Chevron and Kenan plan Thai STEM education program

The United States and Thailand are planting the seeds of STEM. Energy conglomerate Chevron and Kenan Foundation Asia will collaborate with the Ministry of Education to create a program to raise the level of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education among teachers and students in Thailand.

STEM education is key to Thailand’s goals and aspirations of becoming an advanced economy and society. Experts often cite human resources as a challenge Thailand needs to address to achieve its goals. In other words, the Kingdom needs a new generation of workers with advanced knowledge and skills in STEM.

Chevron and the Kenan have said they are working on designing a program for the Ministry of Education so Thailand can produce that new generation of workers and innovators.

To do that, the program will devote part of its focus on educating and training Thailand’s teachers.

“Our purpose is to improve the efficiency of Thai teachers through this science project,” said Artit Krichphiphat, the general manager of Chevron Thailand.

He added that Chevron and the Kenan have spent five years developing the teacher-training program and spent $31 million on the project so far. The training program will be available for 600 secondary schools and vocational colleges across the Kingdom, and more than 10,000 teachers and 500,000 students will be able to access the program.

“We want to attract new students to STEM fields because there is a shortage in the workforce of people who can handle new technology and innovation,” said Piyabutr Cholvijarn, president of the Kenan Foundation Asia  “Employers in the Eastern Economic Corridor prefer to hire vocational manpower with those skills over university graduates.”

The Eastern Economic Corridor is Thailand’s new showcase advanced development zone.