In 1956 Prime Minister Field Marshal P. Pibulsongkram, addressed a gathering of teachers from throughout the country and suggested that as teachers were our benefactors and persons who gave light to our life they should have a day of their own so that their students would get an opportunity to pay respect to them. He continued, “On other auspicious days such as New Year’s Day and the Songkran Festival we pay a tribute to both our living and dead relatives and make merit in dedication to their souls. Since our teachers play an important role next to our parents, I would like to propose the idea to this gathering and ask you to consider it in principle.”
As a result of his remarks, the Teachers’ Council unanimously agreed to set up Teachers’ Day in order to hold a ceremony to pay a tribute to the teachers, to promote unity among teachers and to promote better understanding between teachers and the general public. Thus, on November 21, 1956, the Cabinet passed a resolution to announce January 16 of every year as Teachers’ Day and the school holiday was celebrated for the first time on January 16, 1957. The event has been held since then and is held nationwide. The highlights of the day include religious activities, a ceremony of paying respect to teachers and activities to strengthen unity among teachers.
Starting next year, there is expected to be a new award called the Juling Pangamoon Award that will be given to teachers in each region who work with children with cultural or religious differences or work where there is a risk to life. Juling is the brave teacher who was taken hostage last year and brutally beaten by southern villagers. For eight months she had been in a coma before she sadly died last week. Her funeral took place today, which is fittingly Teacher’s Day. Her love for children and her dedication to her job is a shining example to us all. Juling, you will be forever in our thoughts.
Main Source: “Essays on Thailand” by Thanapol Chadchaidee.
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