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Student E-Shopping Project Aims To Bridge Thailand’s Notorious Education Gap
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2022
Thailand’s Top International Schools Are Teaming Up With Local Rural Schools In An E-Commerce Project Aimed At Bridging The Country’s Wide Education Gap.
The “Equity Partnership’s School Network Season 4” will see international school students join with their poor rural counterparts to launch community products on Shopee in December.
A collaboration between the Equitable Education Fund (EEF), Shopee and schools, the project aims to equip students with real-world business skills for the 21st century.
“One of our main goals is to give students from extremely diverse backgrounds the chance to collaborate, support one another in finding the best solutions, and overcome a variety of obstacles,” said EEF’s managing director Kraiyos Patrawart.
More students and schools are participating in the fourth season, showing the project’s success, he said at Saturday’s launch ceremony.
Over the next six months, children from 12 rural schools across the country will form teams with students from eight international schools.
Each team will be handed community products made from local materials. They will then be taught by experts in product development, design, marketing and branding how to create and promote their online store to boost awareness and sales.
As well as learning digital techniques and how to add value to products, the students will also absorb social-emotional skills useful in their future work lives, Kraiyos said.
These include self-reliance, empathy, open-mindedness and teamwork, cross-cultural understanding, creative thinking, and digital entrepreneurship.
Among participants in the project is Shrewsbury International School.
Shrewsbury’s principal Rob Millar noted that learning outside of the classroom is just as important as learning in school. And the real-life experience gained from the “Equity Partnership’s School Network Season 4” would help students develop skills they need to survive in society, he said.
Shrewsbury teacher Greg Threlfall added that success in the project was not measured by sales but by the students’ ability to apply their knowledge and help each other to create a great product.
Earnearn, a DBS Denla British School student who is participating in the project for the second year, said it gave her the chance to apply business knowledge she learns in class. It also helped her communicate with others and appreciate their differences, she said.
“Last year, I felt like I didn’t give it my all. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to complete all tasks online. So I’ve decided to rejoin this year to learn more and make new friends.”
Pai, a 14-year-old student from Baan Non Kum Mitraparp 210 in Nakhon Ratchasima, said she hoped the project would give her new skills and knowledge to improve her community’s products.
A representative of Sea (Thailand), Shopee’s parent company, said the response to products from last year’s project was extremely positive, with sales totalling hundreds of thousands of baht.
“Shopee will provide experts to teach students everything they need to know about e-commerce and online marketing. It is proof that we can provide a platform for students to learn and prepare for their future careers,” said Puttawan Supatranun, Sea corporate communications director.
Students will collaborate to create a product for launch on December 12 – Shopee’s “double-12” end-of-year sales day.
EEF’s Kraiyos said the project was a model for social innovation aimed at eliminating educational inequity via collaborations among different sectors. It would also provide students with an alternative learning path to compensate knowledge gaps that opened during the pandemic, he added.