The shortage of teachers in remote areas and constant transfers among non-local teachers, especially at the elementary level, has given rise to a quality development programme for a new generation of teachers, which would help respond to the demand of around 2,000 schools located in remote areas. In response to the policy of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF), Chiang Mai University has proceeded with the 2021 edition of the Hometown Teachers programme, the second generation, which aims to increase educational opportunities for students and solve inequality in quality for small-sized schools in remote areas. The programme provides funding for students with economic hardships who will return to work in their home community once graduated. This can be an effective way to supply quality teachers to local schools.
CMU’s Division of Elementary Education, Faculty of Education is among the seven institutions selected by EEF as capable of producing the second batch of future Hometown Teachers under the programme. 31 eligible Matthayom 6 students with economic hardships who reside in the target subdistricts have been chosen to join the programme. They have good academic performance and have demonstrated the will to become an elementary school teacher. The representative students attended the lectures given by Clinical Prof. Niwes Nanthachit, President of CMU, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kaitsuda Srisuk, Dean of the Faculty of Education. The programme is designed to produce a total of five batches of students from 2020 to 2024. In the first batch of the programme, the students studying in the Elementary Education major are expected to return and work for their hometowns in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Lamphun, and Phayao. They are training to be leaders equipped with both life and professional skills prepared to bring positive changes to their communities. The programme focuses on potential enhancement activities that foster a sense of localism, inducing community engagement and leadership. Throughout the programme, the students receive funding for tuition fees, accommodation, living expenses, and learning materials.
Mr. Pichet Chawalitamonphong, a Mae Hong Son student from the first batch of Hometown Teachers, expressed, ‘I aspired to become a teacher, but my family’s financial condition was an obstacle. So, I applied to the Hometown Teachers programme. I want to return to my hometown and make positive changes to the community and education so that people there can have access to good education and life quality, just as those living in cities.’
To accommodate future education, CMU strives to build a community of quality teaching professionals adept at remote area education in the 21st century context, who live in their hometowns with happiness and sustainability.