“Lifelong Learning : Education Policy in Thailand”
By Dr. Chaiyos Imsuwan,
Inspector-General, Ministry of Education, Thailand
At the 2nd International Conference on Lifelong
Learning for All 2014
11th September, 2014 at 10.44-12.15 hours
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
 First, lifelong leaning in its global and regional
context.
 Second, the significance and importance of
lifelong learning in Thailand, and the strategies
which have been adopted to give it practical
effect.
 comments about the future of lifelong learning
and the way forward post-2015
What is lifelong learning?
 The phenomenon of globalization
 Sociological and technological change
 The role and significance of lifelong learning
 Human resources are invaluable assets for
social and economic development, and to
compete in the global community.
 Concept of lifelong learning in late 1960’s
 Lifelong learning encompasses learning at all
ages and subsumes formal, non-formal and
informal learning.
 The Fauré Report Learning to Be
(UNESCO, 1972). Lifelong learning needs to
be the keystone for education policies.
 Learning: the Treasure Within, the Delors
Report (UNESCO, 1996). Lifelong learning implies
the acquisition of knowledge, skills and values
throughout life, a continuous process of learning to
know, to do, to live together and to be (the “four
pillars” of education).
 The 1997 Hamburg Declaration on Adult Learning
viewed literacy as a “catalyst for participation in
social, cultural, political and economic activities,
and for learning throughout life”.
Director-General of UNESCO,
emphasized that lifelong learning
is more than adult education;
more than technical and
vocational education and
training; and that it reaches
beyond the classroom walls, to
take in non-formal and informal
learning. It is about the kind of
society we need for a better
future.
 Lifelong learning has long been an important
educational policy and part of Thailand’s National
Education Act.
 In 1999, the Act mandated “lifelong education for
all” as the basic guiding principle and the goal of the
education system.
 The Act stipulated that formal, non-formal and
informal education must be intertwined to create
an ability to develop the quality of life on a lifelong
basis.
How do life skills relate to lifelong learning?
Life skills are the essence of the lifelong learning.
Skills development for youth and adults was
recognized in the third EFA goal, focusing on the
learning needs of all young people and adults.
 The EFA Global Monitoring Report 2012
identified three main types of skills : foundation,
transferable, and technical and vocational skills.

 In Thailand, skill development for lifelong learning has
been emphasized in the 11th National Economic and
Social Development Plan (B.E 2555-2559).
 The plan emphasizes skills needed for a lifelong
learning society focus on knowledge, innovation, and
creativity, and are based on the development of five
types of mind — the disciplined mind, the synthesized
mind, the creative mind, the respectful mind and the
ethical mind.
What are the regional education challenges ?
 Education for All movement, initiated in Jomtien in 1990
 Education for All agenda and the education-related MDGs
are unlikely to be fully achieved by 2015
 Worldwide, more than 57 million children and 69 million
adolescents still do not have access to effective basic
education.
 In 2011, an estimated 774 million adults were illiterate.
Of these, almost two-thirds were women.
 At least 250 million children are not able to read, write or
count well, even after at least four years in school.
2014 Regional EFA Synthesis Report:
Asia-Pacific,
 Asia Pacific region has the highest number of
illiterate adults (64%).
 The number of illiterate adults fell by only 4%
(19.5 million) between 2000 and 2012.
 lliterate adults in South and West Asia increased
by 5% (19.7 million) during the same period
 millions of young people and adults are faced
with challenges such as inadequate education,
unemployment and underemployment.
Lifelong learning is the heart of global
education targets
 At the 37th General Conference of UNESCO, UNESCO
will promote an overarching education goal
 Ensuring “equitable and inclusive quality education and
lifelong learning for all by 2030” has been proposed as
the overarching goal of the post-2015 education agenda
 The Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference hosted
by Thailand last month (August, 2014) ensuring
inclusive, lifelong learning for all, and improving the
quality of education were among the top priority action
areas identified by Asia-Pacific education ministers to
guide the region’s learning sector over the next 15 years.
Bangkok Statement
 Outlined six Regional Priority Action Areas for the Asia




Pacific region.
Require every government to be committed to addressing all
forms of marginalization.
Education should provide youth and adults with the skills
they need to maximize employment opportunities and
challenging by socio-economic and demographic
transformations.
Learning methods encourage young people to be creative,
innovative and think critically.
Utilization of ICT
How Thailand meets the challenge of implementing lifelong learning?
 In Thailand, the most significant underprivileged group
are young people who have “missed the boat” for
education.
 These people need development, assistance and support
to improve their skills and knowledge
 Thailand has long promoted lifelong learning
 These programmes are conducted by both government
and private sector organizations, and are intended to
address the problems and needs of the underprivileged
who are disadvantages by lack of formal schooling.
 Attention to the development and expansion of quality
education to enable universal access, and to promote
lifelong learning.
 Eleventh National Economic and Social Development
Plan (2012-2016) and the Eleventh National Education
Development Plan of the Ministry of Education (20122016).
 Other development agencies have long worked with
communities and adult groups to upgrade their skills
and competencies
So, what specific lifelong learning programmes are being
implemented.
New learning opportunities and life skills for youth and adults.
 Thailand works towards creating a society of
sustainable lifelong learning.
 Quality development of its citizenry, and providing
opportunities for learning and appropriate skill
development at every age
 Moral and ethical values; and that imbue a sense of
pride in being Thai while yet acknowledging the
responsibilities of global citizenship.
Thailand’s policy of life skills
 Social and psychological capabilities, that aid people to
respond effectively to the various dilemma situations that
arise in daily life.
 Enable people to be prepared for life’s unexpected
problems and to lead good, moral, and ethical lifestyles;
maintain good health and safety; and avoid AIDS and
drugs.
 Measures have been taken to identify, develop and
improve skills needed by the labour market, as well as
skills required for living in the 21st century.
 Development of life skills is an important component
of the Basic Education Core Curriculum 2008.
 The core curriculum of 2008 specified two
categories of life skills education:
1) a general category of basic life skills needed by
learners to deal with everyday life and the problems
that occur;
2) specific life skills required for contending with
unexpected crises and overcoming obstacles that
arise.
Development of literacy programmes.
 In 2009, people of working age, 162,708 were illiterate
 Literacy test were used in the survey
 Ministry of Education has developed a literacy
programme
 The programme aims to develop skills in
understanding, speaking, reading and writing, using a
minimum of 800 common words used in daily life.
 9,625 Community Learning Centres are
established in every community
 906 public libraries, including 87 ChalermrajKumary Public Libraries and planned to be 100
by 2015
 TK Park in response to the idea of preparing
Thailand for “Knowledge-based Society”
 2009-2018 Thai Decade of Reading
Strategy for equitable and inclusive quality education and
lifelong learning for all by 2030 ?
 Thai Educational Plans call for balanced and sustained development
 Seven measures were proposed in the Muscat Agreement to achieve
this goal:
- Increase the number of children receiving education and care ;
- Ensure all young people complete at least ten years of quality
compulsory basic education;
- Increase the level and quality of literacy and numeracy skills and
capabilities among young people and adults;
- Ensure that skills, abilities, and knowledge of young people are
consistent with manpower needs;
- Strengthen achievement, knowledge, and skills of all learners,
along with values and attitudes consistent with being members
of a global society;
- Ensure that all learners are taught by qualified, professionally
trained, motivated and well supported teachers; and
- Increase the state budget for education.
Thailand is focusing its lifelong learning
policy as follows
1. Create a quality learning society
2. Continue to focus on improving education quality through
curriculum reform and reform of the teaching/learning
process.
3. Improve vocational education and encourage research and
development
4. Continue reforming teacher education and training to improve
teacher quality and to attract qualified individuals into the
profession.
5 Continue utilizing ICT more effectively
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“Lifelong Learning : Education Policy in Thailand” By Dr. Chaiyos