Reading in Thailand

Before 1990 The Thai society tended to view education only in terms of study in school and university with parents expecting the school to be the source of learning. There were no special programs for pre-schoolers. Budget constraints and attitudes of educators as well as state officials contributed to negligible reading habits nationwide.The dominant doctrine was that small children needed to be fed and clothed, and as the parents often had to work full time to be able to provide for their families, this would be partly done at daycare centers. If there was some money available it would be spent on a television with video recording to keep the children entertained. No one realized the benefits of reading to young children, and there was no media coverage about children’s literature. There was no awareness, and there were hardly any children books available, when the TWA started reading activities in 1999. While educators worldwide were increasingly recognizing that reading habits needed to be instilled in children at a very young age, promoting reading during childhood in Thailand often meant little more than donating a few books.