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“Lifelong Learning : Education Policy in Thailand” By Dr. Chaiyos Imsuwan , Inspector-General, Ministry of Education, Thailand. At the 2 nd International Conference on Lifelong Learning for All 2014 11 th September, 2014 at 10.44-12.15 hours Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

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“Lifelong Learning : Education Policy in Thailand”By Dr. ChaiyosImsuwan, 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 hoursChulalongkorn 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
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”.


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
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
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
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
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
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
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 (2012-2016).

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
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
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
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 Chalermraj-Kumary 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
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
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