In a groundbreaking partnership between SEAMEO TROPMED Network, SEAMEO Regional Centre for STEM Education (STEM-ED), Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN), and Chevron, the "Promoting One Health Education in Thai Border School" project has achieved remarkable success. The project's impact was celebrated on September 29, 2023, at the Rujiraphat School in Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi Province, Thailand.
Border school, situated near Thailand's borders, often encounter unique challenges and resource constraints. The Rujiraphat School exemplifies the project's triumph. Here, students and teachers have been at the forefront of integrating One Health education into their core curriculum.
The project aimed to nurture an understanding of health among students and teachers, with a particular emphasis on the intricate relationships between human, animal, and ecosystem health. In simpler terms, the project focused on educating students and teachers about how the well-being of people, animals, and the environment are interconnected.
Students and teachers at the Rujiraphat School have experienced the transformative power of innovative One Health modules and engaging co-curricular activities. One teacher stated, "One Health is important for everyone. The curricular integration made the students aware of the importance of human, animal and environmental health, and how these topics affect their daily lives. The modules made it easier for the students to link their health and their environment. The teaching/learning process was also enjoyed by the students. The topics can be integrated in almost all the subjects."
A student shared, "Now I know how to protect myself from getting infected from the diseases we discussed in the class. I can also share this knowledge to my family members and young children. I like the topic on malaria because I know somebody who had malaria and I saw how he suffered when he had the disease. "
The event not only celebrated the project's achievements but also set the stage for its expansion. Dr. Bahnjeard Unmaneerat, Director of Ratchaburi Primary Educational Service Area Office 1, unveiled plans to distribute the curriculum to other schools in Ratchaburi.
Dr. Unmaneerat remarked, "We are excited to extend the benefits of this innovative curriculum to more schools in Ratchaburi. The commitment from these schools is a testament to the value of this educational approach." The project underscored the transformative power of collaboration in enhancing education and addressing public health challenges. The "Promoting One Health Education in Thai Border School" initiative leaves a lasting legacy, equipping students and teachers with valuable knowledge that will benefit them and their communities for years to come.
Dr. Pratap Singhasivanon, the Secretary General/Coordinator of SEAMEO TROPMED Network, shared, "Achieving child wellness through the synergistic potential of education and collaboration has been a shared vision."
The event on 29 September 2023 not only celebrated the profound impact of the "Promoting One Health Education in Thai Border School" project but also highlighted the enduring legacy it has engendered through expressions of gratitude to collaborators, the official inauguration of new toilet facilities especially for girls and children with special needs, and an unwavering commitment to perpetuate the curricular integration, the gathering encapsulated the spirit of collaboration and progress that characterized this groundbreaking initiative.