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วันอาทิตย์ที่ 29 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2557

Modern Kalasin Province Was Established In 1947.

During 19 - 25 March 2014 Kalasin province celebrated its 220th anniversary.

In the celebration, there was a ceremony to pay homage to Chaisoontorn monument, the life-size standing monument of the leader who led his followers from the other side of The Mekong two centuries and two decades ago to set up a new settlement near the fertile Kaeng Samrong area some 165 kilometers from the International River.
This new home has become present Kalasin City in Kalasin Province.

In the reign of King Rama 1 of The Chakri Dynasty, the time when the nation's policy of centralization needed more emphasis, the Kaeng Samrong leader, then under the name of Chao Somphamit, took part in Bangkok ceremony to pledge allegiance to the center. The King conferred Chao Somphamit the new position of Phaya Chaisoontorn to govern the Kaeng Samrong settlement which was upgraded to Kalasin which means black water to describe the sufficient quality of the water and the fertility of the soils in Kaeng Samrong swamp.

Later on, during the significant administrative reform and 110-years-of-the-reform-of-thai-bureaucracy  in the reign of King Rama 5th, Kalasin was under the administration of Roi-Et region or Monthon Desa Phiban Rio-Et and it enjoyed at that time the position of a province or a Changwat of the region.

However, when the country experienced severe economic difficulty before and after  World War 2 cum the great economic recession, the Thai administrative structure was changed to realize an appropriate adaptation to the world crisis.

As a result of this adaptation, Kalasin Province was, in 1933, downsized to a status of an Amphoe or a district under the administration of Maha Sarakham Province, which is on the other side of the Chi River.

Fifteen years later, Kalasin was back to enjoy the status of a province in 1947, two years after the end of World War 2 and one year after the introduction of the Constitutional Monarchy form of government in the country.

Kalasin province nowadays consists of 18 administrative districts or Amphoe which are closely linked to the central government in Bangkok as each district officer or Nai Amphoe has been appointed by The Ministry of Interior to serve under the appointed provincial governor.

An Amphoe comprises of clusters of villages called Tambon aka subdistrict. In Kalasin, there are now around 140 Tambon. Each Tambon has an indirectly elected Kamnan as a Tambon chief.

The lowest tier of administrative units in the Amphoe, below the Tambon, is the village aka Moo Baan. A village head is called a Phu Yai Baan, meaning a significant person in the community; voters directly elect him to govern the village.

In the past, both Kamnan and Phu Yai Baan had a carefully traditional and official link with the Nai  Amphoe according to the vertical chain of command downward from the Interior; but recently the trend has changed with the result that they tend to lean more toward political influences.

There are three forms of local government in Kalasin.

The first form is the biggest one which covers both urban and rural areas of the province. It is the Kalasin Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) aka Or Bor Jor. With a population of nearly one million in 2014, it covers the whole territory of the province consisting of almost 140 Tambon or clusters of villages, widely understood by the name of sub-district.

The locality of the PAO is the same area as the administrative area of the province itself. The PAO's  governmental structure consists of a 30 member legislative council and a directly elected president of the PAO as the chief of the executive branch of this local government in the province.

The second form of the local administration in Kalasin is the municipality. There are two levels:
1) More urbanized municipality.The Mueang Kalasin Municipality (also Kalasin Town Municipality or Tesaban Mueang Kalasin) in the capital city of Kalasin and the Mueang Bua Khao Municipality in the capital of Khuchi Narai district are the two local governments in more urbanized communities.

Mueang Kalasin Municipality had enjoyed this status since the introduction of this type of local authorities in Thailand at the time when the government had downsizedKalasin province to a status of an Amphoe under Maha Sarakham province. But the Mueang Bua Khao Municipality has just been upgraded after it's urbanization has reached a particular stage

2) Less urbanized municipality. The 77 less- urbanized communities in the rest of the settlements in the province, especially the one in the capital city of a district, are Tesaban Tambon or Sub-district Municipalities. Some of these municipalities have just been upgraded to a status of Sub-district municipalities recently. For example, in Mueang district, only Nong Kung Tambon Administration Organization remains a Tambon Administration Organization;  the rest have been upgraded to enjoy the Tesban Tambon status since 2010.

A Tesaban Muang consists of communities or neighborhoods aka Chum Chon (ชุมชน) while a Tesaban Tambon consists of a group of villages.  Each Choomchon has a Chum Chon Administrative Committee responsible for a sort of community affair. Tesaban Mueang Kalasin in 2015, for example, constitutes of 37 communities. Theoretically speaking, a  Chumchon administrative committee has been empowered to manage the so-called One Million Village Fund.

The last form of local government in the province is the Tambon Administration Organization (TAO) aka Or Bor Tor.  All of the 78 Tambon or sub-districts outside the areas of the two levels of the municipalities in the province mentioned above are under this category of local government.

The president of a TAO is the chief executive of this local government. Voters in the Tambon directly elect him, but the legislative council at this level consists of councilors elected by voters from each village, and each village has two councilors. As such, the number of TAO councilors varies according to the number of the villages in the TAO.

When a  TAO becomes more urbanized with a greater financial status and are able to meet some other requirements, it is qualified to seek permission from the Ministry of  Interior to upgrade its status to that of a municipality.

In the age of modern Kalasin,  there is no area in the province that is outside a local government boundary. 

We are, and have been, in a democratic form of local authorities!

วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 5 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2557

Educational Administration In Kalasin: A functional Aspect : Episode 2

Throwing some light to an annual project management report made by The Secondary Educational Service Area (SESA) Office 24 we can view some aspects of educational administration in Kalasin Province.
In a summary report of 2013 - 2014 project management, there are 29 projects designed and implemented by the office.
They are divided into areas as follows:

 1.Personnel training;
2.Internal quality assurance;
3.Improving School-based management using six indicators;
4.Training towards AEC: A visit to a sister school;
5.Curriculum development: An appraisal of a school and local development curricula;
 6.Supervisor Training;
7.Training of Personal skills in information technology;
8.Development of the Thai language teaching methods;
9.Art and craft fair to support technical expertise;
10.Sport and game events to promote physical education;

 11. Live experiences related to principles of self-sufficiency economy; 12.Health education to fight drugs;
13.Preparation of personnel for a better child counseling and enforcing disciplinary measures in 55 schools;
14.Enhancement the papacity of officers to implement recruitment management techniques;
 15.Leadership training: Upgradingordinary assistants to excellent ones; 16.Performance management: Enhancing performance in educational administration;
17.Creating a website: A workshop on CMS;
18.Fiscal Management Improvement: A transparent and accountable school administration;
19.The "play with them" project: Are you going to bring your people to the table or the party?
20.Preparing the annual report: A final step in educational administration.

 All of these projects were implemented in one academic year using 3,000,000 Baht budget allocated from OBEC in Bangkok.  I would like to bring the following question to your attention when taking a closer look at this list of projects.
"Why is there just one project that directly focus on improving teaching methods? Project # 8 deals with the Thai language teaching methods.
I would think this project is about finding best practices for teachers to emulate when teaching Thai in secondary schools. Would it be surprising for you to know the office is still in search of best practices in this area when we established and implemented several national curriculum since the time we had set up the Ministry of Education?
We still have not been able to perform our educational function better enough to have best practices to deliver our educational services!

วันอังคารที่ 3 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2557

Educational Administration In Kalasin : Episode 1

Today we will look at the educational administration in Kalasin using the structural functionalism as our framework to analyze the existing system.
The Education Management in Kalasin follows the principle of centralization of power because almost all educational entities are closely linked to and controlled by the center - the Ministry Of Education. The Office of Basic Education Commission or OBEC in Bangkok, which is under the Ministry of Education, controls aspects of educational administrations in Kalasin.
Regarding physical structure, Kalasin is divided into three primary education area offices looking after educational administration in nurseries and primary schools in each service area. The Secondary Education Commission Office Area 24 (SESA 24) oversees all secondary schools in the province. Vocational education administration is also under the centralization of power. It supervises various institution in this field, such as technical college, polytechnic institutions, vocational colleges and the College of Fine Arts and Drama of Kalasin.
All of these institutions, except the College of Fine Arts and Drama, are under the administration of The Commission for Vocational Education in the Ministry of Education.

Three higher education institutions or universities in Kalasin are under the control and supervision of the Commission For Higher Education in Bangkok. A Buddist university has set up an extension in the province to keep pace with secular education too. Its administration has been under the Ministry of Education and is also under tight control by the Sangha administration.
Informal and non-formal education for those who are not able to further their studies in the formal educational system managed by the Informal and Non-Formal Education Department under the Ministry of Education.
 There are also schools under the administration of local governments in the province. Seven primary schools located in Kalasin town were set up and had managed by the Kalasin Municipality, which is a local self-government. The other 11 primary schools which are extended to cover the needs for secondary education services in their area are under the administration of Kalasin Provincial Administration Organization (PAO). It is important to note that Tambon Organizations and rural area municipalities aka Sub-district Municipalities, throughout the province have set up their kindergartens to cater for children in their locality and their vicinity.
Private educational administration in the region is under The Primary Education Commission Area Office #1.
. From the analysis above you can have a rough sketch of education in a far province and gain a better understanding of the present structure of educational administration in Kalasin.
When we meet next time, I will throw some light on the functions of educational administration in Kalasin.

วันจันทร์ที่ 2 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2557

Yaku in Kalasin, Is it a senoir monk or just a kind of dessert?

Phra That Yaku, a Davaravadi stupa dating back to 23rd - 14th century Buddhist Era, is situated in Ban Sema, Kamalasai District, Kalasin Province. It is about 19 kilometers from town center. People believed the relic of a revered Buddhist monk were inside. It measures 10 meters long and 10 meters wide. At it apex it is 8 meters. It is the largest chedi within the ancient city of Fah Daed Song Yang, which appears in the provincial slogan or the highlight of the province. The brick, octagonal chedi bears traces of overlapping constructions during three ancient periods. The indented square base, facing north, south, east, and west with staircases and stucco decoration from Davaravadi period. The superimposing octagonal base is a common characteristic of chedis of the Ayuthaya period. The body and spine replicated those built in the Rattanakosin period. Boundary markers are containing low - relief depicting the life of the Lord Buddha planted around the chedi. Phra That Yaku was proclaimed an ancient monument in the Government Gazette, Volume 54, on 3 January 1937. The monument boundary covering an area of approximately 11,400 square meters was declared later in the Government Gazette in 1982.

The annual celebration has been held here from April to May. In the year of 2014, the party started yesterday, which was the Visakha Buja day. I have informed a lot of people took part in the ceremony. Some participants took part by offering free of charge meals for the general public who come to pay respect to the chedi of the Yaku or Phra That Yaku. It is not a kind of dessert At this point I hope you have already known the meaning of Yaku.It means a senior monk. How to get there? From Amphoe Mueang Kalasin aka Mueang district take High Way #214 south towards Roi Et province. At Kamalasai District turn right onto Route 2367 (Kamalasai - Nong Pan - towards Maha Sarakham). Travel along the route about 7 kilometers and make a right turn to reach your destination.