It must be quite a shock when, on the first day of school, the teacher gives the lessons in an incomprehensible language. Not only that, but they expect you to understand them. This is exactly what happened to Tsupol and his classmates. Although Tsupol’s home region in northern Thailand is primarily inhabited by ethnic minorities, the teachers often only speak Thai. The local language is as alien to them as the villagers’ culture and way of life.
«I think it’s great that we don’t stay in the classrooms. My favourite place to learn is in the cave near the school.»
Tsupol, 13 – Pupil in Baan Jabo
This is why the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation has developed a new curriculum adapted to the needs of indigenous children. Tsupol is learning Thai along with local songs and dances, traditional crafts, and ways to cope in his natural environment. This knowledge is taught not only by the teachers, but also by experienced villagers, allowing Tsupol to learn new things while also experiencing his culture.