Mahidol Wittayanusorn School

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Mahidol Wittayanusorn School
Logo of Mahidol Wittayanusorn School.png
Location
Salaya, Phutthamonthon
Nakhon Pathom, 73170
Thailand
Coordinates 13°48′2″N 100°19′8″E / 13.80056°N 100.31889°E / 13.80056; 100.31889Coordinates: 13°48′2″N 100°19′8″E / 13.80056°N 100.31889°E / 13.80056; 100.31889
Information
School type Public (as an autonomous public organisation), boarding science school
Motto Paññāya parisujjhati
(Wisdom makes man pure.)
Established 28 August 1990, original school
25 August 2000, present form
School board Mahidol Wittayanusorn School Board
Oversight Minister of Education
Principal Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wiwat Ruenglertpanyakul
Grades 10–12 (Mathayom 4–6)
Gender Coeducational
Age range 15 - 18
Enrollment 710 (2016 academic year)
 • Grade 10 237
 • Grade 11 239
 • Grade 12 234
Average class size 24
Campus Salaya
Campus size 4 ha
Campus type Suburban
School colour(s) Blue & yellow
O-NET average 387.82/500 (2016 academic year)
School fees full scholarship awarded to all students
Website

Mahidol Wittayanusorn School (Thai: โรงเรียนมหิดลวิทยานุสรณ์; rtgsMahidon Witthayanuson), also known colloquially as Mahidol Wit, Mahidol Witt, MWIT or MWITS, is a secondary school in Thailand. On the Salaya Campus of Mahidol University in Nakhon Pathom Province, it enrols Mathayom 4–6 (grades 10–12) students, and is the first specialised science school in the country, designed to provide education for the development of gifted and talented students in science and mathematics. The school is unique among Thai schools in that it functions as an autonomous public organisation, and receives direct funding from the government of up to 100,000 baht per student, which means that all students are awarded a full scholarship for three years, including accommodation. Since its conception in 2000, the school has rapidly become one of the most prominent schools in Thailand, with intense competition for enrolment. (20,871 students sat the school's entrance examination in 2009, while the school enrols 240 students annually.)[1]

History[edit]

Mahidol Wittayanusorn School was founded with the purpose of promoting science and mathematics education in the Thai school system, due to concerns regarding Thailand's lack of human resources specialised in science and technology. The school was established on 28 August 1990 with cooperation between Mahidol University, which was already recognised for its science studies and would provide academic support, and the Department of General Education of the Ministry of Education, which would be the school's governing authority.

The school opened on 3 June 1991. Initially, classes were temporarily held at Wat Rai Khing in Sam Phran District until the school finally settled at its current location on the Salaya Campus of Mahidol University in 1995. This initial arrangement, however, had many limitations, mostly due to the teaching system, which still depended on the national curriculum, and inflexibility due to organisation structure as a governmental agency, and the school saw relatively little growth during the first ten years.

In 1999, government policy pushed for the development of science-specific schools to accommodate students talented in science and mathematics. Mahidol Wittayanusorn School was accordingly remodeled as an autonomous public organisation under the supervision of the minister of education on 25 August 2000, and was designated the country's first specialised science school. The first principal of the school in this form was Dr Thongchai Chewprecha, who was the director of the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology.

Under the new structure, the school came under direct authority of the Mahidol Wittayanusorn School Board, and enjoyed more flexibility as well as greater financial support from the government. The school developed its own curriculum and teaching systems, and began admitting students under this new regime in the 2001 academic year. The school then rapidly grew, attracting some of the brightest students from all over the country, not least for its abundance of resources. The number of students competing for admission increased from 8,501 in 2001 to 17,539 in 2006.

Honors[edit]

Mahidol Wittayanusorn School, along with other well-known international science schools, has initiated an International Student Science Fair (called Thailand International Science Fair at the time of establishment) to provide venues for discussion and collaboration among students, as well as opportunities for students to present science projects they have conducted under close mentorship of faculty members from the schools and universities. In 2011, Mahidol Wittayanusorn School hosted the 7th International Student Science Fair. Among more than 30 schools that have participated in the event, those that have hosted the event are Ritsumeikan High School, Korea Science Academy, City Montessori School, National Junior College, and Australian Science and Mathematics School.[2] Moreover, Mahidol Wittayanusorn School also provides bilateral student exchanges for its students and students from many countries across the globe including Singapore, Germany, Israel, and South Korea.[3]

Students from Mahidol Wittayanusorn School also received awards from national and international competitions, such as World Scholar's Cup, and International Science Olympiad.[4] The school also prepares students for their further education at world-class leading universities. In the past, alumni from the schools have succeeded in enrolling at top-ranked universities, including Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, and Brown University.[5] The school also has bilateral agreement with KAIST, a top-ranked science and technology university in South Korea, where the school sends a handful of students to every year.

Campus and facilities[edit]

The school occupies four hectares on the northeastern section of Mahidol University's Salaya Campus. School facilities include the academic resource centre, astronomy virtual reality theatre, science, language, electronics and computer laboratories, industrial drawing, mechanics and ceramics workshops, and a four-storey sports centre. The school also has a computer network system featuring 400 computer terminals, and the entire school campus is equipped with wireless network access.

Since the school focuses primarily on natural sciences, its laboratories possess sufficient equipment, some of which are rare to other high schools or even some universities. The school library, officially called the academic resource centre, stores a huge number of books. Together with an unlimited internet supply, adequate quality computers and available lap-tops for all to borrow, the school allows students to enhance their knowledge both theoretically and experimentally, including their detailed projects required for graduation. Teachers are encouraged to be functionally literate at technology such as computer and smartboard. The school also provides most classrooms with a computer and a projector.

The newly built sport centre involves four badminton courts, table-tennis, squash rooms, dance floor, a fitness centre, and a basketball pitch. Recently the swimming pool has been built and ready for use. The school also has another cement basketball pitch and a green standard football field, the periphery of which is a running track. The school also has a first aid centre, a shop, colloquially called the minimart, and a canteen.

Curriculum[edit]

Mahidol Wittayanusorn School develops its own curriculum based on the requirements of the national Curriculum of Basic Education, and conducts revisions triennially.

The four curricula the school has made are the 2002 curriculum, 2005 curriculum, 2009 curriculum, and 2013 curriculum. Each of them is constructed based on the school's duty to nurture talented students and suggestions from students, parents, teachers, school counsellors and others involved.[6] The significant change from 2005 to 2009 curriculum is the expansion of the varieties of elective subjects and the introduction of the subject Scientific Inquiry and Nature of Science, which familiarizes new students with scientific experiments and ways of thinking.[7]

As a boarding school, learning activities are extended to outside the classroom. Extracurricular activities, including one student science project under close mentorship and supervision of professors from universities, are specified as requirements for graduation. Other requirements focus on the academics, such as attending guest lectures, finishing certain readings, participating in educational trips and camps, and those focused on social aspects, such as volunteering for the school and neighborhood, exercising, and organizing camps for underserved children in the rural and suburban area. Moreover, the school expects students to learn and practice Thai traditional dance. The first principal of the school in its present form, Dr Thongchai Chewprecha, informally asked every student to perform a Thai traditional dance in MWIT Science Fair in order to manifest their cultural awareness.

Academics[edit]

Under the new school structure, Mahidol Wittayanusorn graduates have had a university entry rate of 100 percent. Mathayom 6 students averaged 376.91 points in the first O-NET examinations in the 2005 academic year, the country's highest. Additionally, a significant number of graduates (9.2 percent in the 2004 academic year) have been awarded scholarships to continue their education abroad. Students here are well prepared for university life, provided that many students have scored the highest in Advanced Placement Programmes amongst other freshmen at Mahidol University.

Mahidol Wittayanusorn students have also gained international prominence in the International Science Olympiads. Many students are selected as national representatives after a long period of excellent academic performance evaluated by the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology, a national governmental organisation. In 2009, seven of the twenty-three national contestants were from the school.

In 2005, the school hosted the First Thailand International Science Fair in which youth from all over the world came to present their science projects. Currently, the school has made many contacts with other schools in foreign countries, and it has succeeded in establishing partnership between some other science schools.

Branding[edit]

Colours[edit]

The colours of the school are blue and yellow. Blue symbolises the king as used in the national flag. It is also referred to as strength, stability and discipline. Yellow symbolises science, rational imagination, sincerity, impartiality, and morality. The juxtaposition of blue and yellow indicates the rational and disciplined people who always enhance their knowledge and imagination, especially in science and technology, without losing moral values. These devoted students will become the citizens who benefit their society, the country, and the world in the future.[8]


References[edit]

External links[edit]