PHAYAO – “It is never too late to learn.” It was so said and that is why grandma Kim-lun Jinakul is the oldest graduate – at the age of 91 – at the graduation ceremony to be held at the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU). Her family will escort her from Phayao province to the university on August 9 to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology.
His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun will preside over the graduation and will confer degrees upon the STOU graduates.
“If we don’t learn, don’t read and know nothing, how can we talk with someone else? If we always read – be it a newspaper or listen to news broadcasts – we will be kept abreast with the goings-on in the world, in our country and in the society,” Grandma Kim-lun told the Thai PBS during the rehearsal of the graduation ceremony.
She said that it was her childhood’s dream to learn and, when there is a chance, to be successful in learning. She added that she never thought learning is difficult because knowledge is important for self-development.
That was why she applied to study at the STOU in 1998. But somehow, because of family’s business, her study was interrupted and she had to suspend the study. It was until 2011 when she resumed study and completed the study four years afterward.
Acting rector of the university, Associate Professor Panumas Kudngaongarm told Thai PBS that the university supports and promotes study for the elderly by exempting them from paying the 800 baht entrance fee.
Also, the university has tailored its courses to suit with the wishes of the ageing and made it possible for them to study at home through the distance education system.
He explained that the university attaches more emphasis on study by practice rather than study on textbooks so that the elderly students can apply what they learned in their real life or occupation.
“Such as agriculture. If they don’t know how to grow vegetables. We have a short course for them,” said the professor.
Meanwhile, Associate Professor Rutchaneekorn Chotchaisathit, chief of the Human Ecology, said that it is not complicated for the elderly to take the course at the university as they can just make the registration and the texts will be delivered to their home so they can study by themselves with the university providing backup through TV and radio broadcasts.
So far this year, a total of 199 elderly people over 60 have applied to study at the university.
Source: Thai PBS