Crown Prince: Education key to progress
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has devoted his life and resources to aiding the development of the Kingdom and improving Thai people's livelihoods.
HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is preparing to accept an invitation to become the country's next King. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Education is one area the Crown Prince values as it is important for human development.
He has initiated many education projects with the aim of improving Thai children's access to quality education and make them understand the concept of lifelong learning.
The Crown Prince once told a graduation ceremony for students from various campuses of Rajabhat University: "Success in life comes not only from the knowledge learned at university or school but also from other factors such as responsibilities to oneself, to work and society. Graduates must therefore remember to keep seeking out further knowledge and instil the required responsibilities into themselves.
Sombat Kochasit, chairman of the Council of Rajabhat University Presidents of Thailand, said the Crown Prince has presided over the commencement ceremonies at Rajabhat universities nationwide and personally handed out degrees to all Rajabhat university graduates every year since 1978.
"Rajabhat universities nationwide have grown up under his mercy," she said.
Over the past 35 years, at least 2,100,000 degrees are estimated to have been handed out directly by the Crown Prince to Rajabhat university graduates.
"To sit still for many hours and hand out a large number of degrees to university graduates is not an easy job, not just for the Crown Prince but everyone. However, he still decided to do it," Ms Sombat said.
Apart from presiding over the commencement ceremonies, the Crown Prince founded the "Krurupradit Scholarship" for Rajabhat students who study in teacher-training programmes as he is well aware of the country's critical shortage of teachers.
He contributes 42 million baht from his personal funds to the "Krurupradit Scholarship" each year.
In 2012, to mark his auspicious 5th-cycle birthday anniversary on July 28 that year, he provided 41 additional scholarships to Rajabhat students, Ms Sombat said. In 2009 he also established the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn Foundation.
The foundation was established to create scholarship opportunities for young Thai students suffering financial hardship but who achieved exceptional academic performance in school and exhibited determination in learning, good behaviour and morals, she said.
Students are granted scholarships to study in high school, at undergraduate level to earn a bachelor's degree or the equivalent, and the highest level of post-graduate study.