on the spot
It's school time! If the situation in Bangkok returns to normal, we will start to see children in uniform around the city in the next few days. To celebrate the importance of educational institutions, `Muse' asked last week what you dislike most about your schooling experience _ in the past if you're now a working person or in the present if you're still a student _ and why? What kind of changes would you like to see at schools? Here are your answers!
What I dislike most about my schooling experience is the exams, especially the mid-terms scheduled on Christmas day or right after the Christmas and New Year holidays. I can still remember carrying study books with me to the beach or trying to finish studying before having the chance to open presents from Santa Claus.
``Also, the exams questions were a bit tricky in the way that the questions were asked, for example, from references at the end of lessons, or the expected answers were in the brackets or footnote of lessons. What I noticed was this kept the teachers happy seeing students struggle with their tricky questions.
``Anyhow, that was more than 20 years ago, and teachers' attitudes have since shifted. I would like to see changes in teachers' and students' attitudes and more open communication. The teachers are there to help the students so the they feel comfortable asking questions and have fun studying, hopefully inspiring them to study more. This differs to the past, when students were too afraid to ask questions, limiting their opportunities and discouraging them to study more.''
The level of achievement of a student's education depends largely on the teacher _ how well they understand the student, how determined they are to teach, trigger ideas and inspire. Teachers are supposed to add what students lack and punish with reason to ensure students are well-trained in both knowledge and behaviour.
``I wish Thai schools had equal teaching standards so at least students need not struggle to get into famous schools and travel far from home. Instead, they could spend the time participating in quality activities that benefit both themselves and society.''
On the whole, I'm very happy with my school, The Demonstration School of Ramkhamhaeng University, and I enjoy each and every day there. However, there are a few things I would change if I could.
``First of all, I'd like to see cleaner toilet facilities. In Mathayom 3, we have about 20 toilets for 500 or so students. Sometimes they're dirty and not at all hygienic. They need to be kept cleaner and we could all make an effort to help achieve this.
``Secondly, when we do sports in the gym we get very hot and sweaty and afterwards we don't take showers. I'm not even sure if the showers work. So we feel uncomfortable and unclean for the rest of the day.
``Lastly, at lunch time the tables are really messy. Not all students clear away their dishes and glasses after they've eaten, so if you arrive towards the end of lunch break you have to eat amongst a pile of used dishes. We should all take our dishes away and it would be cleaner for everyone.
``I don't think any of these things would be very difficult to improve, it just requires some effort and initiative from students and staff, and we could make our school an even nicer place for everybody.''
JEJE TAHOMA (pseudonym)
Next week: Our dear city of Bangkok has just been through an almost unbearable tragedy. Many of its buildings have been reduced to ashes and its citizens' lives have been plunged into hopeless despair. 'Muse' asks you, very broadly, about what in Bangkok needs to be saved most urgently. What is it that the authorities should be paying heed to, supporting and bringing back to normalcy and why? Send your thoughts, along with your name, profession and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 26 to compete for a special prize.