TK park and National Statistical Office’s survey reveals the increasing reading rate of Thai people – 66 minutes per day, confirming the commitment in reading promotion in the Thai society.
TK park, in association with the National Statistical Office has revealed good news of the increasing reading rate to 66 minutes per day, while the group of children and youth dominated the highest rate of all ages. However, illiterates and non-readers still exist, thus there should be a proactive plan to make reading a culture of all Thai people under the project – A Lifetime Learning — in every region across the country.
TK park as a core agency to promote knowledge development, reading promotion, and a lifetime learning implementation has extended its collaboration with the National Statistical Office to share the survey’s result on reading rate among Thai people, in conjunction with the discussion on ‘Reading Rate Statistic and Reading Behaviour among Thai people.’
All comments and opinions from the discussion are believe to benefit the reading promotion for all parties concerned.
The reading statistics of the Thai population is conducted by The National Statistical Office every two year. In 2015, the reading scope was extended to cover reading on social network, SMS, and e-mail. The survey was done among 55,920 households during May to June 2015.
The key results of the survey are as follows:
In a group children aged below six years, there are approximately 2.7 million readers, accounting for 60.2 percent of a total population. Girls (60.9%) tend to read more than boys (59.5%.) Also, administrative districts and regions where people live in are factors that differ the reading rate. The survey showed that people in the municipality that account for 63.9% tend to read more than those living in the outer areas that account for 57.4%Children aged below six in Bangkok is the group with the highest reading rate (73.8%), while those in Northeastern region has the lowest reading rate. (55.9%)
Regarding the group of population aged over six years, the survey showed 77.7% reading rate. In this group, women read slightly more than men with 78.9% and 76.5%, respectively. Children and youth rank the highest reading rate of all ages (90.7% and 89.6%, respectively). The second highest rate is the group of working age with 79.1%, while the older age see the lowest rate of only 52.8%.
Referring to the sort of reading materials, newspaper is the most popular among readers, accounting for 67.3%. Following the newspaper is the content via social network, SMS, and e-mail (51.6%), while news, documentaries, and general knowledge are the most read content (48.5%)
The average time of reading is 66 minutes per day. The youth spend the longest reading time, 94 minutes in average per day. The group of children and working age spend approximately one hour for reading, while the group of old age spend 44 minutes in average per day. Comparing to the previous survey in 2014, it shows that the reading rate increases in every range of ages due to the advent of new reading media like social network, SMS, and e-mail. It is also found that youth spend 44 minutes more time for reading.
The survey also points out that the effective way to implement the reading promotional policy is to instill reading awareness among parents and family first. Then the educational institutes take role in creating proper reading activities and offering adequate libraries or mobile libraries. In addition, books and content should be attractive and understandable. Accessible books at reasonable prices and public reading corners in the communities should be implemented as well.
The information of this survey is believed toserves as an indicator for shaping an effective reading promotion roadmap, thereby leading to the sustainable strategy for TK park’s operation to promote a lifetime learning concept going forwards.
Wattanachai Winichakul, head of TK park’s academic department, revealed, “This cooperation with the National Statistical Office aims at educating the general public about the country’s reading situation. In this survey, questionnaires are designed and adjusted in accordance with the reading knowledge and readers’ behaviour, especially the change of readers’ behaviour influenced by the information and communication technology.”
TK park believes that reading awareness and a lifetime self-learning is a fundamental qualification of a quality human resource who will contribute to the country’s competitive-edge development in the future.
The survey explicitly conveys that the reading rate of a total population (77.7%) is rather high although decreasing from 81.8% in the previous survey. However, it is found that the overall reading time spent is doubled (37 minutes to 66 minutes per day.) One of important factors that increases the reading rate is electronic media. More than a half number of the surveyed readers favor the content via social media. But while social media gains more readers, printing media remains its utmost popularity with over 96% of readers.
Despite this positive result from the survey, there are still questions to be considered. Who are non-readers? Why don’t they read? What is the effective way to promote reading among non-readers? How should we do to make the books and information more accessible among the public at large? These are examples of the questions that need answers.
“I think that the analytic information that is based on the real situation from the survey will be instrumental for effective reading promotion,” continued Mr. Wattanachai. “We hope that this positive survey will inspire all parties concerned to continue further step for reading promotion in earnest.”