Opportunities for an integrated training of the body and the mind
Panyaprateep School has chosen a boarding school format in order to enhance the continuity and depth of the education it seeks to offer. Students entering adolescence face a period of adjustment and preparation for entrance into the adult world, one usually characterized by personal insecurities, blossoming potential and an urge to explore and experiment. Unfortunately, in this critical period of their lives, many young people find in modern urban society the numerous inducements to distractions and unwise pursuits overwhelming. Panyaprateep School aims to provide a warm and supportive environment, ‘a second home’, in which students may navigate their way into adulthood guided by the Buddhist principles of all-round flourishing, free from the pressures and expectations of city life.
The School will employ a ‘house system’ (separating male and female students) where students will learn how to take responsibility for their own affairs as well as contribute to the community. House mistresses will help look after their well-being, give them support and guidance, and be available for counseling to individual students.
Afternoon programs after formal schooling will seek to provide interesting and enjoyable activities that channel the students’ energies into creative pathways that enhance their overall learning. Students will be encouraged to follow the paths that they feel passionate about, and to nurture the wholesome pleasure that arises from giving oneself to something for the joy of the activity itself, and for the challenge of doing the best one can, rather than as merely a means to an end. It is this quality that will stand the students in good stead no matter what profession they follow as adults.
Subjects offered, subject to interests and availability of teaching personnel, will include Thai and international sports, chi gong and yoga, meditation, music, drama and puppetry, arts and handicrafts, cooking, carpentry, textiles (saori weaving), soil cement blocks, earthworms farming, production of charcoal and wood vinegar, computing and horticulture.
“The teachers are truly our good friends. They are always supportive, encouraging, and wisely and kindly guiding us in the right direction. We can seek their advice on any matters: academic, life skills, family life, relationships etc. We feel secure and reassured that they will listen to us and be ready to understand us.”
“The school environment is very pleasant with plenty of trees, natural streams, huge ponds and open space, and fertile soil for organic farming for our own consumption. Our classroom for new learning and excitement is everywhere. The climate of Pakchong near Khao Yai National Park is extremely fresh and cool. We are grateful to be spared from the polluted air and traffic jam of Bangkok and any other big cities.”
“The Buddhist education we have been experiencing is quite unique. We felt lucky to have this special opportunity for an integrated training of the body and mind. The format of a boarding school enables us to learn the social and communication skills in an intensive way. We also have plenty of opportunities to learn about mindfulness to calm ourselves and to find inner peace. Our Buddhist education teaches us to have wise reflection. We are encouraged to think clearly, critically, and creatively.”
“The school special emphasis on ecology allows us to have hands-on practices in organic farming, learning about medicinal and herbal plants, and renewable energy. We thought that we are training ourselves now to face an increasingly tougher future. We have opportunities to learn new things all the time.”
“Our friends are like family members. We live in a warm, loving and caring environment. Our teachers have shown us that it is definitely preferable to “catch me at my best” and to stay away from the usual “fault-finding kind of mindset. We know that if we take a misstep, we will be kindly and politely warned and given a fresh opportunity. We are also urged to be courageous to speak our mind and be listened to. We think it is an effective way to build up the sense of self-respect in ourselves.”