Shrewsbury students join with provincial Thai Schools as part of the ‘Equitable Education Fund’ (EEF) to produce creative ideas and designs for host, JD Central.
Yesterday, over 50 Sixth Form students from Shrewsbury International School Bangkok Riverside joined counterparts from schools in Chiang Rai, Surat Thani, Kanchanaburi and Ubon Thani at Zen Gallery in Central World to partake in the EEF case competition.
The EEF is a government-backed program that aims to provide disadvantaged primary and secondary aged students with the necessary resources to be successful in their educational endeavours. Collaborating in small teams, students from different schools were challenged to devise strategies and solutions to improve specific areas of JD Central’s business operations, including customer marketing, product strategy and UX/UI design.
The case study competition is the brainchild of JD Central’s strategy, analytics and operations manager and Shrewsbury and Wesleyan University alumna, Cindy Horng and Shrewsbury’s Associate Director of Sixth Form, Mr Greg Threlfall. Both are passionate about community outreach, and so with the help of the EEF, a partnership has been formed.
“I think it is a great opportunity to turn our words into actions and to help improve the education on the ground for students and teachers. What we want to do is combine the knowledge of established international schools such as Shrewsbury with schools from all over provincial Thailand which are backed by the EEF”, Mr Threlfall explained.
This comment was echoed by the Deputy Managing Director of the EEF, Dr. Kraiyos Patrawart, who is also incredibly passionate about education for all of Thailand’s educators and students.
“We hope this will be an annual event that will spread to other international schools and Thai schools which share our vision. We believe in creating shared value. We believe in societal return, so if this is something that people in Thailand and beyond subscribe to, then my dream is to put this on the national, annual agenda”.
The case study competition itself was a hotly contested affair. All the groups pitched to JD Central managers to qualify for the final six, which allowed competitors to refine and pitch again to the judges in the final. One of those judges was Principal of Shrewsbury International School Bangkok Riverside, Mr Chris Seal, who was extremely impressed by the initiative and ingenuity shown by all the students.
“JD Central have come to the party with some practical and tangible case studies meaning that they have real-world usages. Our students, and the students from outside Bangkok will be better off after this as it will develop their critical thinking and decision making skills”.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the event was the response from the students. Their ability to engage each other, debate, agree and confront each other was put to the test. In any case, all groups pitched well and used their different backgrounds to create ideas that were unique and engaging.
“When you work with people from different backgrounds and connect with them, you understand them more and their potential to do great things. Many of these students I may have never met if it weren’t for this event” Year 12 student, Mue concluded.
Luckily, this is only the beginning. There are further events planned for the school year in which Shrewsbury will continue to be a partner. These include professional development for teachers, a visit to the provinces and a sale of artisanal goods via the JD Central platform.