The study had following objectives: (1) To study the present problems of community- learning centers in Chiang-Mai province, Thailand. (2) To describe the pattern of community-learning centre in Chiang-Mai province, Thailand. (3) To compare community-learning centre in Chiang-Mai province, Thailand with Non-formal education as followed in Maharashtra, India. (4) To suggest an ideal learning centre suitable for a Thai society.
The sample comprised of 660 respondents from 24 districts of non-formal education centres of Chiang-Mai province, Thailand.
Questionnaire for students and questionnaire for functionaries were used as tools for studying the roles and functions of the Community-Learning Centres (CLCs) in the education system for the development of community.
The study was descriptive.Percentage was used to analyze the qualitative data.
The following were the findings of the study: (1) The view of providing infrastructure and an institutional base for holistic and life long education which gradually emerged and became operational through the local community based learning centers. These centers are usually organized and managed by the people and work with the assistance of non-formal education centre but its’ limited scope/necessitated the beneficiaries to continue to learn after completing specific non-formal education programs and activities. Therefore there is a need to promote the concept of life long learning for utilizing knowledge and skills in continuous and sustained community development. (2) The main role of organization at national and local levels are to help develop the management capacity for community people as well as local professionals through various training program. (3) In Thailand, leaders or sub-district administrative organizations (SAO) play a key role in community development. The government has decentralized funds and authority to the SAOs. Thus, the SAOs and the village committee run CLSs in the country to provide life-long learning for all age groups in the community. (4) District non-formal centre decides the curriculum, materials, time allotment, teachers appointed etc. (5) The organizers / teachers are often unable to understand the needs of the community and therefore all are unable to utilize and mobilize all available local resources to support the programs. (6) Some organizers lack proper understanding of concept of CLC. (7) Budget/materials are insufficient to meet all the requirements of the programs.
Keyword(s): Community-Learning, Thailand, Non-Formal Education, Maharashtra, Non-formal Education