Keeping remote area learners plugged in

When children can't go to school, the school must come to them, say Allianz Ayudhya Assurance PCL and the Foundation for Child Development

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many schoolchildren to study remotely. Under these circumstances, gadgets like computers and tablets become must-haves. Unfortunately, not every family can afford such luxury technology.

In order to make remote learning possible and more convenient for Thai children, Allianz Ayudhya, in collaboration with the Foundation for Child Development, have joined forces to launch "Tablets for Children".

The project involves giving second-hand electronic communication devices to schools and youths in remote areas. It is hoped that this will help ensure equal access to educational opportunities for Thai children during the Covid-19 crisis. In August, the campaign welcomed donations, whether money or electronic communication devices.

"The spread of Covid-19 affects Thai people's lives in all contexts, including youth education," reflected Patchara Taveechaiwattana, country chief customer officer of Allianz Ayudhya Assurance PCL. "Teaching and learning have to change to sustain continuous education for children, including appropriate social distancing and generally minimising the risk of a second-wave of infections. As every school in Bangkok and other provinces has adopted online learning, electronic communication devices have become essential learning equipment for children.

"However, children in remote areas still lack access to these expensive devices, so they have a hard time learning in the current situation," Patchara continued. "Realising this problem, Allianz Ayudhya would like to take a leading role in campaigning for donations of second-hand electronic communication devices for schools and children in remote areas. The Foundation for Child Development is the project's coordinator and helps allocate the devices to each school. This project is deemed a new way to raise donations in the new normal era."

Chettha Mankhong, director of the Foundation for Child Development, added that, "The Foundation for Child Development has a mission to develop children, including both physical and mental development, and for this they must have equal access to education and learning. The foundation seeks to ensure the children's happiness, safety and wellbeing. This is accomplished through constructive activities that are beneficial to both the children and their communities.

"Children are one of the group's most profoundly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. They have been stopped from going to school and have had to learn online instead. But children in remote areas lack equipment to learn online. The foundation has therefore collaborated with Allianz Ayudhya to implement the Tablets for Children project for less privileged children.

"We have selected 11 schools in southern border provinces with a combined total of 1,959 students," continued Chettha. "The schools are in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat where the spread of Covid-19 was considerable. We also selected schools in the remote northern provinces of Mae Hong Son and Si Sa Ket. Some of the schools only have one teacher who teaches students at all levels. Remote learning is particularly necessary for them. The donated electronic communication devices given to these 11 schools will certainly make a big difference to the children's education and futures as well as their communities."