BANGKOK, 18 December 2014 - The Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) is looking to pilot its new core curriculum for basic education in 2016, before schools nationwide adopt it the following year.

Kamol Rodklai, secretary-general of the OBEC, said that the new core curriculum will be a major revamp of the one in use now. According to her, the B.E. 2551 core curriculum has been in use for six years and it is time to make adjustments to suit the social changes that have taken place since and also to support the goal of producing the type of human resources the country needs.

The OBEC will evaluate the pros and cons of the present curriculum, the curricula used by other countries as well as the draft of the basic education curriculum earlier studied by Mr. Phawit Thong-rot, a former secretary to the minister of education.

According to Mr. Kamol, the new core curriculum will place greater emphasis on local culture and way of life.

Thursday, 18 December 2014 14:57

PM attends science fair in Bangkok

BANGKOK, 18 Dec 2014,  Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has emphasized the importance of scientific and technology development and the creation of new innovation as a national strategy aimed at increasing the country's competitiveness in the modern world.

The comment was made during the opening ceremony of the science fair dubbed, ‘Return Happiness to the Youth’, now underway at the Planetarium in Bangkok until January 10th

Aside from being one of the government’s many New Year gifts for the public, the admission-free event serves as an initial step toward the nation's integration of science, technology and innovation.

According to the Prime Minister, the country is in need of technological advancement in order to strengthen its global competitiveness, adding that he has discussed with the Ministries of Education and Science & Technology about offering more science and technology courses in school.

The nation must lay down strategies involving the development of science, technology and innovation, in order to generate a new generation of experts in such areas and induce them to work in the nation’s education system, General Prayut said.

BANGKOK, 18 Dec 2014 - Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Amnuay Patise is confident that his ministry will be able to raise the price of third-grade smoked rubber sheets to 60 baht/kg by the end of this year. The minister is also preparing to visit rubber planters to raise their understanding about the Government’s sincerity and capacity in dealing with the issue.

According to Mr. Amnuay, the move on the new price, if achieved as planned, is considered faster than the ministry’s target. He expressed his belief that the rubber price issue would not be used as a political tool because the government was working to address the problem in direct coordination with planters’ representatives. A number of planters last week made a demand to the Government to buy their products at 80 baht/kg.

The minister also stated that steps are being taken to implement the Prime Minister’s suggestion to use rubber in the production of running tracks, tiles, roads, and other constructions as a way to boost the need and prices of rubber.

Mr. Amnuay said he was discussing with Finance Ministry officials a possibility of amending some laws that would facilitate more use of rubber and rubber processing without leaving rooms for corruption in the process.

Currently only 14% of rubber produced in the country is meant for domestic consumption.

BANGKOK, 18 Dec 2014 - The Commerce Ministry takes its turns to announce its New Year gift for the public -- a week-long grand sale event at major department stores nationwide from December 24th - 30th, hoping to help Thai citizens save more than 15 billion baht in combined cost of living.

According to Minister of Commerce General Chatchai Sarikallaya, the campaign which will offer a wide range of discounted goods, is a cooperation among major department stores, retailers, more than 10,000 branches of 7-Eleven convenience stores and Family Mart stores all over the Kingdom.

The products to be offered include all necessities of life, sold at a discount rate of upto 70%.

Meanwhile, Mr. Suwit Kingkeaw, Vice Chairman of the CP All Public Company Limited, one of the participating manufacturers, has asked shoppers during the event not to buy goods for hoarding, in order to allow others a fair chance to get their hands on the discounted goods.

BANGKOK, 16 December 2014 - Mr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Director of the South-East Asian Office of the World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed his gratitude to Thailand for playing host to the “ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers’ Special Meeting on Ebola Preparedness and Response” which was concluded yesterday (15 Dec).

The WHO regional director conveyed his thanks to General Tanasak Patimapragorn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, when he paid a courtesy call on him at the Foreign Ministry. Spokesman of the ministry Sek Wannametee said the WHO representative admired Thailand for her leading roles in the development t of public health in ASEAN.

Although the Ebola outbreak has not reached Asia yet, Poonam said the special meeting in Thailand has helped raise public awareness of the deadly virus and prompted all sectors in Asia to be ready to deal with the disease both at national and regional levels.

Poonam also commended the Universal Health Coverage Scheme of Thailand which has been incorporated as one of the six WHO’s public health strategies. WHO has also used Thailand as a model of public health service for other developing countries.

During the meeting Gen Tanasak confirmed the WHO representative of Thailand’s commitment to push forward public health issue as an important agenda in the post-2015 development guideline of the UN.

BANGKOK, 17 December 2014 - The Minister of Finance has ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to keep its eyes on the activities of suspected stock market manipulators, in light of the steep decline of the SET index on Monday.

Finance Minister Sommai Phasee admitted on Tuesday that there were groups of individuals who attempted to manipulate stock prices on Monday, during which the SET index was seen shedding as many as 138 points, for the purpose of re-acquiring the stocks at cheaper prices. According to Mr. Sommai, the current volatility in the stock market is being caused by external factors, and that stock indices worldwide have been declining because of concerns over the oil price decline.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha indicated on Tuesday that Monday's drop of the stock index resulted from groundless rumors, and relevant agencies were determining whether there had been any orchestrated attempt to spread the said rumors for the purpose of manipulating stock prices. General Prayut said this behavior had been detected in the past, and the public must exercise caution when making investment decisions.

BANGKOK, 17 December 2014 - Organizations within the agriculture and food industries have expressed their confidence in Thailand's food exports breaking the 1 trillion baht threshold by the end of the year, after the the export value was found to have grown 11.5% over the first ten months of the year.

Mr. Phetchara Chinnabut, director of the National Food Institute (NFI), expressed the belief during a joint press conference held on Tuesday by the NFI, the Board of Trade of Thailand and the Federation of Thai Industries. The agencies have found that food exports during the first 10 months increased to 851.2 billion baht. Based on the figure, the agencies projected that the entire year's export value would reach 1.01 trillion baht. This would be a 15.4% expansion from the previous year's value; it would also the first time that Thailand has exported as much as a trillion baht in food.

Mr. Phetchara said a large expansion in food exports is expected over the final quarter of the year, as importers stock up on processed food items for resale during the winter and the year-end holiday seasons. The depreciation of the baht is also expected to be a boon to exports during the said period.

Sales value of most export food items have increased in the past ten months save for sugar and canned pineapples, which have declined.

Mr. Phetchara added that export destinations with good growth potential in 2015 included China, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 13:39

Motorists in bliss as fuel prices hit new low

BURIRAM, 17 Dec 2014 - The recently adjusted fuel prices have livened up fuel consumption scenes nationwide. Meanwhile, majority of the residents have put their faith in the Government in addressing the economic problems.

Vehicles owners in Buriram have gathered at nearest gas stations to fill up their vehicles as the major petroleum producers announced the drop in Benzene and Diesel prices yesterday, sparking lively atmospheres at various petrol stations in the province.

They shared the same view that the new round of fuel price reduction would greatly lift their financial burdens, while expressing their confidence in the Government’s ability in tackling the economic issues of the Kingdom.

Elsewhere in Uthai Thani Province, commuters yesterday brought their vehicles to fill up the gas throughout the day, the same as agricultural operators who needs Diesel fuel for their equipment.

Similarly in Ang Thong and Songkhla Provinces, residents lined up at petrol stations to fill up their cars’ and motorbikes’ gas tanks. Gas station operators are expecting the scene to continue all the way until the New Year when commuters often go on road trips.

Majority of the commuters have expressed their joy for the new gas prices which have dropped to the lowest level in the recent years.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 13:35

MOPH unwraps its New Year gifts

BANGKOK, 17 Dec 2014 - The Ministry of Public Health has unwrapped its New Year’s Day gifts for the public comprising six free health services. 

YALA, 14 Dec 2014 - The private sector and general public have donated consumption items to authorities in the southernmost provinces as a gesture of thankfulness for those on duty in the danger-prone areas.

The donated items, comprising ready-to-eat food, soap, shampoo, and medicines, were transported by train from the capital to Yala province. The items were collected by high-ranking officials from the Internal Security Operations Command which will later distribute them to security officials working in risky areas.

The donation is part of the project aimed at encouraging the general public and the private sector to show their gratefulness and appreciation to defense officials who risk their life to protect the country.

The Internal Security Operations Command thanked all the donors, saying that the donated items meant greatly to the officials there.

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