1Sukanlaya Tantiwisawaruji Findings from the Observation of the Project to Initiate Self-Sufficiency Economy in Rural Area: A Case Study of ThaiLERD Project in Nan Province, ThailandSuthee PloisawaschaiSukanlaya TantiwisawarujiAphinat Ashakul, and Surain ThapanangkunLearning InstituteKing Mongkut’s University of Techonology Thonburi
2IntroductionThaiLERD : Thailand Lifelong Education for Rural Development.The main objective :to develop the local people in remote area who had no opportunity to pursue their higher education.The knowledge suitable for their living conditions was provided so that the people there could live to their full potential and they like to learn all their life based on the sufficiency economic theory.
9FRAMEWORK SELF-SUFFICIENCY ECONOMY Style of Living Proper Work Genuine HappinessCoping with HardshipGood Virtues
10Method The instruction in this project was divided into modules. There are 9 modules as follow:1) self-conceptualization2) ecological system3) reading comprehension and writing4) mathematics and balance sheet5) energy6) basic skills for computer7) weight and measurements8) skills for technician9) skills for profession.Data were collectedPortfolioMeeting note : facilitatorRemote meeting
13STYLE OF LIVINGThaiLERD project participants learned how to do account balance of their income and expense. This account balance helped them know how much money they earned and how much money they spent in each month. They then knew how much debt they had to pay back. All students attended the module about mathematics and account balance. The interesting findings were that most of them were not familiar with account balance sheet. They just wrote down their income and expense without classifying the type of their expense. Some did not add the sum of their expense. It took around 2 months before they could manage to fill in the account balance in such a way that could be useful for them to know the real amount of money and debt they had.
14PROPER WORKThaiLERD project participants learned skills to manage agriculture themselves. Half of them learned how to grow vegetables and half of them bred animals like chicken and fish. Before they grew plants and bred animals, they wrote their own action plan according to their interests. The action plans were evaluated by the lecturers and researchers. Then, the participants did the project, wrote down their experiment results and then presented how their project succeeded and why a project failed. The success came from learning from other people with effectiveness and endeavor. The failure took place because some participants just wanted to imitate the success of others but neither liked nor attempted to do their best in the project.
15GENUINE HAPPINESSThaiLERD project participants learned how to show good intention and how to do good action in order not to take advantages over other people. This was clearly seen when it came to the price they set for their products. The students invested their money in the agriculture (breeding animals and growing plants) and then they sold the products in a reasonable price. After some time, they could manage to pay back the debts they owed. They had fewer debts. As for the students who were already married, they had a warm family to encourage them to continue learning and working. Only 1 man was discouraged by his wife because she thought that learning took more time and that her husband should go to work in town in order to earn their living first.
16COPING WITH HARDSHIPThaiLERD project participants learned how to cope with difficulties they encountered. They learned how to share knowledge and how to manage the work they did by planning and evaluating the good and bad points of their action plans as well as results. According to observation results, all participants opened their heart and told their causes of the problems to the groups as well as facilitators. This helped all of them understand one another and they tried to help one another to resolve the problems. To illustrate, people who failed to breed chicken were encouraged to try something new like breeding pigs and fish. After a while, they succeeded and realized that they should have bred pigs and fish earlier.
17GOOD VIRTUESThaiLERD project participants learned how to avoid misconducts which would destroy themselves and other people. This was seen in the workshop on mind mapping which was mainly involved with their life and their ambitions. The mind maps drawn by students were mostly about themselves. For example, an unmarried young man wrote in his mind map that he would like to work in order to help his younger brother pursue his education and that he would like to live modestly with a girl who understands him. He would also like to develop the village by promoting self-sufficiency economic theory to everybody so that people do not owe a lot of money.