Thailand will play host to a regional workshop to work out ASEAN curriculums for primary and secondary education in preparation for a new era of the ASEAN Community.
The workshop will take place in September 2012 and focus on seven subjects: science, mathematics, history, physical education, information technology, ethics, and art. The identity of each ASEAN country will be reflected in the new curriculums, as well.
Permanent Secretary for Education, Miss Sasithara Pichaichannarong, cited education as an important foundation in the process of building the ASEAN Community, since it would help create better understanding among the 10 members of ASEAN. She explained that, in the Blueprint for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, ASEAN emphasizes equitable access to human development opportunities by promoting and investing in education and life-long learning, as well as human resource training and capacity-building.
In response to the blueprint, the Ministry of Education has come up with a strategic and action plan on education, to be implemented from 2012 to 2015. The plan calls for literacy campaigns through the promotion of distance learning, non-formal education, and community learning. Thailand’s literacy rate ranks fourth among ASEAN countries, at 93.5 percent of the total population. Thailand is also recognized for its active promotion of teaching and learning through community learning centers, which connect with those in other ASEAN countries.
In terms of investment in education, the Thai government has encouraged and supported Thai youths to develop their potential and knowledge, particularly in the English language and other languages spoken in the neighboring countries. ASEAN agreed to support the citizens of Member States to become proficient in the English language, so that the citizens of the ASEAN region are able to communicate directly with one another and participate in the broader international community.
The Thai government reaffirmed its determination to attach great importance to strengthening Thailand, so that the country would be ready to become part of the ASEAN Community in 2015. All government agencies have been urged to improve rules and regulations and enhance labor skills to contribute to the ASEAN Community and the Thai people.
Connectivity is an issue that Thailand initiated to lay a strong foundation for building the ASEAN Community. Connectivity includes the physical aspect, such as infrastructure and the facilitation on rules and procedures, as well as the connections between people.
The Government also encourages young people to be a major driving force of ASEAN in the future and to join hands in serving as virtuous cultural ambassadors of Thailand, through the promotion of Thai culture and traditions in other ASEAN member countries.