วันจันทร์ที่ 25 มีนาคม พ.ศ. 2556
Seven Embassies of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member countries in Jakarta, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan jointly held a “Nowruz Festival” last week at the ASEAN Secretariat. The festival, which has been celebrated for over 3000 years by many groups of people in the Middle East, Central and South Asian regions, is to mark the first day of spring and the official beginning of the New Year. The event at the ASEAN Secretariat entailed a photo and handicraft exhibition, musical performances and variety of national cuisines from ECO countries.
H.E. Mr. Tamerlan Karayev, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to ASEAN delivered opening remarks on behalf of ECO Ambassadors accredited in Jakarta. In his speech, he briefly explained the meaning of Nowruz and the Persian traditions regarding this celebration, which upholds the feeling of togetherness in one big family. He also expressed his appreciation to the guests for joining the people from ECO countries in the event and hoped that this tradition of celebrating the Nowruz will continue.
H.E. Mr. Nyan Lynn, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political-Security Community, on behalf of the Secretary-General of ASEAN, gave his remarks at the festival. DSG Lynn highlighted the important meaning of the Nowruz as it is aimed to strengthen the ties among people based on mutual respect and the culture of peace and good neighbourliness—just as said by the thirteenth century’s Persian poet Saadi, “The children of Adams are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence.” DSG Lynn also expressed the honour for the ASEAN Secretariat to be the venue of the event, which would enable the Secretariat to contribute to further strengthening the awareness, mutual understanding and cooperation among the peoples of ASEAN Member States and ECO.
DSG Lynn further expressed his appreciation to the ECO Ambassadors Contact-Group (ECO-ACG) in Jakarta for taking the initiative to further enhance the close relationship between ASEAN and ECO, and hoped that it would grow stronger in the future.
Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Labour cites data from Labour Economic Bureau as saying that the unemployment rate in February showed no alarming sign. He promises to continue providing assistances to SMEs through the ministry’s support centres.
Mr. Somkiat Chayasrinwong, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Labour, revealed he has been informed by the Labour Economic Bureau about labour situation in February, saying that a total of 411,454 firms registered for Article 33 of the Social Security Act last montn while employment continued expanding following the initial phase of the government’s 300 baht daily minimum wage policy in seven provinces in 2012, reflecting that the policy did not affect local business operators.
Mr. Somkiat said a total of 35,306 people were registered as unemployed in February, down from the January level of 10,075. Off them, 4,081 were laid off, accounting for 11.6 per cent. This demonstrated that firms gained economic recovery after they had to adjust employment in January, which caused high rate of unemployment. Top five provinces with the highest employment rate in February were Tak, Phchit, Samut Songkhram, Sa Kaeo and Nong Bua Lam Phu.
Mr. Somkiat said the government sector and Ministy of Labour are closing monitoring the situation and will continue provide assistance to SMEs that are affected by the government’s minimum wage policy through it support centres.
Ministry of Labour operates support centres tasked with helping firms comply with the policy in every province and ad hoc support centres tasked with providing assistance for SMEs that might be affected by the government’s minimum wage, which is chaired by permanent secretary of Ministry of Labour.
Mr. Somkiat said a total of 253 SMEs registered for assistances from the centres last month. Most of them asked for assistance on skill development, hiring migrant workers, tax and loans. The centres informed their demands to relevant agencies, which then would urgently provide them with assistance and follow up and report the results.
He said an operator in Phitsanulok province previously requested for an assistance from the centre. After Phitsanulok chief labour officer and his officials visited the firm and found that it needed financial assistance to enable it to comply with the policy, they notified the TMB Bank, which then provided a loan to the firm to ensure it has sufficient liquidity to sustain its business.
Ministry of Labour has joined an anti-dengue campaign, which is widely spreading in Thailand, asking for cooperation from firms to destroy mosquito larva in their factories and workers’ accommodation weekly. It also teaches workers and operators how to make lemongrass oil, which has an ability to prevent mosquito bite and sell it to workers at cheap price.
According to Department of Disease Control, there were 8,398 cases of dengue fever in Thailand form January 1- February 19 this year, or some 13.1 cases for every 100,000 people, which is four time higher than a normal level and the highest level in a decade. The death toll stood at 10, or 0.12 percent.
It expects that Thailand will record up to 120,000-150,000 cases of dengue fever this year. 80 percent of the patients will need to receive treatment in the hospital while two percent could go into shock. The death toll could reach 140-200; most of them would be studying age children and working age people.
Ministry of Labour is aware of the importance of working age people and the impact of dengue fever could have on people’s properties and the country’s economy. It is, therefore, supporting to make firms and factories larva free. It has asked for cooperation from firms to instruct their personnel to eliminate larva in their factories and workers’ accommodation weekly, starting from March 15 until May 15.
It has asked firms to closely monitor dengue situation, particularly on June 15, which is the ASEAN Dengue Day and take their workers who are infected to hospitals. It has also asked firms to set up mosquito traps in their factories and workers’ accommodation.
Firms are also urged to use Thai indigenous knowledge to eliminate larva and prevent mosquito bites on people, covering the use of guppies, red lime, galangal, used engine oil, vinegar, sulphur, leech lime and salt. Furthermore, it has teached workers and operators how to make lemongrass oil, which has an ability to prevent mosquito bite and sell it to workers at cheap price.
Mrs. Jantanee Chayasriwong, President of Ladies Association, said the Red Cross Fair will be held under the theme of “United for Peace and People” for nine days from March 29-May 6, 2013 to mark the 120th anniversary of Thailand’s Red Cross Society. It is also to honor HM the King’s 85th birthday anniversary, HM the Queen’s 80th birthday anniversary and HRH Princess Sirindhon, who is the director of the Red Cross Society, the humanitarian origination which was found in 1893.
Many private and government organisations will also participate in this year’s Red Cross Fair. Ministry of Labour’s booth will be situated in Suapa Field near PTT petrol station and the exit of Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall.
Mrs. Jantanee said Ministry of Labour and the Ladies Association will hold various activities in this year’s Red Cross Fair to raise fund to the Red Cross Society, which include the sales of Red Cross lottery “Labour Lotto”. The association has printed 4,000 books of tickets, 10 for each book and they are already on sales at the price of 100 baht per ticket.
At the event, there will also be exhibitions to honor HM the King, HM the Queen and HRH Princess Sirindhon, presentation about Ministry of Labour’s missions and assistance measures for firms affected by the government’s 300 baht daily minimum wage policy and Bingo game.
Department of Employment and Department of Skill Development will also hold job demonstrations every day from 2 pm – 5pm, except for the first and final day. All the activities and prizes are sponsored by Ministry of Labour.
Ministry of Labour and its’ Ladies Association will jointly organise the 2013 Red Cross Fair to honor His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn. This year will mark the 120 anniversary of the establishment of Thailand’s Red Cross Society.
On 19 March 2013 in Hanoi, Vietnam, the Minister of Education, Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, attended a bilateral discussion on educational cooperation with the Minister of Education of the Philippines H. E. Br. Armin A. Luistro Fsc.
The Minister of Education of the Philippines admired Thai education reform, especially the policy for issuing free mobile tablets for primary students which responds to future education management which emphasizes the use of more modern technology and computers. He also talked about the policy for reducing in-class learning and increasing the rate of general and vocational educations to 50:50.
Mr. Phongthep said that the mobile tablets given to Thai students aimed to facilitate faster access to information. However, tablets cannot completely replace textbooks. So, in the academic year 2013, textbooks and tablets will still be distributed to all primary students.
In terms of reducing in class learning, the Ministry of Education follows UNESCO's standard because, in developed countries, students spend more time researching outside classroom.
In addition, more Filipino teachers are coming to teach in Thailand and both countries are formulating an agreement for teacher exchange which is crucial for the ASEAN Community as those teachers are like educational ambassadors who create knowledge-sharing. It is expected that in April or May, 2013, both countries will sign an agreement on teacher exchange.
During the bilateral discussion, the Minister of Education from Thailand raised the issue of the upcoming ASEAN Community in which Thailand will provide teaching English and ASEAN languages to Thai students and the adjustment of the schedule for academic years to accommodate transfer of Thai students as well as categorizing student visas according to the type of courses the students will attend.
The Minister of Education, Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, spoke about the Cabinet's resolutions on educational affairs on 19 March 2013. The two major issues were as follows:
Approval of a Framework for Cooperation concerning the Educational Partnership between the Thai and the New Zealand Governments
The Minister of Education said that the Cabinet had already approved the proposed framework of cooperation and, prior to the signing of this document, if any modifications were needed for less important contents, the Ministry of Education could discuss this with the Department of Treaties and Laws of the Foreign Affairs Ministry without proposing it again to the Cabinet.
Approval of Regulations on Annual Money Awards for the Fiscal Year 2011 for Public Offices, Provincial Offices and Universities
1. The Cabinet agreed that public officers should be categorized into three groups according to the amount of money to be awarded. The regulations are as follows:
- The first group consists of senior officers (lower and higher executives, lower and higher administrators and qualified and specialized academics) who will enjoy the payment rate of 1.00;
- The second group consists of the intermediate level public officers (skilled and special skilled academics) who will enjoy the payment rate of 1.25; and
- The third group consists of the lower level public officers (operational academics and general officers) who will enjoy the payment rate of 1.40.
2. The Cabinet also approved the proposed regulations and approaches of money award payment for the fiscal year of 2011 for the money awards of 2011.
OVEC) recently organized a farewell ceremony for 90 Chinese teaching volunteers who completed one year teaching terms at 78 vocational colleges in Thailand and awarded them with honorary certificates.
The Deputy Secretary General of OVEC, Dr. Akanith Khlangsaeng, said that this event was held by the Ministry of Education and the Office of Promotion of Teaching and Learning Chinese as an International Language or HANBAN. Every year, the Chinese government will grant Chinese teachers scholarships for 10 month training and field trips abroad. Chinese teachers will play crucial roles in improving the skills and knowledge of the staff of OVEC in terms of teaching Chinese to Thai students . However, the number of Chinese volunteer teachers is not yet enough and teaching and learning materials are still greatly needed.
At present, many countries around the world enjoy modern economies with greater use of technology and modern knowledge. Therefore, Thailand has to improve various systems, including human resources development by building their capacity in terms of foreign languages. Chinese is a language widely used in current world communication. That is why Thai students and personnel in vocational education have to practice the language for the opening of the upcoming ASEAN Community.