Junta’s theme for Children Day ‘Land of Happiness under the King’s Knowledge’

Thailand’s military government has taken up the late King Bhumibol’s philosophies and knowledge as the main theme for Children’s Day in 2017.

On 11 January 2017, Col Thaksada Sangchan, Deputy Spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office, said that from 8 am-3 pm on 14 January the government will organise an event for Children’s Day at the Government House in Bangkok, according to Wassana Nanuam, a Bangkok Post reporter.

She said that the theme for 2017 Children’s Day is ‘Land of Happiness under the King’s Knowledge’.

“The PM wants children to play and learn from activities set up for them which are related to the knowledge and philosophies of the late King Rama IX. ”

Two months after the coup d’état in May 2014, the Thai coup-makers set out a plan to reform Thailand’s education system, which is widely regarded to be one of the worst in the region. But instead of improving the quality of educators and other structural problems in the national curriculum, the junta promoted 12 nationalistic Thai values to the top of the new education reform agenda.

The so-called 12 traditional Thai values invented by Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader, after the coup d’état in May are:
  1. Love for the nation, religions and monarchy
  2. Honesty, patience and good intentions for the public
  3. Gratitude to parents, guardians and teachers
  4. Perseverance in learning
  5. Conservation of Thai culture
  6. Morality and sharing with others
  7. Correct understanding of democracy with the monarch as head of the state
  8. Discipline and respect for the law and elders  
  9. Awareness in thinking and doing things, and following the guidance of His Majesty the King
  10. Living by the sufficiency economy philosophy guided by His Majesty the King
  11. Physical and mental strength against greed
  12. Concern about the public and national good more than self-interest.

The poster promoting the Children’s Day event at the Government House, Bangkok, on 14 January 2017 (Photo from Wassana Nanuam's Facebook)