The Phuket International Academy (PIA) is a relative newcomer to the education, sports, arts and wellness scene in southern Thailand so you would be forgiven for not having heard of it, and is the vision of the founder, Klaus Hebben. It is one facility which is a combination of three centres: the Day School, the Sports, Arts and Wellness Centre, and the Mind Centre. Sounds pretty fancy but maybe the following paragraphs will help to elucidate the concept.
Construction began with the PIA Day School early last year and provides for kindergarten, primary, and middle school education. PIA Day School has already obtained Thai government approval and is now embarking on the path to achieving candidate status by the International Baccalaureate Organization This august body oversees the education of more than 753,000 students aged 3 to 19 years, at 2,733 schools in 138 countries, and focuses not only on education but also on intellectual, personal, social and emotional skills. In other words, it’s not just the Three ‘R’s, but an education of the whole person, mentally, physically and spiritually that PIA Day School is striving to achieve.
The Sports, Arts and Wellness Centre will be more than just a place for students,parents, and the Phuket community, to enjoy a range of sports, arts, fitness and recreational activities together, but will also be a sort of community where athletes and sports teams from all over the world will be welcome to come and train. This concept might be particularly attractive to sportsmen and women who wish to ‘escape’ from the winter season in the west. The sporting facilities already completed (or very nearly so) consist of a futsal field, a 50 metre Olympic sized pool, , and a basketball court. Those will ultimately be augmented by an indoor gym, a football field, running track and other athletic, arts and wellness amenities.All of this will be complimented by an orgnanic restaurant and health bar, a childrens club and play pool, a library, and a performing arts centre and much more.
The third centre of this three pronged facility will be the Mind Centre due to open in April 2010., It will concentrate on teaching individuals to use mind to realize its potential through meditation and related aspects. Alan Wallace Ph.D and Paul Ekman are globally known in this field and will be at the centre to provide teachers and others who are interested with training courses each year. The emphasis will be on offering training in the cultivation of cognitive and emotional balance to contribute to everyone’s enhanced mental balance and wellbeing.
PIA is located on 135 rai of land in the central north-east of the island, near Thalang, and is surrounded by forests and national park. With no industry to mar the tranquility, the environment is perfect for its concept. It is still incomplete, but things are gradually taking shape and Klaus Hebben’s dream is evolving into Phuket’s gain. “We are not just a school, but we look beyond, to the other two aspects of life which make a human being a complete person.”
More information about Phuket International Academy can be found on its official website www.phuketinternationalacademy.com