On 22nd-23rd October, Nathakan Chomphouthong, BABSEACLE Thai team member, and BABSEACLE Lao team members, Pavina Thephithak and Bounthy Xaechao, were invited to train Khon Kaen University (KKU) students, at the first Clinical Legal Education (CLE) workshop, on their Nong Khai campus. Two Faculty of Law and Political Science Clinical Legal Education (FLP CLE) students were also in attendance.
The purpose of the workshop was to assist KKU to develop and CLE program which focuses on providing community legal education to community members. This particular workshop was targeted in preparing KKU students to help raise legal awareness to Thai high school students on issues related to drug users and the law, including the overcriminalization of drug laws.
Throughout the workshop all participants learnt the theory and practical aspects of CLE, an introduction to its teaching methodologies, at the community level, and how to write lesson plans. They then explored the background of BABSEACLE and Community Legal Education. On the second day, they practiced, in two groups, what they previously learnt, through exercises, such as: lecture; reading; group discussion; practice-by-doing; teaching each other; audio/visual; demonstration; and role play.
This workshop was conducted within a very friendly and happy atmosphere, and most students not only grasped CLE teaching methodologies, they could also make lesson plans and, most importantly, they demonstrated that they could work as a team. As a result, students acquired skills, knowledge and values, including a volunteer heart and pro bono mind, in order to conduct community teachings and work with others, include those lacking in legal skills and knowledge. The students also further developed their own universal values that are necessary for a successful and fair society.
The next step of the CLE program is for the KKU students to go out and teach in Nong Khai province community high schools. With the training and expose they and their law lecturers received, we are very confident of their success.
By Bounthy Xaechao , BABSEACLE’s Laos Legal Fellow