Essay from Mahbub Alam

South Asian man with black hair, glasses, a white shirt, brown jacket and colorful tie.
Mahbub Alam

Training and Visit in Thailand

At First I thank the authorities of the ministry of education of Bangladesh and the authorities of TQI -II project for this nice and excellent arrangement for the overseas training of the secondary school teachers to meet with the challenges for fulfilling the demands of 21 century education plan. Now Bangladesh is a developing country and we are living in a globalized world where the countries are living as the families in the villages. So communication has become a great factor nowadays. Our government is trying to develop the four skills listening, reading, writing and speaking specially for the secondary level students in English language. As it is the only medium for communication with the other countries of the world, there is no exception without developing competencies and skills for teaching in English language. English is not only a language but also a culture. So, we, the language teachers should have the experience of overseas training to implement the methods and techniques of the developed countries regarding the classroom situation and it must have a direct impact on dealing with the regular classroom activities.

With a great effort of our team leader Professor Mohammad Jahangir Hossain, Deputy Project Director (Finance and Admin), TQI-II project along with Khaleda Akhtar, deputy secretary, Ministry of Education and Assoc. Prof.  Manzar Alam, Additional Director, HSTTI, Khulna, a full package of our 25 members started for Thailand by plane from Dhaka Airport just at 11.05 am on 16 September, 2018. Thailand is in the middle of mainland Southeast Asia.  Its total size is 513,120 square km which is the 50th largest in the world. 

Before flying to the land our Project Director, Mr. Jahir Uddin Babor sat with us and suggested many good things on how to suit with the culture of the people in Thailand. Different country has different culture and tradition. So, how we should behave and what should be our mission and vision thinking all sides our project director made us conscious of this. As a team leader Prof. Jahangir Hossain guided us very strictly. When our plane landed in Thailand airport, we all became astonished to see the world famous airport, Subornobhumi.  This is also a lesson for us how fast the world is running and how the artistic beauty lies in the architectural structure. Then the two guides Annie and Chu waiting for us at the airport gate, smiling soft over the face, received us very cordially and took us to the President Park Hotel by three micro buses.

To describe the impact on overseas training firstly I want to utter from my realization that a teacher cannot establish himself as a good teacher without being a proper and a good learner. He/She must raise himself to be a kinesthetic and at the same time an auditory learner as he/she is a language teacher. For this reason tour or sightseeing can provide much opportunity for developing these capacities in the classroom situation. Our government is trying to develop our education system in all regards. So overseas training in Thailand and its sightseeing is very important to learn on how to develop the participatory method in the classroom situation. It can help the teachers develop the learning activities following the rules of teaching and learning process through pedagogy.

Group of middle aged adults in front of a school building with signs in Thai with palm trees
Author Mahbub Alam and various other educators

Our training in Thailand fulfills the demand that our government runs with the plan SDG (Sustainable Development Goal). In Bangladesh the English language class in the secondary level is designed in the curriculum of participatory approach. So teachers must have the practical experience to engage the learners more interestingly. Therefore I think that this sightseeing experience has a great impact on teaching and learning in the classroom situation.         

On the next day on 17 September, 2018 we set out for a tour or sightseeing at 10.30 a.m. as there was no training session on that day. Both Chu and Anny guided us and they took us in Santichaiprakan Park, meaning the park a fort, the victory of peacefulness. Here from the old one alone to the young couple or lovers may come to have a peace in the breeze of the river, Chao Phraya under the shade of the banyan and other large trees. In the north side corner of the park there inlays on the walls sculptures of the various cultural people of Thailand who contributed in so many areas like agriculture, art and craft, patriotism and so on. These cultural people remind us the famous line, “Art for art’s sake,” that expresses a philosophy of the intrinsic value of art. Through these cultural reminders we can remember our famous personalities for their great contribution in literature, art and politics like famous poet Hason Rasa, Jasim Uddin, Shamsur Rahman etc, famous painters Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hassan, SM Sultan etc., famous politicians with patriotic feelings sacrificed their lives for our language and country. They are Salam, Barkot, Shafiq, Rafiq, Jabbar, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Mawlana Bhashani, Hussain Suhrawardi etc. If the pictures are shared in the classroom among the students and make an environment to compare the things in between Thailand and Bangladesh, it must broaden the outlooks of our students.

The Park is situated on the east bank of the river Chao Phraya. Over the river we saw a hanging bridge on the opposite side of the park that enhances the beauty of the sight. It’s a nice place indeed. Then we started for Wat Aurun Buddhist Temple. Wat Aurun is called the Temple of Dawn, located on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River. This temple is one of famous landmarks of Bangkok. It was constructed in the 17th century, and is very attractive in its striking prangs (pagodas). Its central prang is 82 metres high which is the tallest prang in Thailand. This temple reflects the beam of the sun rise and the sun set which charms the tourists very much. These temples have religious, social and moral values which reflects its artistic infrastructural beauty to the heart and by sharing the sights with my students in the classroom they must grow a new idea about Thailand and can compare Bangladesh with its religious and cultural diversity. After visiting the temple we returned the President Park Hotel at the evening.  

Ruamrudee International School

Sightseeing is one of the important parts of any overseas training. 

In our fourteen days training program almost every day we visited so many important and traditional places. So, on the first session of our training our facilitator, Mr. Chukiat Ruksorn, Director, ETO (Extension and Training Office), KU (kasetsart University) suggested us to visit the country and gather experience. We visited so many shopping malls like MBK market, Indira market etc. We visited The Nongnooch Garden and Resort, The Orchid, Pattaya Sea Beach, Gems Gallery, Art Gallery, Floating Market, Grand Place etc.

After coming back from Thailand when I open my videos and picture galleries from laptop and show my students the Subornobhumi Airport and the sceneries of floating market in the grade eight class while going through the lessons in the class they become so happy and feel very interested. There are some lessons on The Tha Kha Floating Market and The Subornobhumi Airport in our grade eight English text book. So regarding all the things our oversea training in Thailand has direct impact on the teaching and learning process in Bangladesh that can enhance the beauty of teaching technique in the classroom situation.

Steps leading up to buildings on a rainy day. Boats on water selling items.
Thai Floating Market

From visiting Ruamrudee International School in Thailand, we got some new experiences and the students of that school are thought in full English language. The syllabus is maintained from America. At that time there were 100 teachers teaching in that school and the school was run by four fathers. Teaching side by side co-curricular activities are the regular practice of the school. It is one of Thailand’s leading international schools and a model of excellence and innovation in global education. This school is run with the philosophy by creating an environment for teaching the students with care and compassion which we, the teachers of Bangladesh can follow and make our learners more progressive by following the innovative approach to education.

Visiting to Grant Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha): The Grand Palace and this temple located in the same compound in the very heart of Bangkok, are most frequently visited by foreign tourists and local people alike. The Grant Palace is famous for its impressive buildings and was established on 06 May, 1782. Beside this palace, the Wat Phra Kaeo is renowned as the most beautiful and important Buddhist temple in Thailand. It is so richly and intricately decorated that once entering the temple, visitors will feel as if they were in a real “city of angel”.

In Bangladesh from the teachers’ overseas training experience this Grand Place can be used for improving the listening skills in the classroom for the students and they can get new idea about the new place. Or it can be used as the teaching and learning process in the classroom for discussing after showing the video or picture of The Grand Palace. It can be used as on how to maintain knowledge and skills in the educational context and it considers interactions engaging the teacher with the students during learning. This act of teaching process follows pedagogy referred to our curriculum. 

South Asian man in white shirt and brown pants standing in front of a giant painting of elephants.
Art in Paradise gallery

Art Gallery: There is an art gallery in Pattaya, “Art in Paradise.” This Art Gallery symbolizes the beauty of the modern world. It is divided into different theme halls. This is an imaginary world or a dream land where the visitors can let their imagination go wild or pose in the way they can think of to get their photos. Art in Paradise is divided in several sections as classic art, nature, ancient civilizations and optical illusions. When these pictures are described in the class, students can have a new dimension of art and be inspired to painting. In the language class this Art Gallery can be a nice presentation in the classroom where teachers must play the creative role for engaging all the students for their group discussion in participation method. It must broaden the imaginative power among the students. 

Gems Gallery: Gems Gallery in Pattaya is a world famous gallery. Visitors from all over the world come here and buy the ornaments from here. The gallery provides the visitors with a certificate of quality for all products and gives a lifetime guarantee. This can be set as for an example in grade eight lessons about divers who would like to collect valuable jewels and minerals from the ocean in the past.

Pattaya Sea Beach and Koh Larn Island: Pattaya Sea Beach is the most popular beach with its beautiful sights, beach-front accommodations, entertainment, complexes and restaurants. It is a nice spot for swimming and sunbathing. Koh Larn is a small Thai Island off the coast of Pattaya, in the gulf of Thailand. It’s known for its beaches, set against a backdrop of wooded hills. The beach is famed for its clear blue water and sunset views. This can be a nice comparison between the Cox’s Bazar Sea Beach and the Pattaya Sea Beach. Koh Larn Island can be compared to the St. Martin Island in our country. The students can compare the Islands as their class test and it works as continuous assessment that develops their writing skills to prepare for the summative assessment.

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden: Only 18 km from Pattaya, it’s a paradise on earth with amazing variety of plants in photographic garden settings. We enjoyed daily cultural and elephant shows and delicious Thai foods here. This is an excellent experience life to develop our inner beauty.

The Orchid and the Baiyoke Sky Hotel:  These two sights are also very important for its beauty and new experience looking around from above 100 more storied building. What a nice experience we got to have our launch there. We came to know the eating habits there.

People in Thailand always in every shop use their computer to pay the bill for the customers. As Bangladesh is developing and our government is trying heart and soul for this development and digitalization, within very short time we will see the same use of the computers in the shops. So the use of ICT is also needed in our classroom for our generation.  

So undoubtedly it can be said very clearly that through the training in  foreign land one can enrich himself/herself by achieving the target goal and at the same time can build up his/her profession career. In this way if the training is continued in some more developed countries then we, the teachers of language would be enlightened for teaching our generations successfully and the dream of our great leader, Bangabandhu would come true.