Thai school authority puts bet on learning toy "Made in Germany"
fischertechnik GmbH • Hands-on technical instruction lessons
The "Made in Germany" learning toy system fischertechnik has been on the market since 1965 and today has become also a much sought-after learning material in the field of technical instruction lessons. The high degree of acceptance amongst children and youths, yet also amongst parents, teachers and engineers makes fischertechnik a successful teaching aid at general education and technical vocational colleges as well as at universities of applied sciences and universities worldwide. In addition, the industry uses fischertechnik construction sets for simulations and the modelling of work processes and process sequences. These days, fischertechnik generates more than half of its turnover abroad, of which about a third in the USA, a third in Europe and another third in the Far East.
An important market in Asia is Thailand. In 2013, in the context of a market study commissioned by iMOVE, the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad in Thailand has carried out an online survey amongst its member enterprises to assess the status quo of and the potential for vocational training and continuing education programmes. The evaluation reveals that there is a high demand for skilled labour, which currently cannot be adequately satisfied. Many businesses state that their growth opportunities and performance potential are limited because of the skilled labour shortage.
Continuing education programmes play an important role for businesses in Thailand, since – according to the companies – the existing educational attainments do not optimally prepare people for career entry and working life. Moreover, the companies stated that the degree of specialisation of the external education programmes is not yet sufficient in all fields of occupation. This is particularly true of technical occupations.
In Thailand, where fischertechnik hosted a joint exhibitor's stand at the Worldidac Asia trade fair together with iMOVE and other German education providers, fischertechnik has been active on the market for about ten years. Together with an exclusive distribution partner on site, fischertechnik is very involved with the approximately 500 general education schools in the Bankok Municipal Area (BMA) from primary level onwards.
The Thai school authority expressly desired additional training for the teaching staff. For this purpose, company training models were developed for training and continuing education in the technical field. The tutorials are tailored for the Thai school curriculum and are carried out by the Thai partner on site.
To personally assess the quality of the products, a delegation from the BMA had previously visited fischertechnik in Germany. Since that thime, the business relationship is based on good personal contacts and the high quality of the German products, which is much appreciated in Thailand.
In particular, those responsible in Thailand hold the belief that young people – similar to the system in Germany – need a practical, hands-on vocational education and training basis in order to sustainably comprehend the technical contexts and to be able to implement these themselves. Here, the fischertechnik construction sets for school lessons can make an important contribution. Yet in addition to this, Thailand has also voiced the express desire for introducing dual system vocational education and training courses. The country is in the process of increasingly establishing itself as an industrialised nation and to this end it urgently needs technically well-trained young talent.
After the successful establishment of the business relationship, it is planned to expand this co-operation to include other school districts across the country. First steps in this direction have already been implemented.