A workshop will be held on 26 July 2012 to prepare Thailand for the ASEAN Community in three years’ time, when the ASEAN region becomes a single market.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told the Cabinet meeting that the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board had been assigned to organize the workshop and explain to all ministries their joint operations in preparation for ASEAN integration in 2015.
The workshop will focus on the three pillars of ASEAN, namely the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).
Prime Minister Yingluck also assigned all ministries to submit reports on the positive and negative impacts of the three pillars of ASEAN on the country and the people. They were told to address problems and obstacles from various rules and regulations, so that efforts would be made to improve the situation. In this regard, each ministry will appoint officials responsible for the issue of the ASEAN Community.
Since it is only three years until the ASEAN Community opens up in full swing, all sectors of Thai society have been encouraged to participate in and benefit from the process of ASEAN integration and community-building. Education is important for people, because it helps them to adjust themselves and be aware of changes coming to the country and the effect on their work in the future.
The Ministry of Education, meanwhile, is working out a three-year action plan to prepare Thai people for the ASEAN Community. The action plan focuses on four major points. The first point seeks to provide people with greater and fairer access to human resource development. In the second point, more investment will be made in education and lifelong learning. The third point seeks to provide training and enhance capacity-building. The fourth point involves the improvement of English language skills.
As English will be the working language of ASEAN, the Ministry of Education will introduce a basic curriculum in English and focus on developing teachers. It will also produce vocational students in response to the ASEAN labor market.
The Thai government is making the issue of ASEAN awareness and understanding a national priority. On the part of Thailand, three ministries are the core government agencies responsible for the three pillars of the ASEAN Community: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the Ministry of Commerce, through the Department of Trade Negotiations for the ASEAN Economic Community, and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.