A Directorate Center has been set up by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to prepare Thailand for the arrival ASEAN Community in 2015. The NCPO has also formed a committee to take charge of the operations of the center.
The committee, chaired by the Deputy Head of NCPO and Security Chief, will be responsible for setting policies, guidelines, and Thailand’s position in the cooperative frameworks of ASEAN.
The NCPO intends to integrate the work of all relevant agencies in preparation for the ASEAN Community for all three pillars – the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.
The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board has worked out an eight-point strategy to get Thailand ready for the ASEAN Community. The strategy seeks to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness in relation to the development of quality of life, social protection, infrastructure and logistics, and human resources. it also seek to improve laws and regulations, create better understanding and awareness of ASEAN, enhance security, and increase potential for greater opportunities from ASEAN connectivity.
Among the urgent issues is skill development in terms of both professions and languages for communication, in response to the demands of the country and the region.
In preparation for the ASEAN Community, the Office of the Basic Education Commission is developing professional English courses for underprivileged students who have no opportunity to continue their studies after finishing the lower secondary education level. The objective is to equip them with proficient English language communication skills for employment in various industries.
The professional English courses focus on conversation, or communication, for 10 occupational groups, such as English for Hotels, English for Construction Workers, English for Cashiers, and English for Convenience Stores.
In this regard, the existing English courses being taught in secondary education schools will be adjusted, so that professional English courses will be added during English hours in schools. The Office of the Basic Education Commission has provided training for 450 English-language teachers who will teach professional English courses in this pilot project, beginning in the second term of the 2014 academic year. The project will be expanded to cover 7,000 schools in the near future.
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