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ALT's contribution to low-tech, distance education

In 2003 ALT celebrated its 10th anniversary of promoting good practice in the use of learning technology in education and industry. To mark this anniversary the organising committee of ALT-C 2003 decided to make a donation to support the further education of one or more young persons who would otherwise never be able to go to college or university.

At the social evening on Monday night at ALT-C 2003 a cheque for £2000 was presented to Jeannie Philpott of the Joe Homan charity and a further £225 was raised through a cash collection from the assembled audience.

The Joe Homan charity (www.joehoman.org.uk), founded in 1965, aims to relieve child poverty in the rural areas of India and Thailand. The cornerstone of the charity is the Child Labour Prevention Scheme (CLPS), which compensates families who send their children to school instead of work. The government provides free schooling but most families cannot afford to live without the money their children earn and so the children do not attend school. It costs £70 a year to fund a child to attend school, and over the years the charity has funded thousands of children to attend school. Few of them would even contemplate going further with their education.

The founder of the charity, Joe Homan, has long harboured a wish to see bright students go on to university but the cost of taking a student through a year of further education, including hostel accommodation and food, ranges from £450 to £550, depending on the institution. This is a large pull on the limited funds of the charity and turned out to be an ideal way for ALT to contribute.

Jeannie returned to the head office of the charity at Peterborough and in conjunction with colleagues in India and Thailand set about finding a candidate for ALT to sponsor. In the event two young people were identified, one in Indi and one in Thailand.

G. Pitchaimami is studying in India to become a physiotherapist

Picture of Pitchaimani with members of his family

G Pitchaimani lives in Maharajapuram. Maharajapuram is a large and bustling place, the main street is busy with traffic; buses pass blaring their horns, farm workers trot across the road carrying bundles of hay, and loudspeakers perched in trees pump out vibrant Tamil music. It is also very poor with a significant industrial sector - a cotton mill, a paper factory, a rope factory and a match factory. Regrettably, many young children have worked in these factories in order to supplement the family income. Pitchaimani was lucky, having been selected for the CLP scheme at the start of his Standard 6 schooling, before he was forced to work in the factories. Having grabbed this opportunity he completed his education with outstanding results at Standard 12. Pitchaimani, with the support of the Joe Homan charity and ALT, will now undertake a 4-year Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree. This has been made possible with the help of a sponsor and a couple of calves. Pitchaimani was sponsored by a UK family through the 5-year period of the CLP scheme. If you think you may be interested in sponsoring a child's education, go to the Joe Homan web site at http://www.joehoman.org.uk

 

Patipan Yodkhuntod is studying in Thailand to become a teacher

Picture of Patipan

Patipan Yodkhuntod is 20 years old and lives in Chaiyapum village, Theo Satil District, about 160 km south west of Khon Kaen.

His parents grow tapioca and sugar cane on 8 acres of land and have an income of c 2500 Bt per month (about 35 pounds). There are 5 children in the family; an older sister is married and lives in the village; there are younger twins (the boy is at Boys Town), but the daughter lives at home, as does the youngest brother.

Patipan is in the second year (of 5) studying education at Khon Kaen University, specialising in Maths and Physics. After graduating he expects to teach in a secondary school and again, employment prospects are good. Ideally, he would like to work in a small town and expects class sizes to be around 30 - 40.

He is a fitness enthusiast, jogging everyday and enjoys playing 'tagora', a local game similar to volleyball, except for the rule that hands cannot be used (so the ball is struck with the head, feet, shoulder etc).

 
   
 

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