ASEAN Community Built through Education: With Thailand as a Key Contributor

Nisarat Karnrat


Abstract: ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) was established in 1967 with the Declaration of Bangkok. In 1976, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation was signed among member countries, which set the basis of ASEAN as a regional security organization. At its 30th anniversary, the ASEAN leaders proposed the ASEAN Vision 2020 to deepen further integration of member states, to form a resilient ASEAN Community, which will be based on three pillars – political-security community, economic community, and socio-cultural community. The Cha-am Hua Hin Summit in 2009 adopted the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community to guide the member countries to work for this common vision. Education is considered as an important way to realize such kind of integration process. For this, ASEAN ministers passed two important documents: the Five-Year Work Plan on Education and the Curriculum Sourcebook. Communication via English is put as a key tool. Thailand has played an important role during this process as one of the founding states. In 2018, when Thailand took the chairmanship again, it became a new opportunity to push cooperation between ASEAN and Thailand. For example, the Thai government adapted its education policy according to the ASEAN education plan, including promoting English teaching in primary and secondary schools. As the only country never colonized in South East Asia, Thailand really has some privileges compared to other member countries. In particular, its meditative role between the East and the West through the Cold War era, will also help it develop as an education hub, to push forward the ASEAN community.

Key Words: ASEAN Community, Education, Thailand, English

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ISSN : 2251-1571