In 1990, two years following the establishment of the ISGF, the Education Scholarship Program was created. Even though the organization was still in its incipient stages, its members were determined to embody the ISGF mission statement, ‘helping others help themselves’. The Education Sponsorship Program has undoubtedly progressed to become one of our most exemplary projects. The success of this program has been demonstrated by the increasing number of students graduating from their academic institutions.
As opposed to one time scholarship handouts, the ISGF believes in being a part of a child’s educational experience, in its entirety. Funding may begin as early as a child’s primary years until he/she graduates from university.
This is to address the troubling issue of intermittent and unstable schooling that afflicts most children of destitute households.
Aims & Objectives of Education Scholarship Programme
Encourage school age children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend full time education to improve their chances of success and that education transforms the poverty cycle into one of self sufficiency and hope.
- Awarding scholarship to children (aged 5-17) whose families cannot afford to support their education.
- Offering higher education scholarships to talented and motivated students aged 18+ applying for university or advance vocational course.
We have three scholarship programs that currently support over 850 children in full time education:
- Junior Education: primary and secondary school scholarships of 4,000 Baht a year (5-15 years) Levels P1-M3 in the Thai Education system
- Senior High School: Senior high school or vocational scholarships of 6,000 Baht a year (15-18 years) Levels M4-M6 and PWC* 1-3
- Higher Education: advanced vocational courses (PWS 1-2*) and university scholarships between 12,000-25,000 Baht per year (18 years onwards) PWC and PWS are terms for vocational courses in the Thai education system; PWC = first level and PWS = advanced
Annually, through Department of Public Welfare, the ISGF receives hundreds of scholarship applications and profiles of disadvantaged students who have demonstrated need and conviction in pursing their studies. After a screening process, selected students are immediately placed into ISGF database and matched with a donor. Other students will be taken off the waiting list once a donor is available for them.
Liaison between students, ISGF and sponsors
Once the student receives his/her financial aid, a relationship between, the ISGF,
respective donor and recipient is established. These students are expected to not only maintain this bond with personal updates but also to continue to profit from their education. ISGF will then forward to all sponsors updated student progress report once a year with a letter or drawing from their student/s. We always hope sponsors will be able to offer support until education is completed but if this isn’t possible, ISGF looks for a replacement.
The ISGF education team
Everyone in the team is a volunteer apart from our Social Worker who is employed to support the education chairperson and EPCs (education programme co-ordinators), liaising with students via Thai social workers, schools and provincial government offices throughout Thailand. Almost all the team are EPCs responsible for a region in Thailand and handling communication between ISGF, sponsors and students.
As well as individual sponsors, we work with large Corporates and charitable organisations who want to support a group of students.
The Thai Education System
The school year will begin late May until September, then they have a break in October. It will resume again from November until March (end of the school year). ISGF will forward the funds to the respective students in the first week of May.