Harvard economist praises Thailand’s Covid-19 response

Nobel Prize-winner and Harvard economist Amartya Sen named Thailand as one of the developing countries that have responded effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic because its people are well educated.

“Thailand counts among them because the level of education here is higher than that of most developing countries,” the economist who is originally from India said. “That indicates how with an educated society you can deal with most problems, including Covid-19, which is new to the world.”

Sen made his remarks at the International Conference on Equitable Education: All for Education last week in Bangkok. The meeting examined the progress and experiences of some of the 155 countries that joined the initial World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand, in 1990.

Thailand was the first country outside of China to record a case of Covid-19 infection back in January. Many predicted the virus would hit the Kingdom hard. But decisive action by the government and cooperation from the public prevented a major epidemic.

The Kingdom had recorded no locally transmitted infections for more than 40 days. However, two foreigners who visited Thailand last week tested positive and so health workers are conducting contact tracing and testing to see if they spread the virus to others. So far, no infections have been found. The government said it would also plug any loopholes in the rules for foreign visitors to ensure more effective containment of the pandemic.

Prasarn Trairatvorakul, a former Bank of Thailand governor and the Equitable Education Fund president, said that social protection – food, family, travel, school, and community securities – can ensure equitable education, especially for vulnerable students.

“These five securities will be the backdrop of equitable education for our children in this post-Covid-19 society,” he said.

Photo courtesy of https://www.unaids.org/