1. Siam in the Expansion period 1905 - 1934

In the preceding chapter, we considered the foundation period of primary education reform from 1871 to 1904, particularly in relation to ethics instruction. In this chapter, we will consider the second period of reform - the expansion period. This period, extending from 1905 to 1934, embraced the last five years of King Rama V's reign (1905 - 1910), together with the reigns of Kings Vajiravudh (or Rama VI, 1910 - 1925) and Prajadiphok (or Rama VII, 1925 - 1934). These were eventful years for Siam, witnessing the rise of a new political class, the country's entry upon the international stage through its participation in the Great War and the League of Nations, the effects of the Great Depression, the abrupt transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy in the revolution of 1932, and the abdication of the reigning monarch Rama VII in 1934.

‘Goodness, beauty and prosperity will be with them throughout their lives if they have acquired education.'[1] These words from Rama V's decree of 1871 sum up his vision of education, including its moral dimension. As we have seen, he began by ‘modernising' education within the palace, but by the end of his reign had embarked on the expansion of educational opportunities to people of all classes throughout Siam.

Early in the expansion period, the subject of Ethics was added to the primary curriculum, its content comprising essentially a course in Buddhist morality. This reflected the anxiety of Rama V that the people would lose touch with their ethical and spiritual roots in Buddhism - a possible undesirable side-effect of his own attempts modernise (which meant, in effect, to ‘secularise') the education system.

At the start of the foundation period, Rama V's most pressing educational concern had been to produce more highly qualified and competent administrators to staff the offices of his government. By the end of his reign, however, the realisation was growing that a modern state needed not just a literate bureaucracy but also a diversely skilled workforce capable of supporting a productive and diversified economy. Thus, by 1913, King Vajiravudh (Rama V's son) had proclaimed two national educational goals: to broaden the scope of public education beyond the art of reading and writing, and to educate the people for productive vocations.[2]

Attempts to develop basic education on these lines, and even to provide opportunities for higher education, continued through the reign of Prajadhipok (Rama VII: 1925-1934). In 1932, however, a coup took real power from his hands, leaving him as a figurehead. Nevertheless, the cause of public education was taken up vigorously by the new national government. Article 63 of the 1932 Constitution stated that ‘all educational institutions must be under the State and more than half of the population will complete primary education by 1942.'[3]

The revolution had been carried out in the name of democracy, but the revolutionaries were uncomfortably aware that the Siamese people had little notion of what would be required of them in a parliamentary state. Thus Siam's the school system found itself charged with an additional task - to educate citizens for democracy.

Before focusing on the changes made to education in the expansion period, we must explore more fully these aspects of the historical context.[4][5]

1.2. Politics and Administration 1905-1934 (B.E. 2448-2477)

Faced with the advance of western colonialism, King Rama V had embarked on a radical program of modernization of Siamese society. Only a ‘modern' Siam could preserve its independence and identity against Western power. But modernisation was a long-term strategy. In the short term, it was necessary to play for time by cultivating friendly relations with the colonial powers, in the hope of forestalling any confrontation that might lead to the loss of territory or sovereignty. Accordingly, Rama V signed a number of unequal treaties, granting extraterritorial rights to European citizens, and even gave up some of his dominions to assuage the imperial appetites of Britain and France.

From 1894, Rama V carried out a major administrative reorganization, putting in place a system which still forms the basis of public administration today. Administration was decentralized to regional and local authorities (Monthons) under the power of the Interior Ministry. Each region comprised a number of provinces (or towns), and each province a number of districts and villages. The head of each region was a Lord-Lieutenant, or sometimes a Viceroy, who was invested with full power to administer his area under the provisions of the Royal Decrees promulgated from time to time. Governors and district officers were appointed in all rural areas. Bangkok was exempted from this system, as the king remained its supreme head, although he delegated this power to the Metropolitan Ministry.[6] Taken as a whole, these measures were successful both in maintaining the country's independence throughout the turbulent years of the Western colonial threat and in providing a foundation for the modern system of government.[7] [Was this the local government system that inherited responsibility for the local schools in 1935, after the failure of the local committee system was acknowledged?]

1.2.1. King Vajiravudh (1910 - 1925)

At the death of Rama V in 1910, his son Prince Vajiravudh succeeded to the throne as Rama VI. The first Siamese monarch to receive an education abroad, Vajiravudh had attended Sandhurst and Christchurch College, Oxford, spending nine years in England before his return to Siam in January 1903.[8]

As king, Vajiravudh continued the process of nation-building and administrative reform begun by his father. By this time, the educational initiatives of the previous reign were producing actual improvements in the quality of governmental administration. Junior officials were better qualified and more capable. In addition, at the elite levels of government, many of the king's brothers had, like the king himself, completed studies in Europe in a range of fields including natural science, finance, public administration, military science, and diplomacy. They were able to bring this expertise to their leading roles in government.

As a result of the high importance attached to it by the crown over two reigns, government service acquired a prestige that made people prefer it to other occupations. In the expansion period, the government increasingly saw that this tendency was not wholly beneficial to the broader development of Siam's society or economy.[9] People's aspirations needed to be channelled in the direction of economically productive work.

Meanwhile, the upper echelons of the growing bureaucratic class had become part of a new social elite. There were two other strands to this elite: the officers of the new standing army, and the business class that had emerged since the Bowring treaty opened up Siam to free international trade in 1855. Together, these three groups formed a new ‘political class' that increasingly resented its exclusion from power. As we will see, this sense of exclusion ultimately found expression in the revolution of 1932.

Vajiravudh, however, was more preoccupied with Siam's fortunes in the international arena than with creating a fairer distribution of power within the kingdom. If Siam was to stay independent, its people had to be made patriotic and ready to fight for their nation. Accordingly, from the beginning of his reign, he tried to promote nationalistic feelings in Thai men and boys, and to develop military discipline and training. To this end, he founded the Boy Scout Organization in 1909. Boys were encouraged to join the scouts, where they learned to be patriotic, to obey rules and orders, and to sacrifice themselves for their country.[10] In 1911, a Senior Scouts Corps was established and became, in effect, a territorial army. As we will see, scouting activities were also eventually incorporated into the school curriculum. Thus, these patriotic and military virtues became part of the ethics that the school system tried to inculcate.

Another step in the same direction was the creation of the ‘Wild Tiger' (Sua Pa) Corps in 1911. The name was borrowed from the group of men who kept watch on the frontiers of Siam. These Wild Tigers of the past were believed to have embodied qualities such as hardiness, patriotism, piety, fearlessness, and devotion to the king, combined with deep knowledge of both nature and warfare - all the qualities, in short, that Vajiravudh wanted to promote among Siamese manhood in his own day.[11]

World War I provided Siam with an opportunity to test its new military prowess, and to raise its international profile. Vajiravudh prudently maintained neutrality through most of the war, but in July 1917 he decided that the time had come to demonstrate Siam's progress towards modern nationhood. He entered the war on the side of the Allies, sending an expeditionary force of 1,200 volunteers to Europe.

Shortly after entering the war, Vajiravudh also changed the national flag, abandoning the motif (introduced by Rama II) of an elephant on a red ground, and replacing it with the Siamese tricolour, which remains in use today. The choice of red, white and blue was a shrewd gesture of solidarity with Siam's war allies - in particular the colonial powers, Britain and France - which had flags of the same three colours.

The deeper significance of the flag, however, was as a symbol of the new consciousness that Vajiravudh wanted to create in Siam - and for which education was to be an important instrument. The Siamese (still, in reality, mainly a nation of subsistence farmers, living in remote villages, most of whom had never seen a foreigner, or read a newspaper) had to be made more aware of their Siamese identity; they had to be made to feel a patriotism that transcended local loyalties, and become willing to fight or make sacrifices for their country. The new flag communicated this duty. It had five horizontal stripes (from top to bottom: red, white, blue, white, and red). The red stripes stood for the nation (and for blood spilt in its defence), the white ones for religion (the moral purity of the Dhamma), and the wider blue band in the centre - occupying one-third of the total area - symbolized the monarchy. The monarch would be a focus for patriotism, crystallising a vague sense of belonging into a specific obligation. In this way, loyalty to the monarchy became part of ‘ethics' that were cultivated in the school system.

Vajiravudh's efforts to play the part of friend to the colonial powers met with some success. Upon the defeat of Germany in 1918, Siam participated in the Versailles conference and became a founding member of the League of Nations. Having thus achieved a presence in the international arena, Siam began to renegotiate the unequal treaties of the two preceding reigns. In 1920 the United States became the first country to give up special trading privileges and extraterritorial rights, except in certain cases.[12]

But growing international esteem could not stop growing discontent at home, which was in fact being fuelled by education. By this time, not only members of the royal family were being educated abroad. Some members of the foreign-educated elite brought radical political ideas back with them when they came home from Europe. At the same time, Siam itself was becoming more exposed to western culture, as the growth of literacy created a minority market for newspapers and literature. Western novels and romances were translated, and film screenings were common in Bangkok by the time Vajiravudh came to the throne in 1910. Ideas of freedom and equality were part and parcel of this cultural influx.[13]

At the same time, the conspicuous wealth and unrestrained power of the royal family began to provoke resentment. The behaviour of Vajiravudh, an aesthete who loved display, tended to fuel this ill will. His coronation in 1910, a grand affair attended by royalty from Europe and Japan, swallowed no less than 8% of the national budget. This and other extravagances, such as his enthusiasm for palace-building, soon got him into debt, necessitating a foreign loan. For all Vajiravudh's intellectual sophistication, such habits made it difficult for him to command the same respect as his father. A challenge to absolutism began to take shape in Siam among the new political class.[14]

Even before Vajiravudh, Rama V had been confronted with the question of whether to share his power. As we have seen, he resisted the suggestion that he move towards a more constitutional form of government in his lifetime. However, he realised that this resistance could not last forever. Shortly before his death in 1910, he stated to ministers his wish that the Crown Prince Vajiravudh should introduce a constitution and a parliament when he eventually to the throne.[15] When that time came, however, Vajiravudh did no such thing.

In 1912, two years after Vajiravudh's accession, a group of junior army officers, exasperated with absolutism, plotted a coup d'etat. Their plan was discovered before it could be implemented and the leaders were imprisoned. However, the attempt forced Vajiravudh to recognise the vulnerability of his position. At first, he attempted to enter into dialogue with the critics by giving lectures and writing articles for the press (something that his education and literary ability qualified him to do), sometimes under the concealment of pseudonyms.[16] For example, in Klon Tid Law (‘Mud on Wheels'), he argued that the main obstruction to the development of the kingdom was the lack of competent people: the implication was perhaps that Siam was not ready for democracy yet.

But by 1916 the king had lost patience. Giving up on dialogue and experimentation, he opted for repression. He began by closing down certain newspapers on various pretexts, and in 1923, (after some years of hesitation prompted by fear of western criticism), he enshrined censorship in law, prosecuting many publishers and closing many presses. Yet even now, realising perhaps that history was against him, he equivocated by showing some willingness to move towards constitutional government. As late as 1924, he stated that:

If people really want a constitution, and if it is well intended, then petition for it. I shall not hold any grudges against anyone for doing so. I shall consider the pros and cons of the petition. I myself think that it is better to have a constitution, and feel that for one person to hold absolute power is not judicious.[17]

However, any further steps that he might have taken towards constitutional government were cut short. After ruling Siam for 15 years, Vajiravudh died of blood poisoning in 1925 at the early age of 44.

King Vajiravudh deliberately ignored the current tradition that each reigning ruler usually set up one royal monastery by turning his attention to setting up an educational institution instead; he had Vajiravudh College established under his patronage. [This might go better in the later section on religion. It might suggest that the influence of Buddhism faded a bit in Vajiravudh's reign.]

1.2.2. Prajadhipok (Rama VII) 1925-1934

King Prajadhipok, officially named Rama VII, came to the throne in 1925. He promulgated many new laws such as the Land Expropriation Act 1928, the marriage law amendment 1930, etc. [Something should be said about the significance of these laws. Otherwise, the reader learns little from these statements.] All of these laws were thoroughly scrutinized [by whom?] and were strictly adhered to by the populace, which positively affected the country [This sounds too blandly positive and uncritical - see my ‘advice'.]

[Also, I think you need to say something about Prajadhipok's policies on education and Ethics instruction. If he simply continued the policies of Rama VII, you need to say so explicitly. ]

Prajadhipok's plans were upset by two great events. The first was the Wall Street crash of 1929, which triggered the Great Depression. Siam's economy, like that of many other countries, was hit hard, and this fuelled the grievances of the political class. This dissatisfaction led to the second great event of the reign - the 1932 coup d'etat, which compelled Prajadhipok firstly to accept a constitutional form of government, and then to relinquish power altogether by abdicating.[18] As we shall see, the 1932 revolution also had an impact on the development of education, which thereafter was geared to the process of democratization. [19]

Even before the coup, Rama VII himself was aware of the dangers inherent in absolute monarchy. Intellectually, to some extent, he accepted the necessity for change. However, he proceeded too cautiously and slowly. Two years after his accession, he created a Supreme Council and the Committee of the Privy Council as means of broadening participation in decision making. Unfortunately, both these bodies were packed with members of the royal family and the aristocracy, and so did nothing to appease the frustrations of the political class.

Like his two predecessors, Prajadhipok took the view that Siam was not ready for an elected legislature. It would be unfair to dismiss this as a convenient rationalisation for maintaining absolutism. Prajadhipok was not the only sceptic on the question of whether democracy could work in Siam. In 1926, Francis B Sayre, an American advisor originally hired by Vajiravudh, was consulted by Prajadhipok on a variety of pressing political questions, including democracy. Sayre later recorded his advice as follows.

Discussing these issues with His Majesty, I had to point out the inherent dangers. In Siam there was no middle class. The Siamese peasants took little or no interest in public affairs but lived their simple lives in secluded rural districts. To set up a legislature and clothe it with real power overnight without an educated electorate to control it would be likely, I suggested, to invite trouble and possible corruption. Power uncontrolled was almost bound to breed corruption… As I talked with him I felt the utter sincerity of the new monarch and his real desire to lead Siam modern nationhood.[20]

The revolution of 1932 was not a mass uprising; no crowds were rallying in the streets. It was a bloodless coup conducted by leading elements of the new political class, eager to seize a share of power. Sayre's view that there was no widespread popular demand for democratic institutions at this time is corroborated by the contemporary account of the Bangkok Times:

There was no evidence that the masses took any part in the recent demonstration. The discontent of several salaried classes, especially of the officers of the Army and Navy, clearly counted most in the movement. At the same time a contributory cause is to be found in the extension of education in Siam since the middle of the nineteenth century. King Rama VII introduced western methods and technique to the country and the numbers of Siamese students trained in Europe increased. And [these classes of] educated officials, administrators, and officers having once been formed, it was only a question of time and opportunity before they demanded a share in the government of the country.[21]

The coup was staged by a group calling itself the People's Party. All of them were of the ‘commoner' class (khun nang), in other words from outside the ranks of the aristocracy. The ringleaders had begun their conspiracy five years before, in 1927, when they were students in Paris. Their western education had given them a keen sense of the inadequacy and backwardness of Siamese absolutism in the light of current Western democratic ideas. Pridi Banomyong, the leader of the People's Party, articulated its aims in six principles:

1. To guard independence in every way to ensure the security of the nation. This included independence in politics, the courts and the economy.

2. To preserve internal security and reduce internal strife.

3. To guarantee the economic well-being of the people, by creating full employment.

4. To make all citizens equal, so that princes and commoners had the same rights.

5. To grant all citizens freedom and equality, provided it did not conflict with the preceding principles.

6. To assure every person of a full education.

Acquiescence in the coup was not the only option available to Prajadhipok. Elements of the large armed forces would probably have remained loyal and fought the revolutionaries, had he given the command. However, he wanted to avoid bloodshed, and in principle he had long recognised the need to share power to some extent. He therefore agreed to the People's Party's demand for a constitution, hoping to maintain a position of leadership within a constitutional framework. Accordingly, on 10 December 1932, he signed Siam's first constitution, ending 700 years of absolute monarchy. This was a major turning point in Thai history, and despite the many constitutions that have followed, the fundamental principles laid down in 1932 remain the same today.

Behind the scenes, however, Prajadhipok and leaders of the royalist cause struggled over the next few years to retrieve as much as possible of royal power. There were counter-coups and some limited military confrontations. At one point, Pridi Banomyong, the leading theoretician among the revolutionaries, was briefly forced into exile. Steadily, however, the balance of power shifted to the revolutionaries. In 1934, Prajadhipok sailed to Europe, ostensibly for medical treatment. Long-distance negotiations failed to reach a compromise. In 1935, apparently despairing of the situation, he abdicated.

Even today, the 1932 coup remains controversial. Some historians have criticized Pridi and his party for failing to follow their six principles, while others have suggested that the principles themselves were inappropriate to the place and time. Still others have argued that the principles were good, but were misunderstood or misapplied by subsequent rulers, especially Sarit Thanarat, the eleventh Prime Minister, (1959-1963) who in theory was a devotee of the principles, but whose actual rule was a byword for tyranny and corruption.[22] I would agree with his opinion that the six principles should be developed as a network system not separated apparently and also they must be adapted according to the change and the context of time.

On balance, however, there is considerable agreement that the move towards democracy in 1932 was premature. Some have gone so far as to blame Rama VII for being too fainthearted in his absolutism, arguing that he should have fought back more decisively against the new elite in the interests of the nation as a whole. As Sayre had grasped, the great majority of Siamese people at this point had no notion of democratic principles, and their participation in any democratic process could at best be passive. They could not discern the difference between absolute and constitutional monarchy. As for the coup leaders themselves, if their understanding of democracy lacked depth, their grasp of the real needs of the people was arguably just as weak.[23] To quote Sayre once again:

Students returning from England or France or America often were unhappy and disturbed, with half-baked ideas about democracy and human liberty; they wanted Siam to adopt Western forms almost overnight, as if these were but outward garments. Many felt that Siamese culture was out of date, and their minds seethed with modern, western ideas, often superficial and misunderstood. [24]

1.3. The economy and public finances in the expansion period

Although the Siamese economy grew overall through this period, trade was mostly in the hands of foreigners. According to modern government estimates, as much as 40% of the income generated by Siamese trade in this era went abroad.[25] Under the terms of the Bowring agreement, still in force at this time, Siam's power to tax foreign businesses was narrowly circumscribed. [26]

In 1918, in the aftermath of the World War, the entire world was facing economic recession. Siam's balance of payments was in deficit from 1920 to the end of Vajiravudh's reign in 1925. Faced with falling revenues and the consequences of his own earlier extravagance, Vajiravudh was forced to make repeated cuts in government expenditure, and this increased his unpopularity among the military and the bureaucracy, which bore the brunt of the cuts.

This situation repeated itself a few years into the next reign. From the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, Rama VII found himself obliged to make cuts in public expenditure. He felt obliged to excuse his action to military officers on February 5, 1931, thus:

I fully realize that people who are the victims of the reduction program will be in deeper trouble since it is difficult for them to find other means of livelihood. I consequently feel extremely heavy-hearted and most sympathetic for those who have to leave. If I had other ways in which I could shoulder the burden, I would do everything for them but, as it is, I have no alternatives.... [27]

However, King Rama VII also encouraged and promoted the cooperative system by promulgating a law governing cooperatives in the year 1928. He commented, “Farmers who have limited capital but wish to pursue the same aims should form a cooperative so that they can mutually help one another in order to accumulate greater wealth …”[28]

Thus the great paradox of the ‘expansion' period of education reform was that the state's finances, which were essential to fund the expansion of education on the scale intended, were actually in crisis through most of the second half of the period.

1.4. Culture

From the reign of Rama IV, many aspects of Western culture were absorbed into Siamese life. As Europe was providing the model for progress in government, economics, and technology, its cultural influence could not be escaped. In some cases change was spontaneous, but in other it was imposed from above by the king.

One of the most visible changes was in people style of dress. King Rama V decreed that when he appeared in state, the officials attending him should not dispense with their upper attire. To appear ‘topless' would look barbaric to foreigners.[29] Thai women had traditionally kept their hair short and worn a waist-cloth with the end pulled between the legs and tucked in at the back. Now [When, exactly?] they started wearing skirts, grew their hair longer, and wore it in various Western styles.

Other examples of royally imposed cultural changes include the introduction of an official calendar and the use of surnames. On the model of the Christian system of dating, Vajiravudh decreed the use of a calendar commencing from the death of the Buddha (the Buddhist Era, abbreviated as B.E.), which he introduced with effect from 1st April B.E. 2455 (A.D. 1912). He also required everybody to have a surname. This was an innovation, as there was no tradition of family names in Siam. In order to comply, most families had to invent surnames for themselves (in some cases, the king obligingly provided one for them!) Even today, although surnames appear on official documents such as passports, they play little part in social interaction: even prominent individuals, including politicians, are usually referred to and addressed by their first name. [all this is interesting, but can you develop it to indicate any specific impacts that the western cultural influx had on your main subject, i.e. primary education and ethics instruction?]

Yet alongside this Westernisation of culture came a growing official concern to preserve Siamese traditions. King Rama VII established a Royal Institute to manage the Royal City Library's activities, investigate literary works, administer the national museum, catalogue and preserve ancient sites and objects, and to maintain Siamese arts and handicrafts.

1.5. Religion/Buddhism

Throughout the expansion period, the Siamese monarchy's traditional support for the textual basis of Buddhism and Buddhist studies was maintained. Vajiravudh promoted the study of Buddhism in the Thai language. Several texts on Buddhism in Thai, compiled during the reign of his father, were already extant, and many writers contributed more during his own reign, especially his uncle Prince Vajirayan, the Supreme Patriarch. Prajadhipok convened a council of monks under the chairmanship of Prince Jinavara Sirivatthana, the Supreme Patriarch of his reign, for the purpose of checking the contents of the 39 volumes of the Tripitaka (the Buddhist scriptural canon) that had been printed in the days of Rama V, comparing it to editions of the Tripitaka from other Buddhist countries. Revisions were made, and a new text, known as ‘the Siam-Rath edition', was printed in 1927.[30]

Prajadhipok took an interest in improving the education of children in Buddhism. He once said, ‘The teaching of Buddhism to children in Siam has not been satisfactory. Children must be taught to understand morals when they are very young. Religious texts for them should be written in a way that they easily understand.'[31] To remedy the situation, he established at his personal expense a foundation (which still exists today) to make awards to the winners of regular competitions for the best literary work in Thai on Buddhism. The winning texts were published and distributed to children on Visakha Bucha Day.

The position of Buddhism in Siam, and the role of the king in relation to it, were preserved in the 1932 Constitution, which stated that ‘the king must be a Buddhist and the upholder of Buddhism.'

The role of monks in the modernised school system peaked and began to wane during the expansion period. Although Rama V had clearly seen the need for professional lay teachers, he seems also to have envisaged that monks would indefinitely continue to play a part in modern education. This was part and parcel of his belief that ‘there exists no incompatibility between [the] acquisition of European science and the maintenance of our individuality as an independent Asiatic nation.'[32] As David Wyatt has put it, Rama V believed that ‘Traditional institutions [such as the] Buddhist monkhood… could, without creating copies of Western institutions, be bent to new ends that in essence were not so very different from the ideals of Buddhist Siamese civilization.'[33]

During the first part of the expansion period, practical necessity also contributed to the continuation of the monks' role in schooling. Modernisation was still in its early days, and the shortage of trained lay teachers obliged the government to continue to rely on the services of monks. Indeed, as late as 1909, we find the government issuing instructions to local authorities that monasteries which had not hitherto made a contribution towards public education should be encouraged to take part in the general endeavour.

However, the aim was to produce specially trained lay teachers, and it was inevitable that these would replace the monks in the long run. After all, the monastic sangha was an entity in its own right, with its own agenda and prestige. Monks could never be so amenable to state control as a body of state-trained and state-paid professional teachers. For this reason, from 1915 onwards there was a steady decrease in the total number of monks teaching in schools, even though the number of monasteries being used as school buildings continued to increase for a while.

While discussing the role of religion in the new system, we must also note that, although Christianity as a doctrine had little impact on the development of Siamese education (there were relatively few converts), Christian organisations contributed significantly to its growth. It pioneered the modern system of public education in offering Western Education to the kings and his children in the reign of King Rama IV and V. Many private schools were established by Christians in the next period.[34] [Which period do you mean by ‘next'? We are currently discussing 1905-35, so if you mean the period 1935-70, you should discuss it in the next chapter.]

2. Education

[There is a lot of good material in what follows (i.e. sections 2.1 - 2.6.) but also some major problems. I think the section needs radical re-organisation according to themes. I don't think I don't think it is right or possible for me to do this myself, as it would involve too much intervention in ‘your' thesis. However, I've written an extended note with suggestions on how you could re-order the material. I've put this in a separate file, which I am sending you with this. Please read it carefully and let me know what you think.]

2.1. Introduction

In June 1910, just four months before his coronation, Vajiravudh recorded in his diary his father's view that, ‘The staff of the Dhammakarn are making a lot of educational trips abroad, but they are obsessed with higher education and have established several colleges, without caring enough about primary education. If they take a closer look at foreign educational systems, they will realize that primary education is the responsibility of the municipalities and not of the Education Ministry, whose duty is only to make inspections.'[35]

Vajiravudh seems to have taken his father's words to heart, and formed a determination to make universal primary education a reality, and to create the network of local organisations that would be needed to do so.

He started in a modest way. In 1911 the government urged parents in Bangkok to send their children to school at the age of eight. They also began to consider making this a legal requirement. In the event, however, it was not until 1921 that primary education for children aged seven to fourteen was made compulsory by royal decree, although implementation of this was expected to be gradual.[36] In 1913, another Education Plan was promulgated. [What was the significance of this plan? Did it do anything to advance the goal you are talking about, i.e. universal primary education.] Clearly, the goal of universal Primary education could not be achieved without a workforce of competent teachers, and in the same year, the first teacher training college was established. In addition, the first commercial school was created. [What exactly was this and what was its significance?]

During the expansion period, the government's strategy for spreading education throughout the country was to create local committees to take responsibility for establishing and maintaining local schools. By the end of the period, as we shall see, this strategy had proved to be a failure and responsibility for schools was turned over to the municipalities.

The following paragraph is important, but too detailed for this short introduction and should be transferred to the fuller treatment of this subject later in the chapter. However, the local committees were not very successful in their work and they soon became inactive. In 1913, only 1,078 villages out of 5,053 had public education committees. In 1915 the committees were at work in 1,823 villages. and in 1932, the first year of the constitutional monarchy, only in 2839 villages. This means that a large number of villages were still in need of primary schools. The inefficiency of the Ministry of Interior in creating local schools may have been the primary reason why a government statute of 1935 turned local schools over to municipal government.[37]

From the start of the expansion period, the goals of public education began to shift away from mere literacy and the preparation of government officers towards creating a skilled workforce for the purposes of a modern economy. Rama V's educational reforms, which were aimed at preparing qualified personnel for government service, have often been blamed for creating among Thai people an entrenched preference for secure white-collar jobs in government service, to the detriment of other aspects of development, especially economic progress.

Rama V certainly had not meant to create a long-term public bias towards white-collar bureaucratic jobs. His aim had been to educate members of the public for their own benefit and that of society as a whole. However, even before the end of Rama V's reign, the ‘white collar bias' was becoming evident. In the introduction to the 1913[?] Education Plan, Chao Phraya Phrasadet Surentharathibodi (M.R. Pia Malakul), Rama V's Minister of Education went so far as to observe, rather scathingly, that there was ‘a surfeit of half-educated clerks'. He wished that these civil servants had received more specialized training across a wider range of subjects, such as agriculture, architecture, handicrafts, and commerce, as this would have been more beneficial to the economy.[38]

Accordingly, the objective of education was revised [When? In Vajiravudh's reign?] so that only outstanding students were encouraged to further purely academic education to the highest level. [This is important. Say more about who made this policy, and when and where it was first articulated.] The others were to receive education that would enable them to earn a living in their hometowns. The 1907 plan [Do you mean 1913?] attempted to make special or technical education more definitely vocational, and adjusted the graduation ages of technical primary and upper or advanced secondary education. Thus, some attempt to counteract the growing public appetite for bureaucratic jobs had already begun in the reign of Rama VI. [But 1907 was still in the reign of Rama V!]

The government wanted to develop vocational studies not only at school level but also in higher education. It was felt that highly trained graduates were needed in key vocational subjects, such as farming and architecture, as these were urgently needed for economic development. The Education Plan of 1913 therefore paved the way for the foundation of the first Thai university a few years later. [How did it ‘pave the way'?] In 1916, a Faculty of Engineering and a Faculty of Art and Science were added to the Medical and Public Administration sections of the Civil Servant School, and the expanded establishment was renamed ‘Chulalongkorn University'.[39]

In order to ensure a stream of suitable candidates for both kinds of higher education (i.e. for government service and for vocational studies) schooling education was divided [When? Was this in the 1913 Plan?] into two categories, ‘general' and vocational, each of which was organised in two levels: a five-year primary course and an eight-year secondary course. In the five-year primary course, the first three years provided general education, and the last two vocational education. The general education course was retained unchanged from the former system. The new two-year vocational program offered a range of practical subjects, including agriculture, basketry and cane work, embroidery, handicrafts, laundry, music, pottery, rope-making, silver-working, stock-raising, turnery and weaving. In practice, the subjects offered varied somewhat in relation to the needs of different localities. Students who did not want to go into this vocational programme in the fourth and fifth grade could proceed directly to secondary education immediately after the third grade. [Was there any distinction between general and vocational education at the Secondary level?] The eight-year secondary course was divided into three levels: introductory (three years), intermediate (three years) and senior (two years). [How were the ‘general' and ‘vocational' elements reflected in the secondary system?]

[In the foregoing, you include a lot of detailed information, only to repeat much of it (with some different details) later on in the chapter, where you give a blow-by-blow account of each revision of the curriculum. If you dealt with topics thematically, this problem could be avoided.]

[This paragraph is very good but probably belongs in the more detailed account below, not in this short introduction: A UNESCO report of 1950 on Thai education revealed that this attempt to make education vocational was not effective. The report noted that though the avowed aim of the 1935 Education Scheme had been to promote a vocational (and especially an agricultural) curriculum, in practice the curriculum offered little to imbue students with a love for the land or an awareness of the natural environment. Teaching relied heavily on book learning.[40] Worst of all, by the time of the report, many vocational schools had actually closed down because of the low take-up of their services. General education, however, remained popular as a route into the bureaucratic system.[41]

The information in the remainder of this introduction is quite detailed, so it would probably be better to integrate it into the subsequent sub-sections, instead of putting it in this general introduction. It also needs some clarification as it is quite bitty and confused, and possibly out of sequence.

This statute [Which one?] extended the discretionary powers of the Ministry of Education to set up programs of studies for public education. This may be due to the reorganization of the Ministry in 1911 which gave it more opportunity to exercise effective control over public education.

In 1909, it was determined that the Dhammakarn should work together with the Ministry of Interior and the Metropolitan Ministry to expand school facilities to make education available for people in every province throughout the country. The Ministry of the Metropolis was responsible for development in the Bangkok area, and the Ministry of Interior for the provinces. [So what was the role of the Dhammakarn in this?]

On April 10, 1911, the Dhammakarn and the Metropolitan Ministry jointly decided to divide education into two levels: preparatory or pre-primary education (Mula Suksa) and general education (primary, secondary and higher education). Schools were divided into three types: (1) government schools funded by the Dhammakarn; (2) public primary school (Prachabarn) supported by a certain tax revenue and other financial sources; and (3) private schools (Bukkala) supported by private funds. The last two types of schools came under the joint jurisdiction of the three Ministries concerned. [You've only mentioned 2 ministries here.]

Since then, [ ‘Since' means ‘from that time until the present'. Do you really mean ‘since' ,or ‘for the rest of the expansion period'?] national education policy consistently aimed to direct people towards vocational education. By 1913, the government realized that the 1902 Education plan no longer served the purpose of bringing general and technical education closer together, and the persuasive approach had failed to convince the people that technical education could be a more practicable means for their children's prospective occupations or professions. The government had adopted a new approach to the problem through educational mechanism. The Dhammakarn (from 1912) proposed a revision of the 1912 [1902?] Education Plan so as to provide general and technical education concurrently. Eventually, the new Education Plan was officially promulgated on October 30, 1913.

In addition, there were some new promulgations in education in this period such as 1) The National Educational Plan 1907 (B.E.2449) 2) The Curriculum for Girls' Education 1908 (B.E. 2451) 3) Primary Act 1921 (B.E. 2464) and 4) Primary Act, Revision II, 1930 (B.E. 2473) [This is meaningless unless you say something about the significance of these promulgations.]

2.2. Expansion of schooling

In 1906, the Minister of the Interior (who had formerly been the Minister of Education) made an agreement with the Minister of Education to assist the latter in implementing the following goals[42]:

1. All the boys of school age (seven years old) would be required [But you have said that schooling was not made compulsory until 1921. Do you really mean ‘required'?] to receive instruction from Buddhist monks in a monastery.

2. The instruction should be the minimum necessary to be of use to the boys in their future life's work. This would include general education, the scope of which would be shown in official textbooks.

3. Means should be provided to encourage gifted children to receive higher education.

4. The Ministry of Education would prepare four elementary textbooks - one on each of the four key subjects, namely (1) arithmetic, (2) reading, (3) moral teaching, and (4) study of common objects and phenomena [What does this mean? Is it basic natural science?] The Ministry of Interior would help to distribute these textbooks to Buddhist monks. The cost would be met by the government.

In 1906, Inspectors were appointed in the provinces and 369 schools were set up in monasteries. In 1907 came another revision of the national education plan, resulting from the realization that the preparation of personnel for government service had reached a near-saturation point, and that too many people were leaving traditional occupations such as farming for white collar or civil servant jobs. Educational policy was re-formulated on new principles. All male citizens of school age were to be educated in accordance with their ability, with the aim of equipping them to earn a living in their home areas. Outstanding students should have an opportunity to pursue their studies up to the highest level of education. [43]

In 1907, the syllabus of the vocational course was aligned with those in use in European educational systems. This meant that students who later chose to pursue higher education abroad would receive an appropriate preparation for doing so. Both French and English were used for instruction in these schools, but they were widely known as ‘English schools'.

More effective steps in enforcing the national system of public education were taken after the conferences of 1908 and 1909 [What conferences? Have you mentioned any conferences?!] Provincial administrators, both governors and district officers, were instructed to set up public education committees in every village. These committees would be responsible for setting up and running primary schools. In 1910, the government defined this requirement more precisely, specifying the creation of sub-district committees [what was a ‘sub-district'?], each of which was to be composed of one headman [define this term], one abbot and one medical man [How was ‘medical man' defined? Did it mean doctor trained in Western medicine?] to organize schools in the locality.

The abbot would be the chairman of the committee and would supervise the instruction given by monks. The other two (lay) members would inspect the attendance of all school-age children within the village. At this point, attendance was not yet compulsory, but the task of the committee was to persuade parents to send their children to school when they reached the age of eight. Another responsibility was to raise funds for the schools by collecting voluntary contributions from local people. The committees were authorized to spend the school fund for school buildings and the employment of lay teachers.

By the end of 1909, according to the statistics of the Education Ministry, there were 131 schools in Bangkok, with 14,174 students and 748 teachers; and, in the provinces, there were 82 schools, 3,938 students and 155 teachers.[44] Therefore, the total number of schools was 213 and that of students was 18,112. According to the statistics for the same year compiled by David K. Wyatt, the numbers of schools and students in Bangkok were the same, but those of the schools and students in the provinces, were 1,347 and 29, 889 respectively, and the total number of schools and students were 1,478 and 44,0063. [Add the reference for this quotation from Wyatt.] The probable reason for this vast discrepancy is that Wyatt includes private and missionary schools, which do not figure in the statistics of the Ministry of Education. [Why only ‘probable'? Doesn't Wyatt himself explain the discrepancy between his figures and the official ones? Doesn't he actually say what kinds of school he is counting? Also, if he is counting different types of schools, how do you account for the fact that he agrees with the Ministry figures with regard to Bangkok?] [Anyway, if your interpretation is correct, it shows that the number of private and missionary schools at this time was very great, so you ought to say something about them and how they affect the general picture of education and moral education.]

The Ministry of Education's statistics for the years 1917-21 and 1932-34 are shown in Table 2 below. [You need to explain why you have given information for these years but not for others. Is it because the Ministry's records are incomplete and don't include data for all years? If so, why are the records incomplete? These questions will occur to any academically trained reader, who will expect you to try to answer them.] They actually show a decline in the extent of schooling between 1917 and 1919. [what was the reason for this decline?] Student numbers start to pick up in 1920, and school and teacher numbers in the following year. When data resumes in 1932, it shows that schooling had increased significantly on all measures in the intervening decade, especially student numbers, which show growth of well over 500% over 1921. [Some comment or interpretation seems necessary here]

Tables 2. Number of Local Schools, Teachers, and Pupils from 1917 to 1934[45]


Total no. of schools

Total no. of teachers

Total no. of students

































In terms of the national budget, the educational allocations from 1902 to 1909 varied between 1,100,000 baht and 1,400,000 baht, representing between 2.2 and 2.9 percent of the total budget.[46] [Why give figures only for 1902-9? According to the chapter heading, the period under consideration is 1905-34. Also, do these figures cover all education, including higher education, or just schools? Here again, any trained reader will ask these questions.]

2.3. Ministry of Education

Chao Phraya Dhamasakdi Montri (Sanan Thepsahasadin na Aydhaya) [I wonder why he has two names? Wouldn't it be better to choose just one and put the other in a footnote? Explain (or drop) the Chao Phraya title.] took over the administration of the Dhammakarn in 1916. Seven years later, it was renamed the Ministry of Education. [Can you give the Thai words and a literal translation? Also, the date for renaming that you give here (1923) conflicts with the one given table below, from which it seems that the word Dhammakarn was dropped from the ministry's name for a period of about 9 years (from 1917 to 1926) and was restored shortly after Prajadhipok came to the throne. Why did they make this change, and why did they reverse it after 9 years? Was it because Vajiravudh - perhaps through his long education in the UK - had a more secular and ‘westernised' outlook than Chulalongkorn or Prajadhipok, and was less concerned with keeping Buddhism at the heart of education? How were ‘ecclesiastical' matters administered in the period 1917-26?] In 1919, he made a statement on national education in which he admitted that attempts to promote technical education had not so far succeeded in channelling people's aspirations towards the vocations, and that too many talented young people still aspired to enter government service rather than economically productive occupations. He argued that a better balance of the two sectors was required to improve Siam's position in international trade. More generally, he lamented that Siamese education was inadequate in both quantity and quality and that progress would require an investment in proportion to that made by more advanced countries. [Was this in effect a plea to the king for a bigger share of the national budget? If so was it successful?]

Figure 2: the Dhammakarn from 1911 - 1933

The table below consumes a lot of space while presenting very little information. Do you really need it?

Functions of the Ministry of Education : In addition to the administrative operation of all public institutions and programs, the Ministry of Education had also to perform regulatory functions to assure that basic statutory provisions for public education were followed and that ministerial regulations were issued to supplement and enrich those statutory provisions. The first and foremost regulatory function performed by the Ministry was children accounting [This phrase sounds bizarre in English. Does it mean the collection of statistics on school attendance?]. This national organization was responsible for the enforcement of the compulsory school attendance law, and for the appraisal and interpretation of conditions to the National Assembly. [This jumps to the end of the period, without explanation.] Its second regulatory function was to control educational professional organization. [47] [This looks like an undigested quotation.]

The 1921 Primary Education Act vested power in the office of the Minister of Education to enforce school attendance. As laws were enforced through provincial governors, the Ministry of Education had to rely heavily upon the Ministry of Interior which was now empowered to appoint school attendance officers and to authorize district officers to excuse children from school.[48]

The government planned to implement compulsory schooling gradually. Immediate enforcement would have been impossible in 1921, when, as we saw above, there were in fact only 2,531 local schools and 604 government schools [What is the difference between local schools and government schools? I thought the data in the table above was for government schools, as it is Ministry of Education data.] throughout the country. According to a UNESCO report of 1951 [Is this the same UNESCO report referred to previously? By saying ‘a' (not ‘the') report you imply it is a different one.], compulsory education was enforced for the higher age groups first, starting with the ten-to-fourteen age range; and, within a period of three years, extended to the seven-to-fourteen-year group. The report explains that ‘It was felt by the ministry that the older children should be allowed to attend school before they were too old, whereas the younger children could wait for a year or two and still obtain their schooling.'[49]

[What is the relevance of this paragraph?] The royal distinctions were conferred even after the enactment of the civil service law in 1928. After the 1932 coup, no new titles were conferred on civil servants and, in 1941, the government, ostensibly as a gesture to the democratic way of life, also abolished existing titles.

The structure of government personnel administration [What does this mean?] underwent tremendous changes when Prajadhipok enacted the first Thai civil service law. The enactment authorized the establishment of a Civil Service Commission to enforce the merit system in government personnel administration and to take charge of Thai students studying abroad.[50]

Government Administration of Teacher Education: The development of teacher training schools was slow and their output was poor. In 1913, eleven years after the establishment of the first primary teacher training school, there were only three primary teacher training schools. The report of the government showed that there were 29 teacher training schools and one teacher college under the Department of Teacher Training.[51] [I am confused! How many training schools were there: 3 or 29? What's the difference between a training school and a teacher college?] However, the establishment of a Teacher Training Division within the Ministry of Education in 1920 was a milestone in the government administration of teacher education.

At the beginning of this period, government schools were found mostly in Bangkok and their growth outside the capital was slow. In 1886, fifteen years after the establishment of the first government school, there were only 35 government schools in the whole country, 21 in Bangkok and 14 in the provinces, with 81 teachers and 1,994 students. The government seeded to encourage more government schools in Bangkok than in the rural areas. Up to 1920, the number of government schools in Bangkok always exceeded those in any provinces. The percentage of government schools in Bangkok was remarkably high in comparison with the total number of schools operated in all the 77 provinces.

Table 3. Comparison of Pupils Completing Education and the Total Primary School in 1921 and 1932[52]


Total number of primary school pupils

Number of candidates for primary education certificate

Number of pupils who completed primary education

Percentage of pupils completing primary education to the total number of primary pupils

Public schools

Private schools






No data







No data



In 1921, of more than 200,000 primary students in the country, only 31 passed the examination at the fifth grade level. [But surely you should use only the number of fifth grade pupils, not all the ‘primary school students in the country'. By definition, pupils in the first four grades would not yet be eligible for the exam, so they aren't relevant to exam statistics.]

In 1932, the number of exam passes had increased substantially to 2114 students. However, as the school population had also increased dramatically in the interim, the success rate was still appallingly low. [Yes indeed, but this needs more comment. What was going on? According to the table, only a very small percentage of the school population was even attempting the exam. Why was this?]

Besides, the Ministry of Education produced many regulations for the efficient running of public schools through its various departments. These ministerial regulations can be classified into four areas: (1) curriculum / course of study, and educational program, (2) instructional materials, (3) instructional and non-instructional staff, and (4) pupil activities within and without schools.[53]

The royal proclamation of 1898 had embraced education as a function of the Siamese state, but until 1921, the government stopped short of using the law to make universal education a reality. Parents were not obliged to send their children to school, and the government did not actually impose on itself a legal duty to provide free education for all. It was not until the Primary Education Acts of 1921, and the amendments included in the Acts of 1930 and 1935, that universal education gained the force of law, imposing legal obligations upon parents and local officials to make it happen. [So do you see this as a historical turning point? If so, say so explicitly.] [54]

Education under the Constitutional Regime: As we have seen, universal education was one of the six principles of government proclaimed by Pridi Banomyong, the leader of the 1932 coup. The People's Party firmly believed that education would make a vital contribution to the preservation and progress of the democratic Siam that they had - as they believed - brought to birth. This was declared in the policy of the Ministry of Education for public instruction.

The Government wishes to make education available to all members of the public so that they will be instructed and trained to live in a constitutional regime. Science education will be given as well as training for future careers and the ability to enter all levels of society. Instruction will be improved to make students well-informed, wise and capable of logical thinking. The studies of morality and Thai culture will be included to encourage good behaviour. In accordance with the government's wish, the Dhammakarn will strive to improve its performance in this field.[55]

Article 63 of the 1932 Constitution made it mandatory for the government to administer the national school system and to control all educational institutions in the kingdom. By this constitutional provision, the Ministry of Education became the only national agency for the administration of the national school system.

Educational committee and Council: In 1932, the revolutionary government set up an education committee to formulate an education plan for the nation. This plan was subsequently considered by an advisory council on education whose duty was to advise the Ministry of Public Instruction [Is this the Dhammakarn again? Make terminology consistent.] on all matters concerning education. [What was the outcome?] Under this Plan, primary education would consist of four years of general education (Samansuksa), plus two years of vocational education (Wisamansuksa). The secondary level would be divided into lower and upper levels, each of four years duration. The lower level would be followed by all students, but the upper level would be bifurcated into technical and general streams. It was expected that most students would follow the technical stream, while a minority would follow a general course as a preparation for higher education at a university or other higher institutions. [Could you highlight what was new in this? The general divisions (e.g. between general and vocational, or between Primary and Secondary, had already been in place for a long time.]

The draft National Education Plan was submitted to the Government by the advisory council and published [Does this mean it was approved by the government?] on March 28, 1933. Its outstanding features were a formal recognition of individual educational ability, regardless of sex, religion, and nationality. [Presumably, this new egalitarianism was a result of the liberal / democratic inclinations of Pridi and his followers? If so, wouldn't it be worth saying so explicitly?] Education should be a means of developing the mental, physical, practical and social capacities of each person. The plan had several notable features: (1) the recognition of women's capacity for and right to education at all levels. (2) the introduction of a requirement that teachers be appropriately qualified at all levels of education. (3) the minimum period of compulsory education was extended to four years [How many years had been required by the 1921 Act?] (4) provision was made for the development of kindergarten education. (This was seen as a concomitant of the intention of educating women and encouraging them to engage in paid work.) (5) extension of school inspection to cover sanitation must be considered.[56] [What does this mean?] However, democratization through civics via educational curricula hardly made any constructive progress since then.

The development of private schools: [As far as I can recall, you didn't say much about private schools in Chapter 2, but from the following material, it seems clear that you should have, as some of what follows really relates to the Foundation Period. I suggest you remove the relevant material from here and insert it in chapter 2. In this chapter you should just continue the story from 1905 onwards.]

Private schools were of three main types (1) Christian missionary schools, (2) Chinese schools, and (3) Thai schools. [In what follows,you provide some information about these, but it is patchy and not systematic. If possible, you should say something about the origins, aims, numbers and characteristics of each of the three kinds of private school in the Foundation Period. The number must have been fairly high even in the Foundation Period if the Dhammakarn felt obliged to regulate them as early as 1892.]

Since the early days of the Bangkok period, missionaries had returned to Siam and had been running some schools. After educational reform began in the 1870s, the missionary schools gradually became a more important part of the whole system of public education. One reason for this was that under Chulalongkorn's Decree of Religious Toleration (1878) all religions were tolerated. As a result, Christian missionaries, both Catholic and Protestant, established many schools throughout the kingdom. [Can you quantify how many there were at the start of the Expansion Period?] [You need to clarify the actual function of the missionary schools during this period. Did they (as today) provide education for all who wanted it and could pay? Or did they serve only Christian converts?] The schools of the French Societe des Missions Etrangeres met with some hostility [from the government, or from local people, or both?] because of French encroachments on Siamese territory. With this exception, however, the missionary schools were generally welcome, and they consistently offered the best educational facilities available in the country.[57] The missionaries were willing to work within the framework set by the government [but what did this mean in practice?] and cooperated in offering a school program that met with Siamese national aspirations.[58] [clarify]

The government's relations with Chinese schools, however, were a different story. The Chinese community, numbering over three million [at what date?], formed the largest minority in the country. Immigration from China was heavy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the presence of large numbers of immigrants speaking another language and maintaining their own culture caused some tensions and distrust between the indigenous and Chinese communities.

[How about the Thai private schools. You haven't said anything about their origins, numbers etc.]

Even in the Foundation Period, the increasing numbers of private schools - mostly in Bangkok - obliged the government to consider the need for control. As early as 1892, the Dhammakarn issued an edict requiring the registration of all private schools.[59] However, the schools tended to ignore the registration procedure, and their teachers posed quite a problem to the Ministry of Defence in connection with their exemption from national service.[Explain this.]

In 1918 Vajiravudh promulgated a Private School Act in order to ‘organize the administration of private schools throughout the Kingdom' and to ‘revise laws and regulations relating to private schools.[60] The law was motivated mainly by anxiety about the scale of Chinese immigration, and the question mark that hung over the loyalty to the crown of the immigrant community, especially due to the issue of communism. In addition, recent political events both in Siam (the abortive republican Coup of 1910) and abroad (the Chinese republican revolution of 1911-12 and the Russian revolution of 1917) had put Vajiravudh and his counsellors on their guard against the possibility of revolution. Another factor in anxiety about the Chinese schools was that many Chinese families wanted their children to be educated in Chinese. However, the central plank of the government's education reforms was to make everyone in the country literate in Thai.

It must be said that there was an element of racial prejudice in the air at this time. During his education in England, Vajiravudh had come in contact with the anti-Semitic ideas that were gaining ground in the early 1900s. Transferring these attitudes to the East Asian context, he - and possibly other members of the Thai elite - tended to regard the Chinese as ‘the Jews of the East'.

However, it is not clear that the provisions of the 1918 Act were not intrinsically racist. It gave the Minister of Education power to limit the number of private schools within every district and province. A private school could not be established without a license. The legislation also specified that the owner, the manager, and the [a word is missing here - Principal?] of such a school had to hold qualifications specified by the Dhammakarn. [such as?] In addition, all private schools were required to:

1) Enable students to read, write and understand the Thai language fluently,

2) Instil students with an allegiance to Siam, and knowledge of the duties of citizenship, and

3) Educate students in Siam's history and geography.

Many private Chinese schools did attempt to comply with the provisions of the 1918 Act, at least as regards registration. By the end of 1918, the number of registered private Chinese schools rocketed from 27 to 127.

However, many Chinese resisted the imposition of the Thai language. The government was therefore obliged to strengthen this provision in The Primary Education Act of 1921 which required all pupils to be educated in Thai. Article 46 of the Act also stated that a child could not attend a private primary school without the Minister's approval. [How did this work in practice? How did the minister use this power?] Conflict between the government and the Chinese community over the control of private schools continued into the 1940s.[61]

On the other hand, private schools were given a boost by the Primary Education Act of 1921, the main aim of which was to make Primary Education compulsory. The national government laid on itself a legal obligation to provide primary education free of charge for all children between the ages of eight and fourteen. Parents or guardians were required to send their children to either a government or a private school. Their failure to comply with the law would incur either a one-hundred baht fine or ten days imprisonment, or both. The Ministry of Education was made the sole authority for devising regulations for primary education in both government and private schools. The evidence shows that from 1932 to 1934 there were many private schools under Christian Missionary, Chinese and Thai control throughout the country as shown in the table below.

Table 4. Expansion of Private Schools after 1932[62]


Number of schools

Number of teachers

Number of pupils













2.4. Public Education program 1913

In its preamble, the Public Education Program of 1913 emphasized the significance of technical or vocational education and of the completion of a course. It classified education into two kinds, i.e., general education (covering fundamental knowledge necessary for every student such as reading and writing, arithmetic, and ethics) and technical or vocational education (including such specific subjects as teaching, medicine, law and handicrafts). The two parts of education were defined as ‘compulsory education' and ‘special education' respectively. The former was called ‘primary education' and was concerned with basic general knowledge as well as technical education requisite for good citizenship and ability to earn a living in one's hometown. The latter was called ‘secondary and higher education' and dealt with both general and technical education. The 1913 Plan extended primary education from 3 years to 5 years, of which the first three comprised general education and the last two technical education, and to suit the requirement of intended education to their parents' means. The eight-year secondary course was possibly meant to accommodate prospective higher education. In fact, allowance was made that the extended two years of primary education would not be imposed in all schools, but would be left to the consideration of the authorities concerned.

Despite this attempt to steer students towards vocational education, most of them continued to aim for government service. The government therefore brought in a revised education plan in 1915, introducing the missing link - secondary technical education - to fill the gap between the existing primary technical education and technical higher education.

Table 1. The Public Education Program 1913

1913 Enactment

Level of education

Required time (year)

Primary education

General education course

Vocational course

3 or 5



Secondary Education

Introductory course

Intermediate course

Senior course





Figure 1: The map of education in the National Education Plan 1913

The 1915 Education Plan made a further attempt to give girls equal opportunities for education, but there were many obstacles to overcome. Firstly, the prevailing attitude among the people was that ‘a woman's place is in the home'. Secondly, at this stage, most schools were still situated in monasteries, which by definition were male-only institutions, so people felt it was improper for girls to be sent to them. Thirdly, a shortage of female teachers, especially in provincial areas, greatly handicapped the education of women.[63] All in all, the 1915 Plan was admirable as an ambitious and forward-looking attempt to create a national education system for the benefit of all. Its emphases on fostering individual ability and providing both general and technical education were in tune with the advanced educational philosophy of the day. However, insofar as its aim was to redirect education away from general education (and government service) towards technical education (and thus to a range of occupations and professions), the Plan was a failure. The government had to try again with 1921 Education Plan.[64]

Meanwhile, in 1916, the time was deemed ripe to develop higher education in Siam. Vajiravudh raised the Civil Servant School (established in 1910) to the status of a university, and named it ‘Chulalongkorn University' in honour of his late father. The University at its outset had four faculties. [65]

The control maintained by the government over public education was vividly illustrated in its administration of educational personnel. The administrative structure of educational personnel organization had undergone many changes since the time of the absolute monarchy. The advent of the merit system in the 1920s was essentially the basis for the development of absolute control of the national government over educational personnel in all types of institutions of public education.[66] [I can't fathom the meaning of this paragraph.]

2.5. Compulsory Primary Education Act 1921

Though the first school founded by King Rama V in 1871 was to train students for the civil service, he tried hard to convince people that school education was not only for this purpose but to provide education for all citizens to become good and effective. This led to the Compulsory Primary Education Act in 1921 during the reign of King Rama VI, his son. The significant features of this Education Act 1921[67] were the following. [What follows may need to be summarised. It's very good, but probably too detailed.]

(1) This Act was not enforced in every province at the same time, but initially only in certain suitable districts or sub-districts. The suitability of any district or sub-district was determined in relation to the following criteria: the existence of a proper school building, an adequate number of teachers, and capability to collect a local tax for education.

(2) District and sub-districts schools were free schools, except that government primary schools that fulfilled certain standards of equipment and accommodation, and maintained teacher-student ratios of between 1:30 and 1:40, were allowed to charge reasonable fees to sustain their expenditure.

(3) Boys and girls aged between 7 and 14 (except those with physical or mental handicaps), were now required by law to attend a primary school until they could read and write. Districts or sub-districts that lacked teachers or funds for such provision might be allowed, at the discretion of the Education Ministry, to raise the starting age from 7 to 8, 9 or 10.

(4) Every boy and girl had to follow the specified primary curriculum. Alternative curricula with additional elements (such as the Chinese language) could be proposed, but had first to be submitted to the Education Ministry for approval.

(5) Each pupil was required to attend for at least 800 hours. Absence without good reasons for over 30 days in succession was not allowed so as to prevent pupils from playing truant and parents from neglecting their children's schooling.

(6) By the end of March in each year, a district officer had to prepare a list of children in that district who would be of school age during that year. The list was used to notify parents (or guardians) and school principals as to which children were required to attend school in the coming academic year.

(7) In the event of a child being required at home to help in farming or handicrafts, the parents or guardians could apply in writing to the district officer for leave of absence, which the officer was empowered to grant for not longer than two months per year.

(8) An education inspector was to be appointed in every district to help the district officer identify school-age children, notify parents or guardians of their obligations, and compel non-compliant parents to send their children to school. The inspector was paid from the annual budget of the District's primary school at a rate fixed by the provincial commissioner.

(9) Parents or guardians had to register their school-age children at the district office. Failure to do so made them liable to a fine of up to 12 baht. A second failure, after receiving a caution, could result in a fine of up to 50 baht; A further failure could be punished by a fine of 100 baht or ten days imprisonment, or both. In cases where parents genuinely tried to comply but were frustrated by the wilful refusal of their children, the parents were free from penalty, but the children might be sent to a probation school.

(10) In order to raise money for the organization of compulsory education, all able-bodied men age between 16-60 years had to pay an annual education contribution (Suksaplee) of between one to three baht per year, except for:


conscripted soldiers on active service,

those exempt by virtue of having already contributed to the management of a public primary school to a value more than their stipulated education contribution.

Those unable to earn a living,

(11) Where the number of schools in a District was insufficient to accommodate the children, the government would take measures to encourage the people to find ways and means to set up extra schools by setting up a five committees to handle the undertaking. The members were to be elected annually from those who paid an annual education contribution of not less than five baht, and approved by the Provincial Commission. In addition to this, a district officer could set up a school by any appropriate means.

[The amount of detail above might be excessive.]

Figure 3: The map of education in the National Education Plan 1921

Problem of the Compulsory Primary Education Act 1921: By the time of the accession of Rama VII in 1925, the difficulties of enforcing the Primary Education Act of 1921 in Bangkok came to the attention of the Ministry of Education and the Metropolitan Ministry. [Why did it take four years for them to notice a problem?] The Act had not yet been enforced in the area, as it was feared that the collection of ‘education contributions' would provoke resistance. Eventually, the authorities decided to enforce the rest of the Act without imposing the ‘education contribution'. The solution was compatible with the circumstance, for there were already a great number of government schools and private ones in Bangkok and, considering such a convenient access to education in the metropolitan area, it was felt that it would be a far cry to expect the pole to sacrifice willingly any ‘education contributions' to support compulsory primary education.

[Does the following material belong in this section?] The organization of compulsory primary education during this period remained broadly the same as before. Its objectives were:

a) to give students an adequate general and vocational education;

b) to encourage them to pursue useful vocations in their home areas;

c) to make them healthy in mind and body; and

d) to promote ethical behaviour.

The reign of Prajadhipok was turbulent. Excessive expenditure sapped the financial resources of the country [Does this refer to Rama VII himself, or the earlier extravagances of Rama VI?] and from 1929 the effects of the ‘Great Depression' hit Siam. Falling revenues necessitated cuts in royal and governmental spending, putting many officials out of work. The resulting disenchantment with absolutism opened the door to the successful ‘Bloodless Revolution' of 1932 and the establishment of constitutional rule.

To lay a claim to legitimacy, the revolutionary government had to establish democratic institutions. The problem was that most people in Siam had little notion of democracy and were quite unprepared for it. Accordingly, in the period between 1932 and 1936, a central plank of the new government's education policy was to educate the nation for democracy:

The government wishes to develop education to train people for life under constitutional government, to understand the nature of works and social conventions, to develop independent reasoning powers, to have a healthy body and mind, to hold a proper respect for national ethical values and Thai customs, to be able to earn a living, and [in short] to lead them to the state of being healthy, moral and law-abiding citizens.[68]

2.6. The National Education Plan of 1932

The National Education Plan of 1932 laid down that there should be 6 grades of elementary education. The first four would provide general education, and the last two vocational education. Students who came from well-to-do families, or who were sufficiently intelligent, [For secondary education, were there fees? If so, were there scholarships for the poor?] could proceed directly to secondary education if they passed the Grade 4 examinations. Others students would proceed to the two-year primary-level vocational course. Secondary education was divided into two parts. On completion of the first part student could continue to the second part of either Samansuksa or Wisamansuksa. Successful completion of the Samansuksa course qualified students for entry to Tertiary education.

Chao Phraya Dharmasakdimontri, the leading educational authority of the time, [Was he a government official, or an independent commentator?] explained the aims of educational policy as to provide the public with three kinds of knowledge Buddhi Suksa (Intellectual Education), Chariya Suksa (Moral Education) and Pala Suksa (Physical Education). Equipped with these, each individual could make a proper contribution to society and participate in democracy. People would be encouraged to seek the type of employment most suited to their aptitudes, and not to treat the civil service as their only or optimal career choice. To lay the foundations for this, the barriers between schools and communities would have to be pulled down, and schools made to serve communities in every possible way. There would be learning in everyday life, [What exactly is being said here?] the defence of the country, military and police affairs, as well as health and hygiene. The world itself would be a classroom, and all the objects around us would be teachers. [In what way, exactly?] The way of life and routine work could be the lesson, and experience could be used as a means to teach. Everyone in the community would be taught according to his individual talents, with an emphasis on the service he could render to his community.

According to Dharmasakdimontri, the education of children under the age of seven (the age of compulsory education) was a concern of the Ministry of Public Education. Considering that ten years hence these children could become active members of society, the government deemed it appropriate to set up kindergartens to promote their physical and mental development. Such kindergartens would also help relieve the mothers of some of the burdens of childcare. [But why was this held to be important? Was the aim to let women enter the labour market, so as to boost the economy?] The main task of the kindergartens was to look after little children and teach them to read, write, and count. However, most kindergartens were geared towards the pre-elementary courses or the elementary courses, and there were few kindergartens in the real sense of the word. [What is ‘the real sense of the word'?]

Dharmasakdimontri finally emphasized that the government should ensure that all schools shared common objectives and a common standard of education. [Why did he emphasise this? Was he afraid that the opposite would happen? If so, why?] Every student was to be trained to serve society as a law-abiding and well-informed citizen, able to participate in the democratic system.[69] On March 28, 1933, Prajadhipok announced the new National Education Plan proposed by the Advisory Council on Education. [You have just described the National Education Plan of 1932. Are you saying there was another one just a year later?]

2.7. The Primary school Curriculum

The 1898 legislation which proclaimed the first national policy for public education did not authorize the Dhammakarn (still a department rather than a ministry at that stage), to set up the curriculum of public schools. The Educational Project of 1909 divided the curriculum into to four: Mulasuksa (or ‘basic education'), Primary, Secondary, and Upper Secondary. Before 1921, the Ministry had power to establish and administer the educational program only for government schools. Its control over local schools was limited to the ministerial course of study, which was so generally stated that it gave a lot of freedom to local authorities in planning the school program. For instance, in 1918, the ministerial course of study stated that the educational program in a local school should be planned to enable the students to read, write, make simple calculation, have some knowledge about the country, and some vocational training.[70]

Figure 4: The schooling structure provided in the National Plan of Education 1932

From 1921 onwards, the Ministry was empowered by Articles 19, 35 and 41 of the Primary Education Act to set up the educational program for all the government and local schools. The Ministry was at the apex of its authority over the public school curriculum in 1932, when a statute was enacted to declare the new system of public education and to authorize the Ministry to prepare the curriculum and the educational program for both public and private schools.[71]

The following curricula were devised for primary education in this period:

[I have amended the punctuation of the following list by removing unnecessary spaces around punctuation marks. Please note that we do not normally leave spaces around colons, brackets, or other punctuation marks.]

The Primary Curriculum for 1st level examination 1905 (Laksutr Prathomsuksa ror sor 123 or por sor 2448)

The Common Curriculum 1910 -1911 (Laksutr Samansuksa 2453-2454)

The Royal Curriculum of the Dhammakarn Department 1913 (Laksutr Luang of Dhammakarn Department 2456)

The Common Curriculum: 1921 (Laksutr Samansuksa 2464)

The key features of these curricula (whose provisions for ethical education will be discussed later) are summarised in Tables 5 to 9 below.

[I am not sure of the value of a long list of tables like this. It is boring, repetitive and begs the question of interpretation. The tables might be OK as an Appendix for anyone who wants to check the details. However, in the main body of your text, why not just give a discursive account (which should, of course, be clear, succinct and interpretative) of the main developments in the curriculum?]

Table 5. Primary Curriculum for 1st level examination 1905 (Laksutr Prathomsuksa ror sor 123 or por sor 2448)






To extend knowledge for students and add new subjects.

2 levels of education, viz:

Primary: 4 years

Secondary: 3 years

Some subjects are added: Translation, Question-Answer, Poetry, Geography, History, General Knowledge and Ethics. Ethics and Thai are the most important subjects.

A manual for teaching is promoted for some subjects.

The section of examination is provided to manage the examination for common subject in all schools.

Table 6. The Basic Curriculum for Primary Schools 1910 (Laksutr Moolsuksa 2453)






To provide basic education, focusing on citizenship and the foundations of vocational skills.

A 2 or 3 year programme for pupils aged 7-9

1. Compulsory subjects: Ethics, Thai, Arithmetic, Hygiene

2. Elective subjects: Science, Arts (singing and drawing), Physical Education (military training)

Educational Psychology are incorporated in teaching methodology

An examination is prescribed by the curriculum. Learners are examined individually in compulsory subjects, but only collectively (i.e. as a class) for elective subjects. [What does this mean and how could it be done?] Individual achievements are measured in percentage marks.

Table 7. The Common Curriculum 1911 (Laksutr Samansuksa ror sor 130 2454)






To provide primary education and the rudiments of vocational skills

There are 3 levels

Basic level (Moolsuksa)

Primary level (Prathomsuksa)

Secondary (Mathayomsuksa)

As for the 1910 Curriculum

Teaching is to vary according to the location of schools. [How and why?]

Certain principles of educational psychology are applied in teaching.

An individual exam and whole class exam are limited for subjects but no rule for the score of each subject.

Table 8. The Royal Curriculum of the Dhammakarn Department 1913 (Laksutr Luang of the Dhammakarn Department 2456)






To educate boys of every level in survival skills.

2 levels

- Primary (Prathomsuksa): 5 years

- Secondary (Mathayomsuksa)

There is no division during the year in each level but common subjects and uncommon subjects were separated.

Students are allowed to study by themselves in library and they have chance to learn according to their potentials.

The examination is managed by the school each year.

Table 9. The Common Curriculum 1921 (Laksutr Samansuksa 2464)






To encourage people for uncommon subjects.

There are 2 levels

- Primary level: 3 years for girls and 5 years for boys. (Prathomsuksa)

- Secondary level (Mathayomsuksa)

As per the 1913 Curriculum. The vocational subjects are more concentrated Hygiene is taught.

Annual examinations.

Assessment is developed in the Examination Decree of 1922.

After 1921, the primary school curriculum for boys, (a five-year course) and girls (a three-year course) contained compulsory general subjects and technical subjects. The five-year program for boys included ethics, Thai language, the natural history of Siam, hygiene, drawing, technical subjects (handicrafts, practical agriculture and commerce), together with boy-scout activities. It also included optional subjects, i.e., introductory natural science and singing. The contents of the three-year program for girls was broadly the same, except that their participation in scouting activities was more limited. For their technical subjects, they could choose embroidery or other handicrafts.

Of the vocational subjects, agriculture was regarded as most important for economic development. It was the only one in which learning was tested by a thorough examination. Some efforts were made to give special training to teachers of agricultural subjects at public primary schools throughout the country. Unfortunately, these attempts had little impact on the skills of farm workers or the efficiency of Thai agriculture, yet, the show would have to go on. [This phrase looks too idiomatic to be your own! Actually, a lot of the text in this chapter gives me the impression that you have ‘lifted' it from sources without re-writing it in your own words. Please be careful not to fill your text with unacknowledged quotations! If you do, it will be regarded as plagiarism.] Likewise, handicrafts gradually slipped away into the hands of foreigners [Give examples and explanation]. The government's plan was to use the education system to equip Siam to compete in international trade. However, the structure of the economy was dominated by the trade agreements with the Chinese and the Europeans, [Explain why you think this was an obstacle to the success of agricultural education.] At the same time, the public as a whole remained unconvinced of the value of the vocational opportunities on offer. The scale of the state's investment in education was not enough to overcome the inertia produced by these cultural and political factors.

Despite these problems, it would be wrong to dismiss the efforts made to develop education in this period as a complete failure. The legislation and curricula of the era, such as the Education Plan of 1913, the Private School Act of 1918, the Compulsory Primary Education Act of 1921, were steps towards a modern system of schooling.

The introduction of a systematic evaluation into the Compulsory Primary Education of 1921 stipulated a pass-mark of 50% for each compulsory general subject. For the technical subjects, learners were required only to achieve a score of 50% across the whole range of subjects. Students failing in technical subjects had to re-sit the examination within six months. As for optional subjects, the score would be related to the percentage of the whole class. [What does this mean?]

Scouts: Boy scout activities formally appeared in the lower and intermediate secondary education curricula of the 1913 Education Plan, in succession to the requirement for service-drill for discipline in the 1909 primary curriculum. Following the model set by the Boys' Brigade and the Boy Scouts in the UK, scouting activities were seen as a way to cultivate discipline, manliness and loyalty to the nation. Scouting at school was to serve as a foundation for the extramural activities of the Scouts Movement and, in the long run, to prepare boys to be obedient, patriotic and fit for military service when required. These objectives were expressed in the King's preamble to the ‘Rules Governing the Scouts Corps' of 1911:

The Senior Scout Corps has recently been instituted, of which good results are hopefully expected. The right to be senior scouts is confined to adults, but young people will also be physically and mentally trained through scouting activities. As they grow up, they will become acquainted with their duties and in this way become responsible citizens of their motherland. This training must begin early, for human instincts are more easily moulded when one is young. [Add reference.]

The objectives of the Boy Scouts Corps were the same as those of the Senior Scouts Corps - to instil in young people ‘a loyalty or allegiance to the King and the nation, a faith in the national religion, and a sense of responsibility for the national unity.' [Add reference.] The movement was notable for its promotion of a universal ideal of manhood. The men of Siam were to be robust, independent and resourceful, but also disciplined and loyal. The Boy Scout movement therefore contained within itself, or at least implied, an ethical system.

3. Ethics instruction

King Rama V's reforms opened the door to many aspects of western culture and values in the belief that this was necessary if Thailand was not to be overwhelmed by western economic and technical power. But today there is no lack of radical critics of westernisation. For example, Phra Dhampidok Prayudhto[72] has claimed that westernisation has undermined morality in Thai society and made Thai people increasingly ignorant of their own traditions and values. He argues that the aspects of western culture that have been imported have been materialism and consumerism. Prayudhto also argues that, in addition to the overall degeneration of moral standards, the importation of western culture was and is socially divisive, creating gulfs between sections of Thai society: for example, between the educated urban middle class and the rural working class, between monks and lay people, and between the older and younger generations.[73]

Moral decline and social division were certainly not the intention of Rama V and his successors. To the extent that they foresaw that danger, they tried to guard against it by making provision for ethics instruction in the curriculum of the new education system. We now need to look in detail at the provision they made.

3.1. Primary Curriculum for 1st level examination 1905: Ethics instruction

The curriculum of 1905 modified the curriculum of 1895 (B.E.2438), which had aimed to prepare Siamese students to study in Europe.[74] In the interim, Rama V had grown concerned that young people educated abroad would become estranged from Buddhism and its morality. He discussed this concern with Krom pra wachirayan waroros, the Patriarch of the Sangha, who was responsible for public schools in monasteries. They decided that, unlike in (for example) England, ethics should be taught at all levels in Siamese schools.[75] Moreover, method of teaching was also put in the curriculum for primary (4 years) and high school (3 years) levels.

While no objective was explicitly stated in the curriculum, the purpose of ethics instruction was made clear in a directive to teachers:

Teachers must monitor students' behaviour and train them for good conduct. Any students who behave badly should be made aware of their failings and induced to change… Teachers must strive to discipline students and penalize those who misbehave. Recording any misconduct in students' profiles will remind them not to do it again.[76]

While leaving details of the timetable to the discretion of the teachers, the curriculum prescribed the general contents of ethics instruction at all four primary levels, adhering closely to traditional Buddhist teaching. At the first level, students were to learn about the fundamental Buddhist distinction between wholesome (kusala in the Buddhist Pali) and unwholesome (akusala) behaviour, and the need to cultivate the former and refrain from the latter. In the context of avoiding the unwholesome, they were taught to refrain from harming humans or animals, theft, lying and taking intoxicating drugs. In other words they were taught pancha sila - the five main ethical precepts[77] - with the exception of the third precept, dealing with sexual misbehaviour, which was thought inappropriate for such young children. In the context of cultivating the wholesome, they were taught the values of compassion and gratitude.[78]

At the second level, the same topics were to be clarified and expanded, with a fuller treatment given, in particular, to the avoidance of ‘taking the not-given' (this is the actual precept, which implies more than just ‘not stealing') and ‘unwholesome speech' (which implies more than the avoidance of direct lies). The values of candour with friends and conscientiousness in work were also introduced. At the third level, students were taught not to deprive, not to tell a lie [but this was already taught at the first level. What was added here?], and not to drink alcohol. On the positive side, the values of loyalty [to what?], and moderation in eating (refraining from greed in relation to food) were promoted. In addition, the key Buddhist value of mindfulness (the positive opposite of alcoholic intoxication) was introduced. At the fourth level, students were taught the importance of refraining from sexual misconduct, and the need to be sensitive to social norms in this regard.

While texts were to be provided (including even some texts on Buddhist doctrine for students in the fourth year), the 1905 curriculum also specified that ‘teaching should not [consist of merely] reading books to students: clarification and explanation by giving examples must be provided.' [79]

This curriculum was the first to require a written examination in Ethics. Students had to answer questions on ethical matters. The first such formal exams in Ethics took place in 1908. (See Table 10)

Table 10. Primary School Curriculum 1905: Ethics Instruction



Time table



To teach students to follow Buddhist principles and Siamese traditions

Dharmmajariya, Five precepts of Buddhism, Prathommala, Golden steps and Buddhajariya[80] books

Not specified

Explanation and give some example

The first curriculum to require a written exam in Ethics.

3.2. The Basic Curriculum 1910 (ror sor 128) : Ethics Instruction

This curriculum was produced to go with the Educational Plan 1910, [Say more about why it was felt necessary to change the curriculum at this point] which divided basic education into 3 year, primary education 3 years, secondary 3 years, and upper secondary 3 years. The common curriculum was clearly determined to prepare students to study in primary level. However, the curricula of primary and secondary levels were modified for well connection. Ethics and Self wellbeing were made compulsory subjects, alongside Thai and mathematics.

The 1910 curriculum, unlike that of 1905, stated an explicit objective for Ethics Instruction: to inculcate good behaviour, as for example to be faithful to all activities, humble, and obedient to elders; and to prepare students to take up useful occupations and develop into good citizens in the future.[81] [If this is a quotation, we should put it in inverted commas.] The actual content of Ethics Instruction was the same as in 1905, but now there was to be a ‘practical' strand to supplement the theory. [Exactly what was this ‘practical' strand to consist of?]

The content of the 1905 and 1910 curricula was firmly based on fundamental Buddhist ethical principles, especially as these are summarised in two lists of moral precepts that occur frequently in the Buddhist scriptures. Each of these lists ranges across the whole field of human activity by including precepts relating not only to physical, but also to verbal and mental ‘behaviour'. This reflects the Buddhist belief that there are three ‘doors' of action, namely body, speech and mind. The ‘actions' of the mind are the attitudes and desires that we inwardly entertain, whether or not we express them by deed or word. According to the Buddha, unwholesome wishes and views stand in the way of enlightenment and will eventually lead to unwholesome actions if unchecked. Therefore, from the Buddhist standpoint, it isn't enough to regulate only outward (i.e. physical and verbal action); there must also be some attempt to purify the mind.

The first, shorter list of precepts is known in Pali as pancha sila or the ‘five [principles of] behaviour'. These were often taught by the Buddha to lay disciples, and are thus regarded as constituting a minimal set of ethical observances designed to keep the follower from bad ways. The precepts are to refrain from:

1. taking life.

2. taking that which is not given [theft or misappropriation of any kind]

3. sexual misconduct [traditionally understood to include rape, adultery or the abduction for sexual purposes of a minor or a ward]

4. falsehood.

5. ‘liquors which cause heedlessness' [understood as requiring abstention from all intoxicating drugs].

In this list, it can be seen that the first three precepts concern the ‘door' of the body, the fourth the ‘door' of speech, and the fifth of the ‘door' of mind.

Each of the five precepts is supplemented by a ‘dharma' i.e. an undertaking to practise whatever virtue constitutes the opposite of the vice in question. Thus, for example, the precept of ‘not taking the not given' is to be supplemented by a positive effort to perform deeds of generosity. This supplementation reflects the idea that one must not only avoid demerit (unwholesome karma) but also actively accumulate merit (wholesome karma, called punya [Pali] or boon [Thai]).

Such is pancha sila. The longer list of precepts includes ten items, which are often described as the ten ‘wholesome courses of action' (kusala-kammapatha). Together, they constitute, on the one hand, a more exacting code for the more serious lay disciple, and on the other, a statement of the fundamental principles underlying the much longer list of precepts (227 in number) undertaken by monks. The ten kusala-kammapatha repeat the first four items of pancha sila, and add to them some more specific and demanding precepts of speech and mind. Altogether, there are three precepts of ‘body', four of ‘speech' and three of ‘mind'. Here again, the avoidance of each vice is to be supplemented by the active practice of whatever virtue forms its counterpart. The ten items are as follows:

Bodily actions:

1) to avoid the destruction of life; and positively, to be solicitous for the welfare of all beings;

2) to avoid taking the not-given; and positively, to be generous with one's property;

3) to avoid sexual misconduct; and positively, to be content within the prevailing norms governing sexual behaviour;

Verbal actions:

4) to avoid false speech; and positively, to speak the truth;

5) to avoid speech that sows discord among others, such as slander, and backbiting; and positively, to reconcile those in discord, and to foster harmony and mutual goodwill;

6) to avoid harsh language and words of abuse; and positively, to speak ‘gentle, loving, courteous, dear and agreeable words';

7) to avoid frivolous and useless speech; and positively, to say - at the right time and in accordance with facts - things that are useful, moderate and full of sense;

Mental actions:

8) to be without covetousness or envy; and positively, to be tranquil in mind, untroubled by excessive desires

9) to be free from ill will and animosity; and positively, to be full of kindness and compassion for the suffering of living beings;

10) to abstain from ‘wrong views'; and positively, to have right views, such as that wholesome and unwholesome actions produce corresponding results (under the law of karma); that there is rebirth in lower or higher states depending upon one's karma; and that there is Nibbana (or Nirvana in Sanskrit), the state of freedom from the wheel of rebirth, and that there is a path that leads to Nibbana.

In addition to providing a grounding in these traditional Buddhist principles, the 1910 curriculum also aimed to foster gratitude and loyalty to the kings of Siam. As in the 1905 curriculum, no timetable was prescribed, it being stated only that it should take 2 or 3 years to complete the curriculum. With regard to pedagogy, the 1910 curriculum instructed teachers to keep in mind that the teaching of ethics was not a matter of rote learning or merely acquiring information, but was for the purpose of actually inculcating good behaviour in the students. This had to be done in childhood because of the difficulty of changing an adult's behaviour.[82]

Ethics teaching: Students were to learn the principles of good behaviour in daily life, such as gratitude toward parents, teachers and the king. They were also to be taught to love each other, to be compassionate to relatives and others, to be diligent and honest in their work, to take care of their belongings, not to destroy public property or the property of others, and also to be serve the country with devotion and, where necessary, with bravery. Above all, they were to be guided by the 5 precepts of Buddhism and the ten kusala-kammapatha.

Ethical practice: This curriculum advocated to train students and let them practice praying and attending Buddhist rite and homily

Assessment: In the primary curriculum of 1910, ethics was one of the compulsory subjects, subject to examination and individual grading. In the other subjects, the exams were taken in class and classified by total percents. [Sorry, but this doesn't make sense to me. What exactly does it mean in practice and detail?] Nevertheless, there was no standardization of the assessment in passing to the next level. [Explain] (See Table 11)

Table 11. The Primary School curriculum 1910: Ethics Instruction



Time table



To imbue students with good character and inculcate good behaviour in them.

Moral Behaviour, (Dharmmajariya), The Five Precepts (Pancha Sila), The Prathommala, The Golden steps and Buddhajariya books

Not determined

A new emphasis on practice

Individual assessment

3.3. The Common Curriculum 1911: Ethics Instruction

[You need to start by putting this in context, i.e. by saying something about why further changes were made so quickly after the changes of 1910. To judge by what follows, it seems to have been for a variety of reasons, e.g. because the government realised that some students needed to be prepared for study overseas; that girls' and boys' needs were different to some degree; and that students' career ambitions needed to be channelled away from the bureaucracy and towards the vocations. If these were in fact the reasons why the government made further changes so quickly, it would be better to say so at the start, so that the reader understands immediately why one set of changes followed so quickly upon another, instead of just plunging into a description of the changes. It would also be useful to say something about why the government suddenly woke up to all these problems within a single year! For example, was it something to do with the accession of Vajiravudh in 1910?] In this curriculum, there were 4 levels of education, designated as Basic, Primary, Secondary, and Upper Secondary. (As we will see, these designations were changed only two years later, when the term ‘Basic' was discarded.) Each level was to be of three years duration. After the Basic level, which was common to all students, there were to be two streams: an ordinary stream and a special stream. [My choice of the word ‘stream' (you originally said ‘section') may be wrong. Two ‘streams' means that the two kinds of education ran in parallel, with different students doing different things at one time. Is this what you mean?] The latter was intended to prepare the ablest students for study abroad, which meant, for example, that they studied foreign languages more than students in the ordinary stream. Also, with the exception of the Basic level, the curriculum for girls differed in content to some extent from that for boys. [Say how.] Overall, the curriculum aimed to give more opportunity for all people to receive basic education and to give increased emphasis to vocational education.

Objective: When primary education became compulsory in 1911, [You said earlier that this happened in 1921, not 1911. Which one is correct?] Ethics instruction was the first compulsory subject. Its content was very wide-ranging, including not only morality as such, but how to live safely, health education, how to preserve property and reputation, and general knowledge and skills for everyday living.[83] In fact, the content of ethics instruction in this curriculum was similar to the basic curriculum of 1910 but stated in more detail and with greater emphasis on practice.

Timetable: For the first time, the curriculum specified the number of hours per week to be devoted to Ethics teaching which could be flexible (see Table 12, below). Other activities or subjects, i.e. those not included in the curriculum, were not to be taught in the settle period.[84]

Table 12: Timetable of ethics instruction in Common Curriculum 1911[85]

Is this table an efficient way of displaying information? The table takes up a lot of space but the information content is actually very low because the data values vary very little. (e.g. most of the cells contain the figure ‘1')




Period per a week

1st year

2nd year

3rd year



Primary (boys)

Primary (girls)

Secondary (boys)

Secondary (girls)

Upper Secondary











1 hr 30 mins



1 hr 30 mins

1 hr 30 mins

1 hr 30 mins



1 hr 30 mins

1 hr 30 mins


1 hr 30 mins



Primary (boys)

Primary (girls)

Secondary (boys)

Secondary (girls)

Upper Secondary





















Most of the following paragraph merely repeats information you have already given. Students following the common curriculum were thus to receive more hours of Ethics instruction than those following the special curriculum, because the latter had more subjects especially foreign language to study as part of their preparation for studying abroad. There were also more periods of ethics instruction at the basic level because there were not many other subjects at this level. In addition, the boys at secondary level in the ordinary stream had to participate in scouting activities, and therefore had less time to study ethics than girls at the same level.

Pedagogy: As we have seen, in the 1910 curriculum, teachers were encouraged to train students to practise ethics in their daily life rather than just learn about it in the abstract. Good model and good tale by teachers would be taught to lead students to practical ethics. [This is very unclear. Was this brief statement the sum total of guidance given by the curriculum? Or is is just your summary? Does it mean that the teachers had to set a good personal example, and also use stories to illustrate moral principles. If so, how was ‘a good personal example' defined, and what sort of stories were to be used? (were they to use e.g. jataka tales?) Please clarify all this by examples] There were many additional subjects and activities [For example?] that were intended to mould the character of students so that they would grow into good citizens. [86]

Assessment: In the primary curricula of 1910 and 1911, ethics was one of the compulsory subjects, so the exam was conducted and graded individually. [Repetition! You've mentioned this several times already. However, I still don't really understand what it means, as I can't see how assessment could be anything other than ‘individual'.] Nevertheless, there was no standardization of the assessment. (See Table 13)

Table 13. The Common Curriculum 1911: Ethics Instruction

Each time you produce one of these tables, it repeats a lot of information from previous tables. You should find a way of displaying information more efficiently. Actually, I'm not convinced that the Tables are really necessary at all, if the discursive text is clearly written. If you feel obliged to have tables, use fewer tables and design them more carefully to highlight significant changes rather. And put them at the end of the section as a kind of summary (or in an appendix).



Time table



To train students to be good and honest.

Dharma Behaviour, (Dhammajariya), Five precepts of Buddhism, Moral tales, Boy scout subject

60-90 minutes per a week

An emphasis on practice

Individual assessment

3.4. The Royal Curriculum of the Dhammakarn 1913: Ethics Instruction

After the educational project was promulgated in 1913 by the Dhammakarn, a new common curriculum, called the Royal curriculum, was announced later in the same year. The aims of this curriculum were to channel people's career aspirations away from the government bureaucracy towards useful and economically productive vocations in their local area.[87] There were now to be 3 levels: primary, secondary and higher education. For primary and secondary education, the nomenclature and duration of the levels of the 1910 curriculum were modified as follows.

1. ‘Basic' education was now re-designated Primary and was extended in duration from 3 years to 5. The first three years were to be common for all, and 2 additional years for extra subjects. (However, girls proceeding to secondary education were exempted from these 2 additional years.) [This needs more explanation.]

2. ‘Primary' education was now re-designated as Lower Secondary, and ‘Secondary' as Middle Secondary. The duration of each of these levels remained unchanged at 3 years.

3. Upper Secondary retained its 1911 designation, but the duration was reduced from 3 years to 2.

The common subjects (Ethics, Thai language, Thai information [culture? History?], Health Education, Art, and Boy-Scouting) were taught at all levels, with the exception that Ethics was discontinued at the Upper Secondary level. The additional subjects [at all levels?] were Handicrafts, Agriculture, and Commerce.

Content: The contents of Ethics instruction in this curriculum 1913 were exactly the same as in 1911. The same moral ideas were taught at each primary level, but in varying degrees of detail and depth. And the contents of Ethics instruction in primary curriculum for boys were as the following lists. [If they were indeed ‘exactly the same' then you don't need to add a list here. If the list applied in 1911, it should be included in the previous section. On the other hand, if the following list does represent an addition to the curriculum, you need to explain why and how it was added to the contents you have already described. It is certainly an interesting list and needs some explanation about its sources and rationale.]

Be honest and faithful in all duties.

Be kind and compassionate, taking more care for the benefit of the community than for personal advantage.

Be courageous, but respectful and polite

Be grateful to parents, teachers, the king, and above all to the nation. Be dedicated to the improvement of society and the nation.

Be thrifty, but not avaricious and learn to be a careful consumer

Girls were to receive more Ethics instruction than boys in the second and third years of the Primary level, so that, in the event of their not proceeding to the secondary level, they would not leave school without some preparation for their household duties as wives and mothers.

Timetable: The 1913 curriculum gave the Minister of Education discretion to make annual adjustments to the timetable hours allocated to each subject at the Primary level, and to determine these according to the needs of localities. For all levels of primary and secondary schooling, Ethics was to be taught for one period (i.e. an hour) per week, with the exception that girls in the 2nd and 3rd year of primary education were to receive one and a half hours per week for the reasons already mentioned as shown in the following table. [The point you have made is clear enough. Is it really worth giving space to this table, which again is very inefficient?]

Table 14. Time table of ethics instruction in Common Curriculum 1911[88]




Period per a week

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year



Primary (girls)

Lower Secondary (all)

Middle Secondary (all)

Upper Secondary (all)












1 hr 30





1 hr 30






Pedagogy and assessment: The guidance on pedagogy in the 1911 curriculum was repeated in 1913, but in addition it was indicated that the King's speeches were to be employed to encourage students in ethical behaviour. [more detail and comment, please] There were no significant alterations to the provisions for assessment. (See Table 15)

Table 15. The Royal Curriculum of Dhammakarn Department 1913: Ethics Instruction

Again, it's hard to see what this little table really adds. It just puts the same information in boxes. How does this help?



Time table



To be a good citizen and honest livelihood.

King's speeches for Nationalism and Buddhism subject

60-90 minutes per a week

Encouragement and training

One by one assessment

3.5. The Common Curriculum 1921: Ethics Instruction

As we have seen, the Primary Education Act of 1921 was a significant turning point for Siamese Education, making Primary Education compulsory for the first time. In addition to the Act, 1921 also saw the promulgation of a new Education Plan and a new General (or ‘Common') Curriculum (Laksutr Samansuksa). These were followed in 1922 by the Special Education Collection, which among other things made more detailed provision for the content of Ethics instruction and for examination. [89]

From this point, [Are you giving the cause, or just the time, of what follows?] the role of monks as teachers declined [Can you quantify this decline? For example, are there any figures to show the changes in the number of monks employed as teachers, or their representation as a percentage of the total workforce of teachers?] As more professionally trained lay teachers became available, they were bound to replace the monks, whose secular knowledge might be quite limited. Another factor was the growing number of girls in the public schools. Monks were required, by vocation rule and long tradition, to keep a distance from women. In the days when education had been for boys only, this had presented no problem, but the government's modernisation programme included education for girls (and this would later become much stronger, after the 1932 coup, when Pridi's liberals promoted a more egalitarian education policy). The presence of girls and monks together in the new schools seemed an uncomfortable anomaly, speeding up the tendency to replace the monks with professional lay teachers.

However, the reformers had always foreseen that ‘modernisation' would ultimately entail the replacement of monks by lay teachers, and that this would be a threat to the transmission of Buddhist values to future generations. Indeed, this was why Ethics (which, as we have seen, in the Siamese context meant Buddhist ethics) was incorporated into the curriculum in the first place.

The new Educational Plan and Curriculum of 1921 retained the main structural features of the preceding Plans and Curricula, such as the designation and duration of levels, the division of education into general and special streams, and the differentiation of the Primary curriculum according to gender. Likewise, the stated objectives of Ethics instruction recapitulated the main elements of earlier Plans - to produce individuals of good character who would behave according to Buddhist values, and who would also be good citizens, contributing to the well-being and development of Siamese nation.

In general, the contents of Ethics in the new Common Curriculum was the same as in that of 1913. One new ethical topic was added to the boy's curriculum, which was ‘Be diligent and make effort to replace economical expense, not waste the time.'

Boy Scout activities were retained from the curriculum of 1913, and now Junior Red Cross activities were added. Though separate from the Ethics instruction, these new subjects were felt to have an ethical dimension in the sense that they were character forming. Boy scouting trained boys to take responsibility for themselves and their comrades, and to develop the self-discipline and hardiness to survive in difficult situations. Junior Red Cross trained students to show compassion by saving life or to ministering to the sick or injured.

In 1922, the Special Educational Collection [This is an odd-sounding title. Was it a revision of the curriculum? Did it come from the Dhammakarn?], was promulgated. Section I included a more detailed specification of the content of Primary-level Ethics for boys and girls, as shown below. [90]

1. Good manners

* how to respect parents, elderly people and teachers

* how to behave in some respectful [=certain revered?] places; [what places, for example?]

* how to deal with elderly people in good conduct [How does this differ from item 1 in the list?]

* how to behave at meals

* how to behave in meetings

* how to control manner in some situations;

* how to behave as a guest

* how to work in a team

2. Honesty

* be honest in words and deeds

* be honest with oneself and others.

3. Compassion - be kind to others

* do not get angry easily

* do not treat others badly

* do not destroy others' property

* be merciful to animals

4. Thrift and modesty - looking after property

* do not wear extravagant clothes or accessories

* do not gamble

* do not smoke

* do not destroy or deface public property and places


* be confident when speaking to elders

* don't be afraid of the dark

* do not be frightened with non-sense threats

6. Gratitude - be grateful to parents, relatives, teachers and the king

* obey parents and teachers

* help parents in their household tasks

7. Behaviour - self-discipline

* be obedient

* keep rules

* share with and care for others

These ethical principles were to be taught, with increasing depth and detail, at each of the Primary levels. It can be seen [seen where? It's not clear in the above list] that the contents of Ethics in the curriculum of 1921 emphasized livelihood and nationalism This was because the curriculum had changed in purpose [But you've just said that the objectives were the same as in 1913!]

Time table: The 1921 curriculum 1921 specified one hour per week for ethics instruction in the first year of Primary education for both streams (general and special). In the second year of the general stream (but not the special stream) this was increased to 1.5 hours for both sexes. In the third year, girls continued to receive 1.5 hours of Ethics instruction, although for boys it was reduced back to 1 hour again. In the special stream, the figure remained at one hour per week for both boys and girls throughout the whole three years. Authorised persons could vary this timetable however.[91]

Table 16. Time table for ethics instruction : Curriculum 1921



Hours per a week

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year


Primary (boys)


1 hrs 30 mins




Primary (girls)


1 hrs 30 mins

1 hrs 30 mins


Primary (boys)




Primary (girls)




Pedagogy: As in the curricula 1910 to 1913, Buddhist books and the speeches of the king were used as study texts, but teachers were also encouraged to supplement the texts by explanations, exemplary stories, setting a good example for students, and showing students how to practise ethics in their daily lives.

Assessment: As in the curricula of 1910, 1911, and 1913, students were formally assessed in the subject of Ethics, and the exam was to be conducted and graded individually. Beyond this requirement, however, there was no attempt to standardize the examination procedure until the Special Collection of 1922, which published rules (drawn up by Krom Praya Damrongrachanuphab) for examinations in Primary education.[92] For the Ethics exams, these were as follows:

Examination time: In Bangkok (capital) and Dhonburi, the examination date was determined by the Ministry of Education, whist in other provinces, the governor could arrange his own examination date.

Examination paper: The examination paper for schools in Bangkok and Dhonburi was set by the examination section of the Dhammakarn. In the provinces, local education officers were responsible for setting exams, subject to the approval of their governor.

The grading system: At the primary level, boys had to take an examination with five questions, and each question was marked on a scale from zero to five, with the marks glossed as follows: zero = bad; 1 = ‘not good', 2 = moderate, 3 = good, 4 = very good. Girls (who had studied more at this level) took an examination with six questions, marked on a scale from zero to 6, glossed as follows: 0-1 = bad; 2 = ‘not good', 3 = moderate, 4-5 = good, 6 = very good. [Were these exams written or oral?]

Personal Record: In addition to the examination, each student's conduct was to be graded in a ‘personal record'. This consisted of a points score with a maximum of 20 points, distributed under three sub-heading, namely the students' attendance of the Ethics class (8 points), behaviour (7 points), and diligence in? study (5 points). As regards attendance, for example, one point was deducted (from the available maximum of 8) for every three absences, and another point deducted for every ten instances of late attendance. In the context of behaviour, points would be deducted for any misbehaviour, such as taking another student's property.

Table 17. The Common Curriculum 1921: Ethics Instruction

I recommend you cut this table as it really adds nothing



Time table



To be a good citizen and honest

King's speeches for Nationalism and being a good citizen, Buddhism subject, Dharmmajariya, Five precepts of Buddhism, Ethics: to persist

60-90 minutes per a week

Encouragement and training

One by one assessment

4. Summary

In the Expansion period, from 1905 to 1935, the dominant objective of Siamese educational policy was to provide more educational opportunities for all Siamese people. As a result many new schools, both public and private, were founded in Bangkok and provinces. Moreover, a major milestone in the journey towards universal education was reached with the Primary Education Act of 1921, by which Primary Education was first made compulsory - even though effective implementation of this policy was by no means immediate. In addition, the attempt was begun - though it bore little or no fruit at this stage - to channel students' career aspirations away from the government bureaucracy towards economically productive vocations.

Furthermore - and crucially for our study - the Expansion period was the time in which the place of Ethics education in the school curriculum was established. This initially came about as a result of Rama V's fear that his own drive to modernise education, though indispensable in the struggle for Siam's survival against colonialism, would have the undesirable side-effect of estranging Siamese people from their own culture, including their precious religious and ethical heritage. The danger was that secular subjects would displace the Dhamma, and that the transfer of the role of schoolteacher from monks to lay professionals would cut education off from its spiritual and ethical roots. To safeguard against this danger, Ethics instruction was inserted into curriculum 1905. [93]

Not only was Ethics established as part of the curriculum, but also, as the period progressed, its content was clarified and elaborated. Rama V was mainly concerned that children should grow into good people, imbued with the Dhamma. Vajiravudh (Rama VI) shared this, but was also concerned that they should grow into patriotic citizens, conscious and proud of their Siamese identity. This consciousness would be crystallised in their loyalty to the Siamese monarchy. It would also be directed towards the development of Siam as a modern nation, able to hold its head up among the economically and technically advanced societies of the world. In particular, Vajiravudh wanted Siamese boys to grow into brave and resourceful soldiers, willing to sacrifice themselves for their country if called on to do so.

Finally, as the Expansion period neared its end, Siamese political culture experienced its greatest upheaval of the twentieth century - the revolution of 1932, which replaced absolute with constitutional monarchy and ignited an aspiration towards democracy. The consequences of this momentous event upon education and the teaching of Ethics will be explored in the next chapter.

5. Appendices

[It might be more appropriate have A and B as appendices to the whole thesis rather than as appendices to this particular chapter. Actually, I am not sure you need all this information, as in the text you don't really refer to the Noble Eightfold Path, for example. But let's see later on in the revision process.]

5.1. Appendix A

Basic Buddhist's doctrine[94]

1. The Four Noble Truths (Pali: catur arya sacca)

1) Life is inseparable from suffering (Pali: dukkha).

2) The cause of suffering is craving (Pali: tanha).

3) The extinction of suffering can be attained by the extinction (Pali: nirodha) of craving.

4) There is a way (magga) to the extinction of suffering, namely the Noble eightfold path, consisting of:

1. Right views.

2. Right purpose.

3. Right speech.

4. Right conduct.

5. Right livelihood.

6. Right effort.

7. Right mindfulness.

8. Right concentration.

1. Five precepts

1) To refrain from killing

2) To refrain from stealing

3) To refrain from sexual misconduct

4) To refrain from lying

5) To refrain from intoxicants

3. The Five Virtues (positive counterparts of the Five Precepts)

1) Loving-kindness and compassion

2) Right means of livelihood [This should be generosity - dana]

3) Sensual restraint

4) Right speech

5) Mindfulness or self-control

4. Brahma-vihãra

Brahma-vihãra or the four Sublime States of consciousness denote qualities of the heart which, when developed and magnified to their fullest, lift man to the highest level of being. These qualities are:

1) Mettã, which means all-embracing kindness or the desire to make others happy, as opposed to hatred or the desire to make others suffer. Mettã builds up generosity in one's character, giving it firmness, freeing it from irritability and excitement, thus generating only friendliness and not enmity nor desire to harm or cause suffering to anyone, even to the smallest creatures, through hatred, anger or even for fun.

2) Karunã, which means compassion or desire to free those who suffer from their sufferings, as opposed to the desire to be harmful. Karunã also builds up generosity in one's character, making one desirous to assist those who suffer. Karunã is one of the greatest benefactions of the Buddha as well as of the monarch and of such benefactors as our fathers and mothers.

3) Muditã, which means sympathetic joy or ‘rejoicing with', instead of feeling envious of, those who are fortunate. Muditã builds up the character in such a way that it promotes only virtues and mutual happiness and prosperity.

4) Upekkhã, which means equanimity or composure of mind whenever necessary, for instance, when one witnesses a person's misfortune, one's mind remains composed. One does not rejoice because that person is one's enemy nor grieve because that person is one's beloved. One should see others without prejudice or preference but in the light of Kamma or will-action. Everyone is subject to his own Kamma, heir to the Effects of his own will-actions. Earnest contemplation of Kamma or the law of Cause and Effect will lead to the suppression of egocentric contemplation and result in the attainment of a state of equanimity. Upekkhã builds up the habit of considering everything from the point of view of right or wrong and ultimately leads to a sense of right-doing in all things.

These four qualities should be cultivated and Developed in our hearts by generating mettã or loving-kindness To all beings in general and to some in Particular. If this practice is repeated often, our minds will become impregnated with them often, thus displacing ‘hindrances' (unwholesome mental states) such as hatred and anger. Pursued long Enough, it will ultimately become a habit which will Bring with it only happiness.

The Buddha also taught a way to attain behavioural righteousness for every Buddhist, some of which concern education of the youth.

1. Duties of parents towards their children are:

a. To keep them back from sin.

b. To instruct them in good conduct.

c. To teach them arts and science.

d. To provide them with suitable husband or wife.

e. To give what is due to them when it is time for them to inherit.

2. Duties of children towards their parents are:

a. To support the parents in return.

b. To help them when help is needed.

c. To uphold the honor of the family.

d. To behave in such way as to deserve their inheritance.

e. To perform religious rites for them after their death.

3. Duties of teachers towards their pupils are:

a. Never neglect to advise the pupils in what they ought to do.

b. Care to teach them what they ought to know.

c. Praise them to their friends.

d. Tell them all that is to be studied or understood.

e. Give them their protection wherever they go.

4. Duties of a pupil towards teachers are:

a. To show respect by rising up in their presence.

b. To wait upon them.

c. To obey them.

d. To attend to their wants.

e. To pay attention to what is taught by the teachers.

5.2. Appendix B

A Chronological history of Thai Kings[95] with the periods of the reign

Kings of the Rattanakosin Period (1782-Present)





Somdet Phra Phutta Yod Fah Chulalohk Maha Raj


AD 1782 - 1809 (27 years)


Somdet Phra Phutta Leutlahn Phalai


AD 1809 - 1824 (15 years)


Somdet Phra Nang Klao Chao Yoo Hua


AD 1824 - 1851 (27 years)


Somdet Phra Chom Klao Chao Yoo Hua


AD 1851 - 1868 (17 years)


Somdet Phra Chula Jom Klao Chao Yoo Hua


AD 1868 - 1910 (42 years)


Somdet Phra Monkut Klao Chao Yoo Hua


AD 1910 - 1925 (15 years)


Somdet Phra Pok Klao Chao Yoo Hua


AD 1925 - 1934 (9 years)


Somdet Phra Pramensamaha Ananta Mahidon


AD 1934 - 1946 (12 years)


Somdet P. Praminsamaha Phumiphon Adunyadet


AD 1946 - Present

5.3. Appendix C

The National Education Scheme of 1933

I. The aim of national education is to allow all citizens, regardless of their sex, race, or religion, to be provided with education suited to their talents and economic situations in order that everyone may make his contribution to society by pursuing a career that most suits him.

II. For their future careers, children should receive education both in general and vocational subjects which will be arranged according to their talents and economic situations.

III. For the benefit of all people, education is divided into 3 kinds:

1. Chariyasueksa or moral education to encourage good behaviour and a high standard of morality

2. Puttisueksa or general education to give wisdom and knowledge.

3. Palasueksa or physical education to promote good health.

IV. The State has the right and power to control government schools, Prachabarn schools and private schools.

V. Within the limits of Article 4 and any other Acts, any private citizen or Prachabarn may be allowed by the State to set up schools to educate children.

VI. Samansueksa and Wisamansueksa

Samansueksa is the study of the fundamentals of various subjects. It includes the courses in Pratom 1-4 and Mattayom 1-8.

Wisamansueksa is the study of vocational subjects provided to meet the demands of each region: Husbandry, Handicraft, and Commerce, all of which form the basic principles of agriculture and various industries.

VII. Children should be given sufficient general knowledge as a preparation for further studies in vocational education.

VIII. There should be enough vocational school for students to continue their studies after completing any of the set courses in the curricula of Samansueksa.

IX. Any student wishing to continue his study in secondary education can do so as soon as he has passed Pratom 4. However if there is any doubt about his ability to study in the first part of secondary education (Mattayom 1-4), he should continue in Pratom 5 and 6 of the vocational branch in order to complete his education.

X. Compulsory Education

According to the Act on Elementary Education of 1921, compulsory education requires that children of all races and religions study until they complete their elementary education courses 4 years of Samansueksa and 2 years of Wisamansueksa.

XI. Compulsory education is free of charge; there are no tuition fees.

XII. Classification of Academic Ability

Those who have completed the set course of compulsory education can be regarded as citizens sufficiently trained to serve society by working in their particular fields, using their rights and carrying out their duties as members of society.

Those who have completed the first part of secondary education in the vocational branch are regarded as more highly trained citizens capable of forming useful ideas and serving the country in different capacities.

Those who have completed the courses at university level are regarded as specialists capable of assuming higher responsibilities.

XIII. Study of Foreign Languages

Those who graduate from universities or colleges should know at least two foreign languages. The foreign languages offered to students are:

Modern Languages: English, Mandarin, French, German, etc.

Ancient Languages: Pali, Sansakrit, etc.

XIV. The two foreign languages should be taught at the beginning of the first and second part of secondary education respectively.

Those who can only finish the vocational courses of the first part of secondary education should study Mandarin.

XV. Girls' Education

Girls and boys should have equal opportunities in education. However since women have by nature special duties to perform, the curricular for girls are slightly different from those for boys, but the quantity and the quality of their education are not inferior to those of boy.

XVI. Categories of Schools

There are three kinds of schools with regard to the owners:

1. Government Schools which are established and subsidized by the government.

2. Prachabarn Schools which are establish and subsidized by Prachabarn in compliance with the Act on Elementary Education of 1921.

3. Private Schools which are set up and maintained by private citizens according to the Act on Private Schools of 1918.

XVII. In setting up schools of all kinds both for Samansueksa and Wisamansueksa to meet the demands of the public, the State allows some citizens to set up private school in order to relieve the government of its financial burden as well as the management.

XVIII. Financial Support

According to the Elementary Education Act of 1921, the State undertakes to give financial aid to Prachabarn schools. The State can also subsidize private schools according to the regulations to be laid down by the Tamakarn Ministry.

XIX. The State grants scholarships to distinguished students to encourage their further studies and makes regulations concerning particular scholarships, for example, state scholarships and the Tamakarn.

XX. The State takes charge of the funds donated, donated by private citizens and carries out the wishes of the donors with regard to the expenditure of the money.

XXI. Teacher Education

For Samansueksa, each class is to have teachers with appropriate qualifications.

XXII. For Wisamansueksa teachers with appropriate qualifications will be employed.

Any new branch of vocational education is to have teachers experienced in that particular field.

XXIII. If it is still not feasible to have only teachers with diplomas in every kind of school, at least there should be as many of them as possible.

XXIV. For university education, appropriate professors, assistant professors, and lecturers should be employed.

XXV. School Inspection

There are to be inspections of every school in every districts, town, and province in order to make sure that the management of the school complies with the Tamakarn Ministry's regulations.

XXVI. An inspector is entitled to advise and reprimand the teachers in the districts he visits.

XXVII. Health Survey

There should be constant medical examinations of schoolchildren to prevent and cure diseases that may interfere with their studies.

XXVIII. Examinations

The State arranges examinations for scholarships and teachers' diplomas and final examinations of all courses that will lead to further studies in a higher level, i.e. final examinations of Pratom 4 for those who wish to continue in the first part of secondary education.

XXIX. Any school is entitled to set entrance examinations for candidates who have already acquired certificates signifying their ability to continue their studies in the school.

XXX. When the examinations of any school or group of examiners are considered as reliable as those of the State, the government will cancel the state examinations and recognize those private examinations as equivalent to those of the government.

XXXI. Report

The Tamakarn Ministry is to submit to the government and annual report on education.

The National Education Scheme of 1936

The government deems it appropriate to improve and modernize education planning as follows:

General Objectives

I. It is the wish of this government to educate every citizen so that he may fulfill his duties under the constitutional regimes, serve his country and support himself as a good member of society.

II. For the full benefit of education, children will be given both Samansueksa (General Education) and Archewasueksa (Vocational Education).

III. To obtain the best results, education is to be divided into three kinds:

1. Puttisueksa: to give wisdom and knowledge.

2. Chariyasueksa: to instill morality.

3. Palasuksa: to promote good health.

IV. Regulations

Education is to be divided into:

1. General Education which is the studies of basic principles of various subjects. There are four years of study in the elementary education, three years in the first part of secondary education, and another three in the second part of secondary education.

2. Vocational Education which is the studies of vocational subjects that can be obtained by students who have completed any of the set courses of the General Education.

V. Those who wish to study at the university level must complete their pre-university education first.

VI. The chart of the National Education Plan with standard age for various grades is shown below.

VII. Compulsory Education

The State requires that every child be given elementary education according to the Elementary Education Act.

VIII. In the provision of education, the Stat allows the municipal authorities and private citizens to help the government set up schools.

IX. The State may subsidize any private schools in accordance with the regulations to be laid down.

X. The State may assist students in their studies by granting scholarships according to the rules to be made later on.

XI. All educational establishments must employ instructors, equipped with diplomas or degrees, or specialists suited to the subjects and classes they teach.

XII. The State is entitled to control instruction in all schools and is in charge of holding examinations for teachers who wish to obtain diplomas, as well as examinations at the crucial stages of Samansueksa, i.e. final examinations of elementary education and both parts of secondary education.

The State may also hold final examinations for pre-university students.

When the examination results of any school are held to be trustworthy and reliable, the State should cancel its own examinations and consider the school's examinations equivalent to those of the State.

[1] Gazette (Ratchakitchanubeksa), Documents on Educational Organization in the Reign of King Chulalongkorn, Schooling announcement (Prakat ruang rongrian) December, 1871 (B.E. 2414) PKPS V8, 81-82

[2] The Royal Curriculum of Dhammakarn Department: 1913 ( Laksutr Luang of Dhammakarn Department : B.E. 2456) Pranakorn: Aksornniti press, 1913 p. 7

[3] For Thailand, since King Rama VII granted the first Constitution of Kingdom of Thailand 1932 (B.E. 2475), there have been amendments and promulgationํs of Constitution in order for them to be compatible with the changing situations of the country in any period. All the constitutions contain the same principle in maintaining the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State exercising the legislative power through the National Assembly, the executive power through the Council of Ministers and the judicial power through the courts. Thai Parliament, The Constitutions of Thailand URL: http://www.parliament.go.th/files/library/b05.htm (2007)

[4] Peter W. Cookson, Jr., Alan R. Sadovnik, and Susan F. Semel. International Handbook of Educational Reform (Greenwood Press London, 1992) 617 pp. 2-3


[6] Yuwabun, Chaman, Centralization and Decentralization in Thailand, Doctoral thesis, University of Thammasat, Bangkok, 1954 (B.E.2497) pp. 16-28.

[7] The armed forces Judiciary and Justice Administration Democracy and Thailand, Introduction change in 1932 (B.E.2475): Major ingredients in Thai Policies, With permission from : The National Identity Office, Office of the Prime Minister, Royal Thai government. (1995) Thailand in the 90s. Bangkok: Amarin Printing and Publishing Public Company Limited. URL: http://sunsite.au.ac.th/thailand/government/chang.html (Updated: 2001)

[8] Organizing Committee for Celebrating the Centenary Accession to the throne of King Rama VI, Encyclopedia of King Rama VI (Saranukrom of King Mongkut), v. I Bangkok: Charoenwit Press, 1980 (B.E. 2523)

[9] The Thonburi Period and the Ratanakosin Period, Supervisory Unit Publication No. 232, Teacher Training Department, 1973, p. 310

[10] Chaiwat Panya, Development of Boy Scouts from 1911-1985 (B.E.2454-2528) Unpublished: Doctoral Dissertation, Chulalongkorn University, 1985 (B.E. 2528). pp. 1-2

[11] Prapan Trinarong, Life and work of Assawapahu, King Mongkut Klao about Wild Tiger, 1963 (B.E. 2506) p. 356

[12] SunSITE Thailand at Assumption University (AU), “Thailand Information.” International Relations: Colonial Era, (Assumption University of Thailand, Internet AuNet Center, 1998), http://sunsite.au.ac.th/thailand/inter_relations/Colonial.html. (Updated: 2007)

[13] Baker, Chris and Phongphaichit, Pasuk, A History of Thailand, Cambridge University Press (2005) p.107.

[14] Baker, Chris and Phongphaichit, Pasuk, A History of Thailand, Cambridge University Press (2005) p.106.

[15] Baker, Chris and Phongphaichit, Pasuk, A History of Thailand, Cambridge University Press (2005) p.106

[16] Chamuen Amorndarunaraksa (Jaem Sunthavawej) : Dusit Dhani - a Democratic City of King Mongkutklao; a commenmoration publication 1970.

[17] King Rama VI, The role of ‘People's Representatives' November 11, 1924 (B.E.2467). pp. 1-15

[18] Kiratijaya Bongsbanich: The Revolution of 1971 (2475), Prae Pittaya press, Bangkok, 1971.

[19] SunSITE Thailand at Assumption University (AU), “Thailand Information.” Chakri Dynasty: Kingdom of Thailand, King Rama VII, (Assumption University of Thailand, Internet AuNet Center , 1998), 30 October 2007 (date viewed) http://sunsite.au.ac.th/thailand/chakri/rama6.html (Updated: July , 1999)

[20] Sayre's Memorandum, Saranromya Palace, July 27th 1926, Cited in Benjamin A. Batson, Siam's Political Future, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, 1974, pp. 23-36.

[21] Bangkok Times, magazine on June 25, 1932, Cited in Benjamin A. Batson, Siam's Political Future, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, 1974, p.80

[22] Nithi Aiewsriwong, Dialogue: Thailand's Devlopment and Pirdi Banomyoung's proposal through the six principles on 25th May, 1932. Office of Public Policy Development and the Institute of Pridi Banomyong (Prachathai, 26 May 2006) http://www.prachatai.com

[23] David K. Wyatt, Thailand: A Short history, “The rise of Elite Nationalism” Silkworms Books: 1982, p.242

[24] Sayre's Memorandum, Saranromya Palace, July 27th 1926, Cited in Benjamin A. Batson, Siam's Political Future, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, 1974, pp. 23-36.

[25] Sanoh Unakul, Education and Changes in the social and economic structure, Education in Thailand: A century of experience. (The Department of Elementary and Adult Education, Ministry of Education, Thailand, 1970) pp.15-16

[26] The Bowring Treaty is the name given to an agreement signed on April 18, 1855 between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Siam that liberalized foreign trade in Siam. The Treaty was signed by King Mongkut of Siam and Sir John Bowring, Governor of Hong Kong and Britain's envoy. A previous treaty had been signed between Siam and the United Kingdom in 1826, and the new treaty elaborated and liberalized trade rules and regulations by creating a new system of imports and exports. The treaty allowed free trade by foreigners in Bangkok, as foreign trade had previously been subject to heavy royal taxes. The treaty also allowed the establishment of a British consulate in Bangkok and guaranteed its full extraterritorial powers, and allowed Englishmen to own land in Siam.

[27] See Panas Hannakin, King Rama VII's speech to military officers on February 5, 1931 (n.d.)

[28] Panas Hannakin, King Rama VII's speech to military officers on February 5, 1931 (n.d.)

[29] M.R. Kukrit Pramoj, Education and Culture, Education in Thailand: A century of experience. (The Department of Elementary and Adult Education, Ministry of Education, Thailand, 1970) pp. 38-39

[30] Sombat Champangean, Words-Encyclopedia (Pojana-Saranukorm) V. II. Bangkok: Thai wattanapanich, , 3rd printing, 1980 (B.E. 2523) p. 453-454. Luenchay Vongvanij, Buddhism in Thailand, Rattanakosin period : King Rama VII. Realnet Solution Company Limited, http://www.dhammathai.org/e/thailand/ratanakosin.php (Viewed on Fri 2nd March, 2007)

[31] National Achieve, Document in the reign of King Rama VII S. 6/6 : Book for teaching children that awarded and distributed by the king to all schools over the country, 1929 (B.E. 2472)

[32] Bangkok Times, Jan. 26, 1957 (B.E. 2500) cited in David K. Wyatt, Thailand: A Short History, Silkworm Books 1984 (B.E. 2527), p. 211

[33] David K. Wyatt, Thailand: A Short History, Chiengmai: Silkworm Books, 1984 (B.E.2527), pp. 211-212

[34] Swat Sukontarangri, Development of Thai Educational Bureaucracy, The National Institute of Development Administration: Bangkok, 1967 (B.E. 2510) p. 20

[35] Chakri Dynasty: Kingdom of Thailand King Rama VI , (Assumption University of Thailand, Internet AuNet Center , 1998), http://sunsite.au.ac.th/thailand/chakri/rama6.html (Updated : July , 1999)

[36] David K. Wyatt, The Beginnings of Modern Education in Thailand, 1868-1910, (Cornell University, doctoral thesis, 1966), p. 329

[37] Swat Sukontarangri, Development of Thai Educational Bureaucracy, The National Institute of Development Administration: Bangkok, (1967) pp. 63-66

[38] Ministry of Education, A history of the Education, the Ministry of Education: Bangkok, 2435-2507 (1892-1964), p. 97

[39] Department of Elementary and Adult Education, Ministry of Education, Education in Thailand: A Century of Experience (Bangkok: Karnsasana Press, 1970) p. 11

[40] Sir John Sargent, and Pedro T. Orata, Report of the Mission to Thailand, Paris, UNESCO, 1950, pp. 17-18.

[41] Aree Sunhachawee, Evolution in Curriculum and Teaching Education in Thailand: A century of experience. (The Department of Elementary and Adult Education, Ministry of Education, Thailand, 1970) p. 102

[42] The Department of Elementary and Adult Education, Education in Thailand: A century of experience. (Ministry of Education, Thailand, 1970) pp.63-66

[43] Ministry of Education, A history of the Education Ministry, 1892-1964 (B.E. 2435 - 2507), Suksabanh, Bangkok, 1964, pp. 184-185.

[44] Ministry of Education, A history of the Education Ministry 1892-1964 (B.E. 2435 - 2507), Suksabanh, Bangkok, 1964, p. 202

[45] Ministry of Education, Department of Secondary Education, Statistical Progress of Public Education, p. 166; Ministry of Finance, Department of General Statistics, Statistical Yearbook of the Kingdom of Siam 1922, p. 212

[46] Charuwan Waicnetna, Compulsory Education in Thailand 1931-1941 (B.E.2464-2474), Supervisory Unit Publication No. 159. Department of Teacher Training, 1974 (B.E. 2517) p. 28

[47] Saroj Buasri, Towards a new concept of education for Thailand: A look into the future. Education in Thailand: A century of experience. (The Department of Elementary and Adult Education, Ministry of Education, Thailand, 1970) p. 119

[48] Saroj Buasri, Towards a new concept of education for Thailand: A look into the future. Education in Thailand: A century of experience. (The Department of Elementary and Adult Education, Ministry of Education, Thailand, 1970) p.120

[49] Manich Jumsai, Compulsory Education in Thailand, Studies on Compulsory Education, no. 8, UNESCO, Paris, 1951 p. 41

[50] Udyanin, Kasem and Smith, R. D., The Public Service in Thailand: Organization, Recruitment, and Training, (n.d.) p. 36

[51] Ministry of Education, Department of Teacher Training, The Department of Teacher Training and Its Agencies,(n.d) pp. 2, 6-7

[52] Source: Ministry of Education, Department of Educational Technique, Report on Public Education 1942-1954, p. 40-69

[53] Swat Sukontarangri, Development of Thai Educational Bureaucracy, The National Institute of Development Administration: Bangkok, (1967) p. 101

[54] Swat Sukontarangri, Development of Thai Educational Bureaucracy, The National Institute of Development Administration: Bangkok, (1967) p. 84

[55] People's party, Announcement: Ministry of Education, Policy of Public Instruction 1932.

[56] J. Tungkasemsuk, An evolution of Thai education, Bangkok: Kled-Thai press, 1982 pp. 180 -1

[57] Thompson, Virginia, and Adloff, R., Minority Problems in Southeast Asia, p. 267

[58] Thompson, Virginia, and Adloff, R., Cultural Institutions and Educational Policy in Southeast Asia, p. 39.

[59] Manich Jumsai, Compulsory Education in Thailand, Studies on Compulsory Education, no. 8, UNESCO, Paris, 1951 p. 24

[60] Ministry of Education, A History of the Education Ministry, 2435-2507, (Bangkok: Suksabandb press, 1964), p. 260

[61] Thompson, Virginia, and Adloff, R., Minority Problems in Southeast Asia, p. 47

[62] Ministry of Education, Department of Secondary Education, Statistical Progress of Public Education, p. 166

[63] Charuwan Waicnetna, Compulsory Education in Thailand 1931-1941 (B.E.2464-2474), Supervisory Unit Publication No. 159. Department of Teacher Training, 1974 (B.E. 2517) p. 39

[64] Ministry of Education, A history of Thai Education, Bangkok: Kurusapha press, April 1, 1976 (B.E. 2509) p. 38

[65] Ministry of Education, A History of the Ministry of Education, 1910 - 1974 (2453-2507), Suksabandh, Bangkok, 1964 (B.E. 2507) pp. 255-256

[66] Swat Sukontarangri, Development of Thai Educational Bureaucracy, The National Institute of Development Administration: Bangkok, 1967 (B.E. 2519) p. 53

[67] National Archive Division, Rama VI Documents, S.2/9 on the Compulsory Primary Education Act of 2464 and S. 2/10 on Objectives and Procedures.

[68] Ministry of Education, A History of the Ministry of Education, 1910 - 1974 (2453-2507), Suksabandh, Bangkok, 1964 (B.E. 2507) pp. 308-309

[69] Ministry of Education, A History of Thai Education, 1976, Bangkok: Kurusapha press, 1976 (2519) p. 50

[70] Ministry of Finance, Department of General Statistics, Statistical Year-Book of the Kingdom of Siam, pp. 209-210.

[71] National Scheme of Education: National Policy of Public Education 1932 (B.E. 2475).

[72] This monk is one of Thailand's most well-known Buddhist Scholars. His writings cover not only traditional Buddhist subjects but also Buddhist perspectives on modern academic themes. He was the recipient of the 1994 UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. At present he spends his time between Nakorn Prathom province and Chachoengsao province in Central Thailand, interspersed with occasional overseas travels and lectures throughout Thailand. See http://www.seameo.org/vl/payutto/payutto.htm (update in 2007)

[73] PHRADHAMPIDOK PRAYUDHTO, The dawn of education, The beginning of constant development (Bangkok: Sahadhamik press, 2002), 123-125

[74] National Achieve, King Rama V's document. Review and Manage Educational project: An opinion of Siamese students in England toward Educational management, 6 April ror sor 117

[75] National Achieve, King Rama V's document. s. 2/3 Review and Manage Educational project: An opinion of Praya Wisudhi suriyasak about Educational Management ror sor 117

[76] Primary curriculum for 1st level examination 1905, V. 1-8

[77] See Appendix A

[78] See Appendix A

[79] Dhammakarn, Primary Curriculum for 1st level examination 1905, pp. 2-3

[80] Buddhist Doctrines

[81] Ministry of Dhammakarn (Education), Basic curriculum 1910 (Laksutr saman ror. Sor. 128) Pranakorn: Aksornniti Press, 1911. p. 5

[82] Ministry of Dhammakarn (Education), Common curriculum 1909 (Laksutr saman ror. Sor. 128) Pranakorn: Aksornniti Press, 1911, p. 6

[83] MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, History of Ministry of Education, 1882-1962 (1963) pp. 274-275

[84] Ministry of Dhammakarn (Education), Common curriculum 1911 (Laksutr saman ror. Sor. 130) Pranakorn: Aksornniti Press, 1911, p. 36

[85] Academic department, Introduction of curriculum, Ministry of Education, 1970 (B.E.2513) p. 28-32

[86] Ministry of Dhammakarn (Education), Basic curriculum 1910 (Laksutr saman ror. sor. 128) Pranakorn: Aksornniti Press, 1911, p. 6

[87] The Royal Curriculum of Dhammakarn Department: 1913 (Laksutr Luang of Dhammakarn Department : B.E. 2456) Pranakorn: Aksornniti press, 1913 p. 7

[88] Academic department, Introduction of curriculum, Ministry of Education, 1970 (B.E.2513) p. 28-32

[89] National Archive, Documents in the reign of King Rama V, sor 2/11, 1921 (B.E. 2464) The Special Educational Collection, section I: topics to be taught in primary education.

[90] National Archive, Documents in the reign of King Rama V, sor 2/12, The Special Educational Collection, section II: topics to be taught in primary education. (October 1st, 1922)

[91] Ministry of Education, Introduction of curriculum, Academic department, 1970 p. 28-32

[92] National Archive, Documents in the reign of King Rama V, sor 2/12, The Special Educational Collection, section II: Examination rule for primary education, ror sor 141 (December 15th, 1922)

[93] National Archive, Documents in the reign of King Rama V sor 2/3, Inspection and management of educational projects: Krom Phra Wachirayanwarot's comments, ror sor 117 (A.D.1898)

[94] The core of the Buddhist Doctrine appears in Section 18-21, and 56, Vinaya Part, Mahavag Volume, of Tripitaka Scriptures.

[95] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kings_of_Thailand; Thailand Travel Dictionary (January 2007)