Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok) have close relationship with local communities as if the heart of Muslim people in southern border provinces. Besides providing knowledge to communities on religion, these institutions are also used for fostering local tradition and culture. Previously, children who were sent to study at these institutions by their parents would learn on Islam religion only. Currently, there are some volunteer teachers who teach students regularly at these institutions and they are simply called as Pondok Volunteer Teachers. They are considered as the representatives of the Ministry of Education who perform their duties in promoting learning management for students of Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok) as proper in order to make existing curriculum to have quality on religious subjects, ordinary subjects, and vocational subjects, as well as to develop quality of life and foster the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy.
Non-formal Education (NFE) of Narathiwat Province plays the role to provide basic education to students in several Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok) in Narathiwat Province with training on vocational skills. In addition, Non-formal Education (NFE) of Narathiwat Province also constructs and develops learning sources in order to provide opportunities on life-long learning to students of Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok) enabling students to adjust themselves to meet with changes of society and current technology. Consequently, local people in southern border provinces have some opportunities to lead qualitatively and live happily in multicultural society under the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy and changes of the world in the 21st century.
Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok) set the major goal to produce personnel with knowledge on Islamic religion. This is considered as the life-long learning source of Muslim people with no limitation on gender or age. Everyone can learn in this institute. Therefore, besides children and youth, some Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok) may have older persons as students. Consequently, Pndok Volunteer Teachers play the role in promoting occupations for students. Juvenile who want educational degree for working or continuing their study, they are able to apply for non-formal education and informal education as well.
Watorni Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok) in Chanae District, Narathiwat Province, is an educational institution for older persons helping to look after quality of life of older persons who are older than 60 years old. Currently, there are 48 older persons at this institution. Most local older persons who have faith towards Islam often choose to learn religion in this Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok) in order to study on Dharma for reliving their anxiety on life after death. In addition, Office of the Private Education of Narathiwat Province, the Ministry of Education, also sends some volunteer teachers to teach correct Thai language texts to old teachers and increase their knowledge on Thai language for these older persons until they are able to read and find information in Thai upon their interest.
Besides learning and teaching, this institution also promotes older persons to spend their spare time for usefulness by weaving some waste materials like bamboo as hats, bags, and other products. These products will be distributed by Office of the Non-Formal and Information Education as additional income of Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok). Moreover, they also promote everyone to know the Principle of Sufficiency Economy by growing short-term backyard garden, breeding catfish, native chicken, and laying hens around their houses. In addition, this institution is also the Traditional Islam Institution (Pondok) on Sufficiency Economy for learning of general people.
Therefore, this Traditional Islam Institution (Pondok) is considered as the pioneer institution that looks after older persons efficiently on education, religion, and occupations for looking after themselves. At this place, everyone believes that co-existence will become the social network helping to build interaction and mutual support. After learning and using Thai language for reading some books, older persons are confident in communicating and contacting with Thai government increasingly. Consequently, they obtain more opportunities to access news of Thai government increasingly. Importantly, they can apply the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy to their lives happily.
Another Traditional Islam Institution (Pondok) promoting learning on the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy is Sang Arun Sart Traditional Islam Institution (Pondok) in Wang District, Narathiwat Province. This institution emphasizes on mind development and teaching youth to become good persons under the principles of Islam. In addition, the institution also realizes on importance of vocational skills of youth by giving them some opportunities to study on ordinary subjects along with vocational skills. Therefore, the institution cooperates with NFE of Wang District to provide basic education teaching students to read Thai from internet, practice Thai pronunciation with native Thai speakers in order to make youth pay more attention to learning. Besides learning, Sang Arun Sart Traditional Islam Institution (Pondok) also provides Sufficient Economy garden for promoting students to apply the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy to their daily life. Moreover, further study is also guided to students.
Current Traditional Islam Institutions (Pondok) are still the shelter for mankind making juveniles with the lack of educational opportunity to learn and have morality. Fulfillment of the Ministry of Education and Office of the Non-Formal and Information Education on vocational knowledge and skills for local occupations is also considered as another alternative of students to have some opportunities to develop their potential based on their expertise and interest. Consequently, they will be able to utilize obtained knowledge to work with good faith helping to improve educational level of youth in southern border provinces of Thailand leading to national development for peace.