Thailand has announced that it would present the “Princess Maha Chakri Award” to outstanding teachers from Southeast Asian countries in 2015, when it hosts the 48th Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council Conference in 2015.
The announcement was made by the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, at the 47th SEAMEO Council Conference, or SEAMEC, in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 20 March 2013.
In 2015, Thailand will host the 48th SEAMEC, in replacement of Singapore, and the Thai Education Minister will take the post of SEAMEC Chairperson from 2015 to 2017. Mr. Phongthep said that the Princess Maha Chakri Award would be established in commemoration of the 60th birthday anniversary of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in 2015.
The presentation of the award is in recognition of Her Royal Highness’ great contribution to the development of education in Thailand, and it celebrates the auspicious occasion of her birthday. The Ministry of Education of each country in the region, including Thailand, will be asked to select an outstanding teacher who has devoted himself or herself to education and whose achievements in human resource development have been well-recognized. The recipients of the awards will receive both certificates of honor and cash prizes.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the third child and second daughter of Their Majesties the King and Queen, was born on 2 April 1955. She is the first of the royal children to attend a local institution of higher learning. Her Royal Highness received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Chulalongkorn University, where she majored in history. She obtained Master’s degrees from Chulalongkorn University, majoring in Pali-Sanskrit, and from Silpakorn University, majoring in Oriental Epigraphy. She also holds a doctorate in Development Education from Srinakharinwirot University.
Her Royal Highness began her teaching career in 1979, when she taught general education at Chulalongkorn University. One year later, she joined the Department of Law and Social Sciences of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. At present she is Director of the Department of History at the Academy, where she has played an active role in revising its curriculum. Her Royal Highness occasionally gives lectures at several other institutions. And she regularly attends academic conferences and seminars in both Thailand and abroad.
Her Royal Highness is deeply loved by the Thai people for her kindness, sincerity, simplicity, and concern for others. She is also recognized for her dedication to the peoples of different cultures, serving as an excellent example to the world community at large. Her birthday, 2 April, has been observed as Thailand’s National Heritage Preservation Day since 1985.