Rapid changes in Thai society caused by constant changes in technology whether communication online, technology in daily life has resulted in free access to information without borders and binding conditions, people can now express themselves on social media freely in both positive and negative lights. In spite of how progressive the changes are, the alcohol related harms continue to cause problems to those involved. And the impact of it obstructs immediate development to such communities.
Taking a closer look to the Education system in Thai, it now stipulates a teaching and learning curriculum that does not depend on the current situation, there have been attempts to modernize the curriculum and put the student at the center of the teaching and learning system, but in reality, students lack involvement in the design of the curriculum. Hence important matters like self-protection and prevention from alcohol problems are not included in the main education curriculum in Thailand. Although it is an issue that teachers touch on, the teaching about alcohol still adheres to the backward values that result in the inability to develop students to keep up with the current changes in society.
Buranakan Kwan Rue Su Chumchon Club, Social Studies, Faculty of Education Chiang Mai University, is a student club participating in the Empowering Youth and Community from alcohol related harm project by Thai Community Empowerment Foundation (TCEF) in partnership with IOGT NTO Movement. The learning process started from 2018, where the student who were leaders became interested in the situation and the significancy of alcohol and drug use among students, laborers, monks and the general public and their view on alcohol.
In the first phase they started with the project named “Raise a glass”, The results of this project identified valuable lessons from low-income alcoholic drinkers. It was found that alcohol accessibility was greater than just simply drinking and getting drunk. other factors such as economic, social life, values, standards and cultural dimensions were found to be the leading driving factors on accessing alcohol and drug use. Subsequently, with greater need on data and information on alcohol and drug use, the activity continued on to Phase 2.
This phase major aim was in to raise awareness on alcohol related harms through inclusive curriculum where youth can choose on what they need to know about and openly discuss cut crossing issues such as alcohol and its effect in schools and high learning institutions. Since its a continuous work that pass on from generation to generation, in the year 2022, the club had developed and created a curriculum on alcohol prevention for children and youth aged 12-18 years. It consisted of 6 chapters which are as follows: Chapter 1 What is alcohol, Chapter 2 History and development of alcohol, Chapter 3 Rights and laws relating to alcohol, Chapter 4 Factors leading to alcohol consumption, Chapter 5 The alcohol related harms, and Chapter 6 Self-management methods.
The alcohol issue is complex and hides a number of other problems. The problems in society with alcohol are not caused by alcohol alone but mixed with the inequality, depriving people’s rights, gender, power, money and unjust social structures. The support of the IOGT-NTO Movement contributes to the development of a new generation of young people who continuously learn and develop their capacity. Now youth have different ways of looking at alcohol in relation to social relationships, cultures, beliefs, and self-management styles. They are awake with clear analytical thinking, dare to ask questions, criticize the problems that exist in society, and most importantly they are trying to address the problems that occur in society.