UN praises Thailand for strides in early schooling
The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), that works for children's rights and development, has praised Thailand for its success in promoting early childhood education programmes.
Unicef said in a report released recently that more than 175 million children of pre-primary age are not enrolled globally, especially in low-income countries, with only one in five young children enrolled in pre-primary education.
According to the report titled "A world ready to learn", prioritising quality early childhood education and early childhood development (ECD) services will improve learning and children's future earning ability.
The report revealed that children enrolled in at least one year of pre-primary education are more likely to develop the critical skills they need to succeed in school, and are less likely to repeat grades or drop out of school.
That means they are more able to contribute to peaceful and prosperous societies and economies when they reach adulthood.
In Thailand, the report noted notable progress with 85% of children aged 3-5 years attending pre-primary education or early childhood education programmes.
In addition, equity has been achieved among the different wealth groups.
In 2005, 55% of the poorest children attended an early childhood education programme, compared to 78% of the richest children.
By 2016, 86% of children from the poorest households were attending early childhood education programmes.
The global report also noted that Thailand's remarkable success was the result of strong political will and attention to equity.
"Thailand should be proud of the achievement it has made in the past decade in ensuring that its young children have access to early childhood development and pre-primary education services," said Thomas Davin, Unicef Representative for Thailand.
"Thailand's commitment, adequate allocation of resources, as well as special focus on children from poor families has clearly yielded results as seen in the data," he said.