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 Sunday, January 31, 2010
The IT for Rural Schools Program was started in 1995, with the objective of minimizing educational inequality by providing rural school teachers, students, and children with disabilities with access to computer technology. The project covers some 72 rural schools across Thailand.

Launched in 1998, the Learn and Have Fun with CAI for Primary School Students Project has the main function of identifying quality CAI software from abroad for use in Thai primary schools, and integrating this software initially into three subject areas: math, science, and English. The project also includes staff development to train teachers in the full and effective use of the CAI software in their classes.

RH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn believes that if prison inmates are trained in skills that are of a practical use and in high demand, such as computer skills, they will have a better chance of finding a good job after their sentences are finished and of becoming good citizens of benefit to society. Acting on this belief, Her Royal Highness launched the IT for Inmates Program under the Princess’s IT Project. The Program began at Bang hen Central Women’s Prison at Khlong Prem in 1997. In 1992, the Technical Information Access Center under the National Science and Technology Development Agency hired the prison inmates to type Thai and English journal indexes. At present, numerous organizations offer the inmates typing jobs. Between 1992 and 2003, the inmates earned a combined total of approximately 160,000 baht in this way. Later, the prisoners also learnt computer graphics. At present, the average accumulated income generated as a result of this Program is about 50,000 baht per month.

In 2003, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn provided an opportunity for the inmates to contribute to society by taking part in the production of audio books for the blind. This project came about through collaboration among three bodies: the Princess’ IT Project, the Thai Blind Association and Bangkhen Women’s Prison. Initially, some 47 inmates participated in the project, 35 of whom read, while the other 12 carried out audio editing using the computers. By the end of 2003, this group of inmates was expected to have produced a total of 1,000 hours of audio books.

Further details can be seen in this report. Source: UNESCO Bangkok online resources