Nichkhun Horvejkul, Friend of UNICEF, promotes early childhood development
12 December 2013 - Today, Nichkhun Horvejkul, Friend of UNICEF, visited Tung Mahamek School in Bangkok to raise awareness in the importance of early childhood development. Spending hours participating in several activities with the children such as drawing, painting and making traditional necklace, Nichkhun urged the public to pay more attention to early learning.
“Children aged 3-6 need to attend early childhood development centre in order to develop physical skills and creativity,” said Nichkhun adding that the first six years of life is the most important period of development in a child’s life due to rapid brain development. “It’s not only about reading and writing, but it’s important that children use their imagination and exercise their brain.”
In Thailand, only 85 per cent of children attend some form of organized early childhood education, according Thailand Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2012 conducted by the National Statistical Office with support from UNICEF. In addition, only 34 per cent of the 8,276 early childhood centres surveyed met the government’s minimum standards, according to the Office of National Education Standards and Quality Assurance.
Tung Mahamek School is one of 11 ECD demonstration centres applying Early Learning Development Standards (ELDS) in their daily activities for children. The ELDS, developed by the National Committee on Early Childhood Development with UNICEF support, are guidelines on the kind of care and activities that caretakers and parents should adopt in order to promote optimum childhood development for children aged 0-5 years old. These standards, which also set measurable development levels for young children, will serve as the guiding framework for early childhood development for children throughout the country.