Culture Ministry to publish moral fables for children to promote junta's nationalistic Thai values

Thai Ministry of Culture aims to promote the junta’s controversial 12 nationalistic Thai values by publishing books of fables.

Nuntiya Swangvudthitham, Director-General of the Department of Culture Promotion (DCP), under the Ministry of Culture responsible for preserving and promoting ‘Thai values’, revealed on Monday that the DCP will publish books of moral fables (nitan kunnatham) to promote the junta’s 12 nationalistic Thai values as new year gifts for the nation’s youth.

The junta’s controversial 12 Thai values were prompted by Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader, shortly after the coup d’état in May 2014 to promote what he claimed as the intrinsic national values of Thai people.  The values include loving the nation, religions, and monarchy, having discipline and respect for the law and elders, and possessing the correct understanding of democracy with the monarchy as head of the state. 

These values are promoted as the core principles of Thai education reform.

Last year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) came up with a similar plan to promote these nationalistic values by implementing the so called “Merit Passport,” a notebook where each student keeps a daily record of their behaviour, attitudes, and activities, from grade one to grade nine. If implemented, the Merit Passport would become an important criterion in the competitive university admissions procedure nationwide.  

Nuntiya cited that the fable books are meant to integrate the 12 Thai values, which is an urgent project of the government, with the promotion of reading, a learning culture, good values and consciousness through reading.

She added that the agenda is to raise awareness among Thai youth of the preservation of Thai traditions and culture for ‘national security’ and for the physical and spiritual development of youth who will become the future generation of ‘good citizens’.

The DCP announced that the books of fables will be distributed nationwide through the Culture Council Association of Thailand, the Chalermraja Cultural Centre, and over 7,000 schools nationwide.