Kuraburi Junior School
Help Multicultural Classes Co-operate
This junior school is unique from other schools in the region as it caters for the Thai, Muslim and Burmese communities. This is unusual and refreshing as Burmese children are usually segregated within the Thai school system and do not attend local government school. There are around 165 children at this school and the school is located around 15km from the town of Kuraburi.
The Burmese children are aged from 3-13 and there is little academic integration, but it is hoped that fuller integration will be possible when the Burmese children reach the higher grades in the school and their grasp of Thai allows them to participate in regular classes. Burmese migrants have very little interaction with foreigners and are not confident to speak English.
Your input can make a profound difference to the lives of these children.
How you make a Difference
You will play a vital role in the education of the children at the school by helping them gain confidence and experience in dealing with foreigners. Many of the Thai children in this region go on to make a living in the tourist industry (fed by the nearby coral-rich islands of the Andaman Sea and the Khao Sok National Park) if they are able to speak English well and deal confidently with foreigners they have a change to secure employment in the local area.
Many of the Burmese children are expected to earn a living as child labourers in rubber plantations or in local fisheries. If they excel in school, the children will have better opportunities that exceed those of earlier generations in their family. The school hopes to break the cycle of poverty through sharing the gift of education and kindness. Teaching English is therefore an important subject to learn and give them basic language skills and confidence for the future.
We welcome volunteers who are experienced teachers, but also those that have the drive and the enthusiasm for interacting and teaching children.
The subjects of the school include; Thai language, Maths, Science, Computer, Social Studies, Arts, English, and sports. Grades 1-3 have one hour of English a week, grades 4-6 have two hours.
The Burmese class is separate from the Thai students and most lessons are taught in their own language, however they also study English and you may be asked to assist with these students. Class sizes are generally small; the exception to this is the Burmese class where all 50 children are taught in one classroom with two teachers, one for kindergarten and one for the other grades.
You can come and volunteer at any date, except when the School is closed for holidays. The school is closed from March to mid-May and from mid-September to late-October.
Skills and Qualifications
Everyone has a valuable contribution to make. An ideal volunteer will be able to commit to a minimum period of two weeks.
It is important that volunteers be proactive and able to work independently. Solo volunteers are much appreciated and welcome. The orphanage staff recommends volunteers come in pairs, as the companionship and support can add to one’s experience.
The Andaman Discoveries’ team is close by and is available to assist you if questions or concerns arise.
We ask that all volunteers be:
- Open-minded, proactive and patient;
- Willing to accept new ideas and be respectful of different cultures;
- Be independent, mature and flexible; and
- Be willing to learn some basic Thai
- Motivated and enjoy working with children and teenagers
Three meals a day are provided at the orphanage. Meals are nutritious with fruits, vegetables, meats and based upon the staple of rice. You will have access to drinking water and coffee.
Our Prices Include:
- Donation to the school
- Lunch at the school
- Local accommodation
- Financial contribution to other local social and environmental projects
- Support from bilingual Andaman Discoveries’ staff
- 7% Value-Added Tax
Our Prices Exclude:
- Flights, visas and departure taxes
- Vaccinations and travel insurance
- Expenses outside of the orphanage
- Optional excursions with the children during weekends and/or holidays
- Transfer from the orphanage to your next destination
- Other personal items and expenses
Safety and Insurance
It is recommended that you purchase a travel insurance policy prior to your departure. There are different options available covering everything from lost baggage to a medical emergency. We advise that volunteers select a policy that covers all activities with us and in your own time. Some activities, such as diving, are not covered by some insurers.
We encourage our volunteers to learn some Thai words as well as to teach some English during their trip. And we have developed Thai-English phrasebook and we highly encourage you to print it out and use it during your stay in Thailand.
Previous volunteers have developed a useful homestay pack with flashcards, which you can print out and laminate before you leave. It will help you communicate with the local people and it contains ideas for games and activities which can assist you to develop lesson plans.