Post International Media has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) in the "Making Thai Einsteins"campaign.
Pornpun Waitayangkoon, left, president of the IPST, and Supakorn Vejjajiva, Post Publishing’s president and COO.
The aim of the project is to encourage science learning among kids and to show the importance of science in daily life.
The IPST will select 3,000 schools nationwide and Post International Media, as the publisher of science magazine Science Illustrated, will provide the magazine on a monthly basis for a year.
Pornpun Waitayangkoon, president of the IPST, said that it was found that Thai students, at 15 years old, have weak skills in reading for comprehension and analysis.
"They can read literally but are not encouraged to analyse or comprehend what they are reading. Thai people in general also do not read as much as people in developed countries," she said.
"While IPST has interesting content, we don't have the right dressing to attract people to our writing. This is where new tools like Science Illustrated can step in and make people see that science can be fun and useful."
Supakorn Vejjajiva, Post Publishing's president and COO, said that this project is the biggest collaboration Science Illustrated has undertaken.
"I am very excited for the opportunity to spread this quality magazine to libraries in every region of Thailand. This will not only expand our readership but also elevate the quality and effectiveness of science learning, showing the public that science is all around in our daily life," he said.
Pornpun added that Thai children are not encouraged to think, and traditionally, parents prefer their children to be obedient, which also means passive.
"Most students memorise more than they think when they are in class," she said. "Also, the majority of parents in Thailand do not have higher education _ the average is Grade 6 _ so they cannot support their children much in areas like science and maths.
"Schools with lower budgets also cannot provide the students with the opportunity to experiment, whereas science is actually hands-on learning. There are many limitations, but at least the awareness has been increasing."
She also noted that primary education is not given much attention. Most students, parents and teachers focus more on high school because they feel it is the path to the right university. As a result, primary school teachers are weaker than those who teach in higher grades.
"This is wrong. I believe that foundation is key, and younger kids should be encouraged to love learning, to explore the world outside the classroom. They should see that chemistry is not a subject, but a tangible aspect of life, such as the sunscreen that we put on our skin, or the medicine that we take."
The aim of this project, as well promoting science in general, is not to generate scientists, but to encourage people to think and analyse.
"There are 12 million students in Thailand, and 200,000 science and maths teachers. I believe with such a great tool as Science Illustrated, we can help raise awareness of the importance of science and critical thinking," said Pornpun.