September-October, 2006
ABAC TODAY  3
ASSUMPTION UNIVERSITY AMIDST LAURELS.

WHY PROF. CHARMONMAN IS ACCLAIMED THE FATHER OF THAI E-LEARNING!

In 1992, Prof. Charmonman proposed that Assumption University of Thailand be-come a Founding Organi-zational Member, the only country from Southeast Asia, of the Internet Society (ISOC). He then established Thailand Chapter of ISOC and has been serving as the President. He is also the only Thai to be elected to ISOC Board of Trustees. In 1994, he became the Founder and Chairman of Internet KSC Group of Internet Service Provider which was the first and largest ISP in Thailand. In 1997 and again in 1998, he was elected to ber Director of the Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC).

In August 2000, he was interviewed by the magazine "Corporate Thailand" when he said that the next bug thing he would do was eLearning which would be more profitable than eCom-merce. On April 25, 2002, he proposed and got approval from the board of Trustees of Assumption University to establish the first eLearning college in Thailand called the College of Internet Distance Education and announced that the College would eventually serve 100,000 students per year, making a net profit of about 4 billion

 

Baht per year. In the same year, he met Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and proposed to him that Thailand legalize eLearning. The Prime Minister agreed ad advised him to start the process. So, he sent a letter to the Minister of University Affairs as well as authoring the first draft of the first eLearning decree or Law in Thailand. The government established a committee to consider the law and he was invited to be a member.

Rev. Bro. Dr. Prathip Martin Komolmas who is the President Emeritus, Rev. Bro. Dr. Bancha Saenghirun who is the President, and Prof. Charmonman who is the college CEO went to see the Minister of University Affairs and tried to comvince him to support eLearning. In his capacity as the Funder

 
and Chairman of ABAC Poll, he ordered an eLearning survey i 2003 which found 77% of the respondents were interested in continuing their education through eLearning. On November 26, 2003, the Ministry of University Affairs organized and open hearing on the eLearning law. In his capacity as the President of the Computer Association of Thailand, prof. Charminman presented the draft law in the morning and chaired the open hearing in the afternoon. The results were used in modifying the law. Then the Government decided to merge the Ministry of University Affairs and the Ministry of Education resulting in delay in considering the eLearning law. prof. Charmonman had to try to convince altogerther 5 ministers, namely,