Superb initiatives to get the aging Thai population to be more active and productive could be just the ticket for aging foreigners residing in the kingdom.
Many stories about the “Schools for the over 60s” run by the education department have been featured on the Thaivisa news site over the last few months.
The schools are characterized by men and women in their twilight years getting out of their homes and dressing up as they did in uniforms several decades ago. They are encouraged to bicycle to “school” where they line up for the National Anthem at 8am.
Then follow lots of activities to promote good mental health that in turn should lead to good physical condition.
Activities in the school grounds offer a chance to learn new skills such as making handicrafts or learning about aspects of Thai culture. Participants do things like Thai dancing to promote movement of those stiff joints. Courses relating to growing old in Thailand like matters relating to health are organized. And side trips are organized in mini buses to cultural sites so that everyone can join together and make new friends along the way.
In fact it is more than just school – it seems like the perfect answer to make new friends, get out more as well as actually learn something useful.
It could be ideal for the thousands of over 60s foreign residents in Thailand who it seems have very little to do except moan about where they live! And they might even learn a few things about the culture and the people and make some new friends their own age both male and female. Not to mention learn some improved Thai language skills into the bargain.
I feel sure they would be welcome especially as their participation would help with giving the Thai people on the courses the chance to speak, hear and use English or even other languages. Win-win!
While the stories in the news have yet to feature foreigners enrolled in the schools it would seem logical that they would be more than welcome especially if they already had a bit of a knowledge of the Thai language. The Thai people are so welcoming of foreigners it would seem only natural that old boys and girls from Europe, America and Australia would fit in wonderfully.
I for one will look into the possibility of joining such a program though regrettably I will have to wait another five years to join in the fun. I have always had the attitude since moving to Thailand years ago that if you don’t ask you don’t get so I hope to be accepted on the course.
It seems like the perfect antidote for those who spend too long on bar stools or boring country villages who are withering away complaining that they bring their money in retirement to Thailand but get nothing in return!
So why not contact the education ministry and see if you can join up – if you are over 60 of course!
Chork dee khrap!