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My First Day at School (3/3)


This is also part of this series: Early Life - Life Series 7 (3)

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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Bullfrog Films
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 25 mins
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2009
Available in French: No

Thailand's Festival of Water: Songkran. A chance for adults to behave like kids. And for some kids a last chance to misbehave before the first day of school. The third program in the Early Life series follows three children preparing to enter primary school in Chiang Mai, Thailand. But are their lives already set on different courses? Scientists suggest that how the brain develops in the first years of life may affect a child's ability to prosper at school.

Sita is looking forward to her first day, Best is wary, and Tha Na Korn doesn't even have a school to go to yet. Their dilemmas reflect those of Thailand as a whole: how should a country with its own traditions of childhood prepare their kids for a new, globalized society? Thailand is now developing an education policy to meet the needs of a globalized economy.
 
Child rights might have guaranteed Tha Na Korn local schooling. But many experts who say culture should guide early child development don't like talk of "child rights". They say it could lead to the West imposing its own views of childhood on the world.
 
Can Thailand achieve child rights without sacrificing its culture? Child rights will mean more kids like Tha Na Korn go to school. But Tha's school has a different language and culture. He could become "unrecognizable to his parents." Child rights and respect for culture need to be combined.