Tripat – Enthusiasm for Waldorf Education
Thailand: Tripat Waldorf School (formerly Tridhaksa) in Bangkok started its first school year in 2001 with a first class. Meanwhile the school enjoys a very good reputation as a pilot project as well as a role model school in Thailand. It emerged from a kindergarten class with 16 children and now counts up to 233 students. Currently Tripat School is in the process of establishing an Upper School.
A group of people is gathered on the schoolyard of Tripat Waldorf School. They are a colourful mix of kindergarten children, students, parents and the two volunteers of the “Weltwärts” program from Germany. Some of the small children sit on the laps of their parents, while the others run around. Everywhere there are collected branches and tools lying around, for the schoolyard is to be beautified. There is a lot of discussion, encouraging smiles and one branch after the other is set in a new way. Thus, swings, jungle gyms, seesaws, small huts, balance games, and even a “merchant ship” are being created.
The community of teaching staff, parents and school children is a very special one at Tripat Waldorf School. The excitement of being able to allow the children to attend a Waldorf School has closely connected the community. Parents have even set up a foundation, specifically for the purpose to financially support the school. Thus, the community tirelessly tries to raise donations. In this way, children from economically less privileged families are able to attend Tripat, because their school fees can be paid by the community (100 € per month), even though they are not very expensive for Thai conditions.
The head of the school, Khun Usa Thanomphongphandh, used to work as a Judge for seven years and had been looking for an alternative that would keep the children from prison. Consequently, the social demands of the school were clearly established from the beginning.
The activities of the school community go far beyond the immediate work at the ever-growing school. Therefore the school offers educational workshops and projects. These include outstanding activities such as painting therapy and eurythmy in a youth prison in Bangkok.