Human rights lessons to be part of Thai curriculum


By M. VEERA PANDIYAN

HUMAN rights will be part of the curriculum in Thai kindergartens, schools and universities next year. 

The syllabi were being worked out by the Education Ministry and the National Human Rights Commission, according to a local newspaper report yesterday. It quoted commission member Suthin Nopphaket as saying that the subject would be included in textbooks under social science studies. 

“Thai students are not aware of human rights. They don’t know what rights they have or those of other people,” he said. 

We will not copy everything from western countries,” he said. “We will adapt the subject to suit Thai culture and society. “We don’t want to see students suing parents after being whipped or protesting against school regulations on hairstyle,” he said. 

·THE Justice Ministry and Social Development and Human Security Ministry are planning to increase the minimum age for criminal punishment from seven to 12. 

Justice Ministry’s Central Observation and Protection Department director-general Wanchai Rujanawong said amendments would have to be made to the Penal Code after the details were worked out. 

“This is in line with international standards. In some countries, the minimum age is 14,” he said. 

·TEMPLES across the country were crowded with people pledging to abstain from drinking and other vices at the start of the three-month long Phansa (Buddhist Lent) as police strictly enforced a law prohibiting the sale of alcohol during the holy day yesterday. 

The pledges of abstentions started at a ceremony here on Sunday during which Justice Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana led thousands of people in swearing to stay off booze and joined them in a mass prayer and meditation. 

One of the most famous monks, Phra Phayom Kalayano in Nonthaburi, questioned the government’s sincerity in organising such campaigns. 

He said the government should not promote locally-brewed wines and spirits and at the same time urge the people not to drink.  

For Another perspective from The Nation, a partner of Asia News Network, click here

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