With unprecedented challenges of the Information Age, the government of Thailand was fully aware of the importance in leading the country towards a learning society and seeing the need to create an alternative environment of learning especially for children and young people.
For a start, the Thai cabinet passed a resolution, in accordance with the government policy on social and quality of life development, to establish the Thailand Knowledge Park (TK park) on January 13, 2004. Then, the announcement of the administrative committee of The Office of Knowledge Management and Development No. 4/2547 subject: Establishment and Management of Thailand Knowledge Park - a specialized organization under the Office of Knowledge Management and Development, was issued on June 18, 2004.
TK park : the Prototype
The establishment of TK park presents with the new approach to an innovative vision to build Thailand towards a learning society by cultivating a positive attitude towards reading habit, the love of reading, creative thinking, and lifelong pursuit of knowledge and lifelong learning among children and youth through a combination of books, activities, music and multimedia.
In order to provide a creative learning environment, TK park began with the opening of the first prototype library at CentralWorld in the heart of Bangkok on January 24, 2005. This prototype library of 3,700 square meters comes to serve the Thai society as an easy-to-access public information center, facilitate the network of knowledge distribution and be convenient to use for creative life-long learning.
Operating under the concept of “Living Library”, TK park offers more than a hall of books; it is truly an alternative yet creative environment to recognize children’s learning experiences outside the classroom in different dimensions.
TK park also has a commitment to become a platform for youth to exchange ideas and experiences gained from an almost infinite variety of creative activities and workshops, all of which will lead them on the road of self-discovery in accordance with their own preferences and aptitudes.
In addition, TK park plays an important role to create a learning network with an aim to promote active participation from every sector of the society especially towards the holistic learning development of children and youth in Thailand.
11 Years On
For 11 years, the implementation of TK park is considered as one of the most successful learning promotion projects that the Thai government has undertaken. Between the year 2005 and 2016, TK park has achieved its key roles in providing the opportunities for youth and the public in general to develop and strengthen their creative learning experiences, intelligences and skills through the state-of-the-art prototype of “Living Library”.
Art of learning activities
Major activities undertaken by TK park include the promotion of reading and learning at all levels through various campaigns and creative methodology. TK park has introduced and incorporated an extensive use of educational tools, applications and other information technologies to provide a great accessibility in distributing the learning materials to a number of public learning spaces in local communities across Thailand.
There are many outstanding activities being held at TK park during the past eleven years. Our learning activities integrate between science and cultural art to promote extensive areas of learning. TK park regularly holds activities to strengthen reading and writing skills for youths and others, which are comprised of many projects such as Young Storyteller Award, Read Thailand, Youth Volunteer for Community Libraries, TK Reading Club, Theatre Workshop, TK Animation workshop, E-book workshop and many more.
Shaping the future through collaboration
• Provincial Knowledge Park
As TK park’s “Living Library” concept is well- received by public and private organizations all over Thailand, TK park network libraries continues to expand and develop into every region in Thailand to promote reading and lifelong learning among Thai people through a combination of books, activities, music and multimedia. The new, yet creative learning spaces in different regions will act in accordance with each local context and as a strong support to the country’s basic education structure and learning ability of the Thai children for the mission of making Thai society a learning society.
• Community Knowledge Park
TK park has been collaborating with local administrators in many regions of Thailand to develop ‘Living Libraries” to promote reading and lifelong learning among Thai people. The Community Knowledge Park prototype is developed medium size in accordance with each local aspect, and well-received as “Mini TK”.
• School Living Library
The prototype model of TK park has also been utilized by various interested governmental organizations under Ministry of Education and Ministry of Interior Affairs. This collaboration allows TK park to contribute to overall improvement in learning quality of the country via the administration, methodology and management of the living library concept to interested organizations throughout Thailand.
• Thai Kid Library
TK park has created a prototype living library for children aged 3-12 years old in a space of 150 square metres with the forms and functions based on children’s needs and cultural experiences to encourage their senses of learning and reading. Books and other media selection criteria are provided by experts in the field to suit children’s development.
• Community Learning Center
TK park has collaborated with a number of local agencies such as Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Community Organization Development Institute, and other public and private firms to establish a small community-based learning centers for people to promote learning new knowledge and skills to improve people’s quality of life.