Southern border provinces refer to Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and 4 districts in Songkhla Province that are considered as the special development zone of southern border provinces. These areas will have different educational management formats from other areas in Thailand. Previously, there were several problems on lack of educational opportunity of compulsory education of juveniles and lack of educational opportunity of higher education. Consequently, Thai government has adjusted educational format to enable general people to participate in education increasingly, especially government schools that have promoted students to obtain appropriate education with their potential and abilities whether they are disable persons or talented persons. These talented persons are considered as important national resources.
From insurgency in southern border provinces, it highly affects to educational management hindering many students in southern border provinces from obtaining efficient education leading to lower quality of education. Thai government considers on importance of this problem therefore Project of Sport towards Educational System of Southern Border Provinces was established in order to utilize sports to develop youth in southern border provinces. Sports will be used as the media for developing educational quality, reducing educational inequality, and pulling sports capabilities of local youth to give them life opportunities to develop their specific talents. Youth under Project of Sport towards Educational System of Southern Border Provinces may not have excellent grade but they have determination, diligence, and patience as defined by the slogan of this project stated that “Awaken Dreams with Commitment to Bright Future and Success”.
All schools under this project have provided their instruction since Academic Year of 2015 up till now. This project can expand to 12 schools. It was delighted to know that Office of the Basic Education Commission could enable 409 students from 8 schools to graduate under this project in Academic Year of 2019. A part of them are students from Nathawee Wittayakom School in Songkhla Province that is selected to open Sports Science Program and Arts (English)-Sports Program in order to integrate ordinary subjects with sports skills. Student who wants to participate in these programs must have talents in 1 type of skillful sport from provided 5 types of sports including football, volley ball, Takraw, Thai boxing, and athletics. Currently, there are 231 students under this project.
Project of Sport towards Educational System of Southern Border Provinces is considered as an educational innovation providing some opportunities to youth to find themselves and develop their talents to professional level. Block Course will enable students to study one subject at a time. They will lean new subject after finishing the former subject learning. This helps to make students pay attention on such subject better and enable them to graduate more easily with more available time for sports training. If students want to continue their study in university level under science or art program, they will obtain credits of required subjects to continue their study in higher educational level. This project also has sponsorship to support students participating in this project to continue their study until they graduate in Bachelor Degree.
The distinctiveness of Project of Sport towards Educational System of Southern Border Provinces is enhancing experiences and perspectives on co-existence because students have to live together in the form of a boarding school. Nathawee Wittayakom School provides female and male dormitories consisted of 170 male students and 61 female students. On each day, there will be daily activities that they have to perform in order to strengthen their health and body as athletes started from 05:00 a.m. when all students have to exercise and be trained on disciplines by a trainer who is a soldier. Subsequently, they will do do their personal activities for being ready with their normal study from 08:30 a.m. to 02:30 p.m.
After finishing classes, students will prepare themselves for practicing sports based on their skills until 07:00 p.m. In each practice, students will obtain knowledge and techniques from person with direct experiences or their coach. Each type of sports is taught by coach with specific expertise to make students’ dreams come true for developing to professional level. These coaches are not only teachers but they are also the representatives of students’ parents and seniors who are consultants of children on sports, practices, studying, school life, and home coming.
Besides good techniques and skills, health and physical fitness is also important for obtaining good results of study and sports. If athletes have balance body mass with good health, physical condition, and brain, athletes will have consciousness, concentration, and aptitude to solve problems and select techniques for sports competition. The school provides some physiotherapists and nutritionists to work together in order to look after food and living of students in order to make them healthy with good capacity.
The most valuable resource of this world is humans. Therefore, before developing other things, we are required to emphasize on humans development firstly. It can be clearly seen that sports are able to preach one person to have good habit with disciplines, learn to be proud with winning while being able to accept losing and learn to forgive as well as learn to comply with social rules that are foundation of being quality persons for national development. This is considered as an efficient way to generate the model youth who will become the important forces of Thailand helping to improve their own quality of life and quality of life of their families. These things will help to preach and reinforce the society of happy co-existence with sustainable happiness further.