Lifting Up Quality of Life Through Education in Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand, Sept. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand, reveals the significance of the pursuit of knowledge as a means for Thailand's long-term sustainability, a legacy of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulayadej.

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"Talking about the well-being of the people, the improvement of education is essential. Without good education, people cannot earn their living." - His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In order to progress towards his vision, King Bhumibol led by example. The late King became an ideal role model for Thai people through his passionate devotion towards improving the country through the search and application of new knowledge and innovation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated.

As for the individual lives of the Thai people, the pursuit of education was perceived by the late King as a crucial means of improving quality of life in both the short and long run. His Majesty devoted full effort into championing this cause and proceeded to facilitate cooperation among numerous government and nonprofit agencies in order to enable Thai people greater access to educational opportunities through formal and non-formal education systems. The late King was very well aware that such weak foundations would hinder career prospects and development and ultimately the ability for Thailand to become self-sufficient in a rapidly evolving world.

Nevertheless, King Bhumibol was overall pleased with Thailand's literacy rate. However, he did note specific disadvantaged groups that were in desperate need of help, namely orphans and children in remote poverty-stricken areas.

In order to assist and raise awareness of underprivileged children, the Rajaprajanugroh Foundation was established. The Foundation's schools provide clothes, school uniforms, books, stationery and scholarships primarily to children who have been orphaned or abandoned in areas affected by poverty and natural disasters. These schools provide its pupils full boarding from grade one to twelve. The program found remarkable success, with 39 Rajaprajanugroh schools spread across Thailand today.

In the north, His Majesty the late King and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit founded schools for hill tribe people in the remote border regions. The Chao Pho and Chao Mae Luang Upatham Schools were originally constructed using the Royal Family's personal assets along with donations from other concerned Thai citizens. In addition to providing traditional education, these schools also teach traditional craft and agricultural methods as a means to assist students out of poverty and enable them to make a living.

Beyond helping the country's most disadvantaged groups and vulnerable young people, King Bhumibol set up several scholarships to assist those whose educations were threatened by financial constraints. Foundations involved in this initiative, such as the Navarerk Fund, The Bhumibol Fund, and the Ananda Mahidol Fund, enable graduates of compulsory education with strong academic and behavioral records, through grants and scholarships, opportunities to continue their studies at secondary, vocational, teacher training, and university levels.

His Majesty the late King Bhumibol firmly believed that formal education is critical for the development of the nation's youth. However, those who had already left the formal education system, often to work on family farms, were not accounted for. To assist this large portion of the Thai population, King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit initiated the development of non-formal education systems, such as the Royal Development Study Centers and the SUPPORT Foundation.

With nearly 90% of rural Thai people engaged in the agricultural sector, farmers required access to specific knowledge and information that was particular to the unique conditions of the regions they resided in. To meet this need, the late King set up six Royal Development Study Centers, each of which were intended to be applicable to the unique soil and weather conditions of its respective region. The study centers conducted experiments and research on crop cultivation and propagation, animal husbandry and fisheries.

Her Majesty Queen Sirikit followed through with King Bhumibol's mission to increase education in rural and impoverished regions with her SUPPORT Foundation (the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupation and Related Techniques). Their Majesties were aware that many Thai women and young girls were at risk because they did not have any means of self-support. The SUPPORT Foundation aimed to help educate these rural women by teaching them how to create exquisite traditional Thai crafts, such as Mudmee silk weaving, Prae Wa basketry and gold and silver inlays.

Through smart and consistent efforts, King Bhumibol Adulyadej overcame geographic barriers and logistical challenges and successfully opened up greater access to educational and career opportunities for the country's most disadvantaged communities.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand Tel: +662-203-5000

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