Finnish Ambassador Jyri Järviaho, centre left, joins an activity with children and teachers at the Hei Schools Bangkok in Soi Sukhumvit 36, in Bangkok’s Klong Toey district, yesterday. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
A school in Bangkok has touted its Finnish education model as an alternative early age education in Thailand.
Piyapong Sumettikoon, Chief Academic and Pedagogy Officer of Hei Schools Bangkok said yesterday that Finnish education is so successful because it teaches students “lifelong learner skills” in their first seven years.
Speaking at a panel discussion on “The Finnish Story: Exporting the secrets of happiness and academic success via a dynamic early education model” at the school, he said lifelong learner skills are crucial for children’s social integration and self-development.
“According to research, the first seven years of life are called ‘the magical years’. It is the period when the brain is growing and opening to receive any form of stimulation,” he said. “But the main thing should not be academic, but rather learning how to learn.”
Mr Piyapong said at Hei Schools Bangkok, students learn through playing, not only with toys but also via fun and enjoyable activities.
By teaching such skills early, they are better equipped to face future challenges, he said.
Finland’s ambassador to Thailand, Jyri Jarviaho, described early childhood education as a growing global trend, with early childhood development being crucial for the future of students.
“Hei school is an excellent example of a Finnish educational export,” he said. “The school follows a curriculum and system developed by experts in early childhood education at the University of Helsinki.”
Over the past five years, Hei schools have opened around 20 learning centres on six continents around the world.
Another 20 contracts have been signed to open in the next two years including one on the resort island of Phuket.