The Minister of Education, Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, chaired the opening of an event to honor HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and to celebrate her birthday on 2 April 2013 which coincided with the National Day of Children Books at the Centara Grand and the Bangkok Convention Center at Central World. At the same time, he also launched a reading promotion caravan organized by the Office of the Education Council (OEC).
Mr. Phongthep said that the Thai Government and the Prime Minister, Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, understood how important child and youth development was for creating an advanced modern society in Thailand. Therefore, the government launched a project on the development of pre-school children as a national strategy in which all the relevant ministries in the government have to actively participate. Focusing on reading promotion, this event took place on the birthday of Princess Sirindhorn, who is well recognized as a good reader and writer.
Mr. Phongthep said that, as a deputy chairman of the National Committee for the Development of Pre-school Children, he was really pleased that the Thai government was concerned with these children as promoting reading for them would create young adults who would, in the near future, become analytical, creative, intelligent and problem-solving thinkers.
The Secretary General of the OEC Dr. Sasithara Pichaichannarong said that the Cabinet had approved that the birthday of Princess Sirindhorn on 2 April 2013 should also be a national day for children books because not only did it mark her birthday but it also honored her supreme abilities in humanities and the arts.
Attended by 1,200 visitors, the event featured three sections. The first one was an exhibit to honor the Princess on her work in education and to celebrate her designation from UNESCO as a Goodwill Ambassador. The second section was a reading room for pre-school children. The last section was an activity room for pre-school children.
In addition, there were many displays on Princess Sirindhorn's works and projects on education, the schools she initiated and exhibits on the promotion of reading for pre-school children as well as a child health corner. To mobilize the strategic plan for pre-school children in Thailand from 2012 to 2016, the OEC also launched a similar reading promotion caravan in twelve provinces throughout the country. The caravan will last from April to June.