Although the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities first opened its doors in 1984, it was not until a few years later that it was officially recognized by the Ministry of Education as a vocational school.
From the original four students who made up the first class, today almost three thousand young adults have received an education, have graduated and are now leading an independent life.
Father Picharn, Vice President of the Father Ray Foundation, presented the awards to the graduating students.
On Saturday 7th December the school celebrated its official twenty fifth anniversary, which started with a ceremony for more than eighty graduating students. As each student moved forward to receive their certificates, their new place of employment was also announced and 100% of all graduating students now have employment.
Sirirak Daengsakun receives an award for outstanding work from Father Peter, President of the Father Ray Foundation.
For a quarter of a century the vocational school has been educating young adults in various subjects – electronic repair, computer science and a computer based English course, all with the aim of teaching them the skills so that they can, in the words of Father Ray Brennan, ‘earn their own rice’.
The school has also produced many athletes who have represented their country at the Paralympics Games, including eight former students who competed in London last year.
Thanattha Sarn-nork, the lone female electronics student, with her male classmates.
The students studying computer science regularly participate in competitions against university students, and on most occasions they return to Pattaya carrying gold medals.
Well known stores such as Big C and Tesco Lotus come to the school looking for new staff, and most of the large hotels in Pattaya employ former students from the school. When Powerbuy opened a store in Pattaya Klang, not only did they employ the graduating electronic repair students to work in their workshop, their call center is staffed by former students from the school.
Several years ago the United Nations stated that the vocational school was the best of its type in South East Asia, and yet there may be many people living in Pattaya who do not know the school even exists. But next time you see a person with a disability working in a hotel, a supermarket or just a wheelchair user doing their shopping, there is a high chance they are former students of the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities.
More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email [email protected]
Making sure his certificate is correct.
Several parents attended the graduation ceremony and thanked the school for educating their child.
Many former students, accompanied by their families, visited to make donations to the school.