College of Local Administration of Khon Kaen University opens a space to incubate new generation of society changers by supporting graduate students to train in real area in the locality so that they will learn how to build changes, solve problems and develop the society based on the local people’s needs.
July 13, 2018 - “Mahasarakham Province”, also known as “Takasila Nakhon” or “The City of Education” is the place to which College of Education of Khon Kaen University took a group of graduate students to train to build changes, solve problems and develop the society based on the local people’s needs. At the same time, the local people were encouraged to participate in community development.
The students were led by Dean Assoc. Prof. Dr. Supawatanakorn Wongtanawasu, also president of the sub-committee and Dr. Ajirapa Piankhunthod (a subcommittee member) to visit Mahasarakham Muang District Municipality to give the score for the 2018 sustainable environment city assessment. The students were given a chance to learn about operation processes of Mahasarakham Municipality that fit with areal conditions and observe their participatory activities to manage environmental and natural resources under the 4 components of sustainable environment city concept: well-established city, happy people, sustainable environment, and municipality of learning and good governance. What the students learned would be applied in their research. The students also showed their intention to learn about the area, to think and analyze the concept of leaders who link the policy to practice and leaders’ decentralization for participation of all parts. They revised the instruments for improving the society and learned about leadership for changes based on participation of communities and localities.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Supawatanakorn Wongtanawasu, Dean of COLA and Dr. Ajirapa Piankhunthod saw the strengths of Mahasarakham Municipality, i.e., an education center of the Northeast, a location of important academic institutions, people having chances to learn from many institutions and fields, a lot of students coming to study in the city, high city expansion owing to its being an education center, expansion of accommodation places for students such as dormitories, apartments, rental houses, expansion of market, shops/restaurants, grocery stores, etc., a center of provincial transportation from other districts and other provinces; simple lifestyles of the people, cultures and traditions being nurtured, having good environmental and social conditions, increasing incomes from education-related businesses such as dormitories, restaurants, adequate municipal officers to operate their duties, having strong population sector who take more roles in city development. All of these enable city development to be sustainable and full of quality.
However, there are recommendations for development which can be thought as challenges – How to make development sustainable? How to allocate sufficient budget since the area too large for the amount of available budget? How to manage a great number of hidden population and irregular population? How to make management of infrastructures cover all over the city (streets, sewers, etc.)? How to use natural and environmental resources? How to solve problems of polluted canal and stream water? How to solve encroachment of public area? How to make good zoning and town planning?
Mahasarakham province has built an impartial and happy society and has managed environmental and natural resources so that they are adequate for maintaining the ecological balance and for being a firm foundation for country development. This can be seen from a number of schools, voluntary youth group, local wisdom, garbage management, air pollution management, environmental conservation, administration of refuse, handicraft, products from recycled materials, life expert project, development of food production potential, quality control of night market, development of the disabled network 2018, garbage separation for good health which have been carried out by different organizations in the city. It can be seen that the outstanding point of Mahasarakham Municipality is citizen development for common knowledge and participation which lead to reduced contradiction and at the same time raise common responsibility awareness.
Photos/ News: Paporn Runagwicha