This past Thursday at the Chetuphon Suksa School at Wat Chetuphon, the monk students held the annual Wai Khru Ceremony. The Wai Khru ceremony is a Thai tradition in which students show their gratitude and celebrate their teachers. The day began with students from every class gathering in the school courtyard to make unique flower arrangements. The students showed intense dedication to these arrangements, spending nearly two hours creating their ornate and detailed creations. After breaking for lunch, the monk students lined up to commence the ceremony inside the school. The ceremony consisted of prayer, speeches, and then the presentation of the flower arrangements to both monk and non-monk teachers.
The student body at the Chetuphon Suksa School consists entirely of young monks from ages 11 to 18. The young monks study both regular academic subjects as well as Buddhism while living either at Wat Chetuphon or their respective temples. PhraMongduen Mogsaeng is a monk who works as an English teacher for the school. PhraMongduen was a student at the Chetuphon Suksa School in his youth and from the age of 13, he knew he wanted to teach English. In PhraMongduen’s experience, the best way for students to improve their English outside of the classroom is through watching English videos on Youtube and listening to stories. PhraMongduen also hosts an ‘English Club’ for motivated students every Friday.
“I am very happy to stay here and I love to help my students to train [in} English, to help everyone who love to practice their skills…” PhraMongduen Mogsaeng said.
According to Mr. Panya Jeenpracher, the head of the English Department, the temple school at Wat Chetuphon is the largest in Chiang Mai. Panya noted that attendance numbers severely dropped since the pandemic, with many families wanting to keep their children home. Despite the drop in the past couple of years, Panya is hopeful that the upcoming years will have higher attendance.