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From the eldest child to the school’s tower of strength: Hmong teacher who dedicates herself to social development

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From the eldest child to the school’s tower of strength: Hmong teacher who dedicates herself to social development

Being the eldest child who has to be responsible for 2 younger siblings has prepared Kamol Sae-Ma, a 12th-grade student from Pamaiutid 4 school, Khirirat sub-district, Phop Phra district, Tak province, to become a teacher.

And when she has to make a decision regarding college application, she sets her goal based on her experience and her familiarity with being the eldest child, she intends to become the tower of strength of the family and come back to work in her hometown.

Kamol chose to join the Kru Rak Thin program by the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) which aims to fulfill the dream of becoming a teacher for children in rural areas. That way, they will become the main driven force in developing education in their hometown. 

The profession with job guarantee at hometown

Kamol said that, as the eldest child, she always wanted to take care of her parents since she was in high school. She determined to pursue a career with job guarantee, and ‘teacher’ is the first thing she thought of.

“Deciding on a college application means so much more than continuing to higher education because this is a way of choosing your future career. I have decided to take care of my family because my parents are getting older and older every day, and my younger siblings still have many years left in school.” 
“When I saw the announcement from Kru Rak Thin program, I decided to join this program because I could further develop what I have been doing, such as teaching and helping my siblings with homework. Being the eldest daughter has taught me teaching skills and how to take care of other people. Seeing my siblings’ development makes me involuntarily fall in love with teaching.”

Main force in solving problems in the community

The soon-to-be first year Educational student at Kampaeng Phet Rajabhat University, Kamol explained that becoming a teacher will not only fulfill her purpose of supporting her family but also a mean to contribute herself to community development, which is another goal of hers.

“When I was in 9th grade, I had a homeroom teacher advisor whom I can talk to about everything. She is reasonable advisor. When I make mistake, she would correct and support me instead of scolding me. Even when I am in high school, I still went back to her for advices, including the decision of joining Kru Rak Thin program.”
“She is like my other mother who is always there for me in my darkest days, like a family that is there to support me. I think this kind of teacher would guide students to make smart choices for themselves. The kind of teacher that students are able to confess their mistakes to, because they know that the teacher will understand them, forgive them, and guide them to a better way.” 
“I believe that if teachers understand their students, get close to them, and know their characters and interests, they could support their students in whatever they want to do. Furthermore, teachers could prevent them from going to the wrong track in the time of hardship.”
Nobody could understand local problems better than the local people

Kamol revealed that teachers are the main force in solving problems in the community. According to her background growing up in the Hmong community with enriched culture and long tradition, she has witnessed many changes that came with development. Although locals’ lives are getting better, gaining more access to education and jobs, there are problems that came with material prosperity. For instance, motorcycle-obsessed-high school students and teen moms.

“I am Hmong, I clearly understand our society and culture. I intend to come back to help people in my village, starting with family, relatives, and the community, which I think of as one big family. Because ‘family’ in my definition is not defined only by bloodline, family also includes the tiny community that I have lived in my whole life.”    

Her past experience teaching her siblings combined with the intention to support her family has formed the ideal that links to her beloved community. Kamol concluded that choosing to become a teacher is her little big step to pursue her dream, as a daughter and an important contribution to community development.   



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