A report on Thailand's progress on adult learning and education (ALE) says Thailand has spent more than 4% of its education budget on ALE.
Unesco's fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (Grale 4) spotlights progress made by Thailand in strengthening the education of its elderly people and promoting their learning, health and well-being, observers say.
The report suggests Thailand is one of only 13 countries that identified older adults as one of their target groups which reflects the seriousness with which it views the challenges of an ageing society.
Adult education is central to sustainable development and economic growth. However, in almost one-third of countries, fewer than 5% of adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programmes, it said. Disadvantaged groups, in particular, are often deprived of their right to education. Adults with disabilities, older adults, refugees and migrants, and minority groups are among those losing out.
The report found that in Asia, community learning centres (CLCs) have come to play an essential role in providing the rural population with adult learning and education opportunities which also help their general life prospects.
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have all increased the number of CLCs, which has increased the number of rural learners in literacy, life skills and various vocational programmes.
The report also spotlights Thailand's senior active learning centres (Salcs), first launched in 2008 in response to a 2006 white paper titled Towards the Aged Society: Policies for Older Adults.
Today, 368 Salcs are being managed by schools, colleges, civic groups or municipal governments, and offer policy-related lectures, self-organised interest courses, and contribution and service activities, such as volunteer and service delivery in schools or communities. The findings of the global report are based on data submitted by 159 countries.