Next meeting will be the 22nd of April.
John Simon, Kone Centennial Foundation
Kone is our by far biggest supporter. John has visited us already twice to see, how we are doing. During his visit in Januart 2019 he said following:
“Your challenge is that you work in an area, where the educational culture is rigid, and it makes very hard to introduce new concepts. And you have been bringing many advanced development ideas not only from Finland, but also from United States and elsewhere. But the system is not designed to accept this kind of creativity or exeptionalism. So you must be very generic sensed to get teachers to accept what you are doing. That is your biggest challenge in my mind.”
The new furniture starts to come (4.3)
HighScope concept needs a lot of furniture and toys. We only have 13% of the needed equipment, so a lot have to be bought. Today we received the first furnitures and soon the rest. Opening the 15.3. A proud Jo in the picture.
New Kindergarten Building (3.3)
The 15.3 we will move to our new Kindergarten building, were we will implement the "amazing" HighScope concept (see video on our Home page).
Breaking News (26.2)
Mr. Doj, "owner" of the 800 -student Obodjo School, agrees to start a Program to bring Finnish education know-how to his School to make it the leading school in the Phetchabun Province. The School represents the third face in the Z2H Program; children from 12 to 18 years old.
We start the co-operation by interviewing students, teachers, parents and Management.
Mr. Doj is one of the leading figures in education in Phetchabun and will thus be a key to help us to succeed to build HEROs.
Zero-to-Hero Team Meeting
A planning meeting, how to implement HighScope to our Kindergarten. A better Team cannot be found. Proud of it.
Final Design of our new HighScope Center 11.2
HighScope Kindergarten will be done in one big room. Our 60 children aged 2 to 4 are divided in three groups. Each group have 2 teachers and 5 corners; one for Home (kitchen), one for Blocks, one for Arts, one for Books and for Science. We have a big list of thingss we must buy to secure effective teaching. Out of the needed items we only have 13%. Shocking!
Now starts the big "fight" to get the Local Administration to pay at least a part of the investments, as the Kindergarten officially is under them. But so far so good.
Jo speaks to Health Professionals in Phetchabun 6.2
We were invited to tell how we see that Zero-to-Hero Program has effected children's health and what kind of support we hope for in future. Among many clear improvements the biggest has been that the amount of so called LD -children have dropped during our Program from over 30% to under 15%. Our target is to come under 3% within the next five years.
Most of the participants wanted to come and visit us in order to learn more. They said;"Finally someone who's doing and not just talking."
The BIG next step?
We have been invited to bring the Finnish education system to one of the leading Secondary Schols in Phetchabun Province. Jo and John are negotiating about how to get started with the huge challenge.
Phetchabun University 13.1.2019
Phetchabun University is among other things educating yearly over 300 new kindergarten teachers. Here Jo, John and me are negotiating with the President and Vice-President to sign MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the University and Zero-to-Hero Foundation. The plan is to implement our 0 to 6 -Program to University. This would be the most effective way to spread our unique model to a lot of kindergartens in Thailand. The University would also be involved in measuring how "our" children are developing in comparison to a control group.
And all of a sudden we were already 10...
On the below video Ja-oh is teaching the Baby Club children about colors and about the skill to wait for one's turn.