Miss Pornsawan – Studying at University During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Miss Pornsawan is one of our most recent scholarship students, joining the project in 2019. She is studying to be a primary school teacher at Chiang Mai Rajaphat University. We caught up with Pornsawan the other day to hear how COVID-19 is affecting her and her studies.
Pornsawan is from a poor remote Karen community, where there is little opportunity for students to progress to higher education. Both her parents work as labourers, yet since the pandemic, her parents have not been able to find any work, meaning they have no income to support their family.
“The COVID-19 make all the people in my family feeling bad and everyone is worry too much.”
Her parents are not only struggling to find work, but since restrictions were put in place in March 2020, the cost of food has also increased. Pornsawan used to spend 20 THB on a meal, but this has now increased to 25 THB. For families and students who are already struggling with the costs of studying at university, this is a big increase, especially as many Karen parents are struggling to earn an income.
Studying Higher Education
After closing for several months, universities in Thailand opened their doors to students again on 1st July 2020. This allowed students to return to studying, but for the first term, all classes were held online. As highlighted by the UN, this presents a barrier for students from disadvantaged communities who do not have access to Wi-Fi at home and meant that Pornsawan couldn’t return to stay with her parents during this period, as there is no Wi-Fi in her village. This forced her to stay in Chiang Mai where expenses are costly. Yet, even here, she does not have Wi-Fi at home and had to access classes at an internet cafe.
Fortunately, things have changed recently, and Pornsawan is now able to return to the classrooms and see her friends, albeit with various measures including social distancing, temperature screenings and wearing masks at all times on campus. This has allowed her education to start getting back to normal, but with the measures constantly reminding her that she needs to look after her health more than before.
Education in very important for Pornsawan. She told us that her education will help guide her through her life and with her university degree, she hopes to get a job and be able to look after her parents and family. The KHT scholarship has been part of helping Pornsawan to achieve this by providing monthly financial support during her studies. With her parents not being able to work, the scholarship has also provided vital support to her family. Thanks to the scholarship, she can afford to buy food and continue to study, allowing her parents to focus on supporting their other children.
“Education is the best thing in life. I would like to thank KHT give me a good opportunity for me and my family. The important thing my parent do not struggle to support me.”
It costs just £25 per month to change the life of a student like Pornsawan through a higher education scholarship.
If you would like to start supporting a student today, then you can do so by setting up a monthly donation of £25 by clicking the link below and we will be in touch with details of the student you are helping to achieve their potential. Thank you!