In 1996, the free and compulsory school in Thailand was expanded from 6 to 9 years from the age of 6. In 2000, 87% of the relevant age group attended primary school. According to Bridgat, the high school is 6 years (3 + 3 years). The country has 20 state and 13 private universities and a host of colleges and other learning centers. There are many private schools at all levels. According to UNESCO in 2002, illiteracy among the adult population was estimated to be approx. 7.5%.
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After the military coup, relations with neighboring countries became very tense again until a “coup in the coup” in October 77 brought a more “civilized” part of the military’s right wing to power. It started liberalizing political life and attracting foreign investment. From 1979, the country began to receive a significant stream of Cambodian refugees. They were housed in refugee camps near the Cambodian border and these quickly developed into support bases for the three Cambodian factions that fought the Phnom Penn regime. Much of the international “humanitarian” aid was channeled to these camps. As part of US strategic policy in the region, Thailand once again came to serve as a base for North American aggression against its neighboring countries – this time against the Vietnamese-backed government in Phnom Penn.
On April 1, 81, General Sant Chitpatima conducted a coup attempt with the support of junior middle level officers, but it was crushed after 3 days of intense tension. The younger officers had demanded the reinstatement of democracy and social reform. It had initially been accepted by the King and the Prime Minister, General Prem, but after a few days they turned against the coup makers. The younger officers’ revolt was a result of the government’s forced retirement of a number of generals, but at the same time the coup saw unusual developments as they sought support from the academic sectors and students, and came up with proposals that were extremely unconventional for the Thai military.
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At the same time, the Thai left wing was weakened as a result of the crisis that characterized its main force – the Thai Communist Party – which was divided into a provincial and prokinesian wing.
On April 20, 83 elections were held for Congress, giving General Prem Tinsulanonda enough support to begin his second term as prime minister.
At the end of 84, the government implemented a sharp devaluation of the Thai currency. A step criticized by General Arthit Kamlang-Ek and other generals who were in favor of the hard line. They threatened Prem with withdrawing the military’s support for his government, but he carried out a series of political maneuvers aimed at providing military compensation for the devaluation. In this way he isolated Arthit and eliminated him as a political alternative. Following a coup attempt in September 85, Arthit was replaced by General Chaovalit Yongchaiyut in the post of commander of the armed forces.
Political instability continued in Bangkok. The government was replaced several times and elections were printed twice. In the May 86 election, the Democratic Party gained a relative majority, which made it possible to form a coalition with it in the lead and with General Prem as prime minister.
During the same period, General Chaovalit’s reputation rose – especially because of his strong criticism of the rising corruption. In April 88, the government was forced to print new elections to avoid a distrust agenda against Prem. His criticism, in particular, was based on his shady handling of public funds and his incompetence in regard to public affairs. the end of border talks with Laos a few months in advance on the control of 3 villages.
At the first fairly free elections since 76, the Thai Nation Party won the election. The choice was marked by extensive voting – a practice used by most candidates. King Bhumibol Adulyahed subsequently asked General Chatichai Choonhavan to form government, and it was given a coalition of 6 parties as its base. Thailand’s new strong man had a strong background in the private business world. He was now embarking on significant changes in the country’s political life, which had traditionally been oriented to domestic and security issues. Chatichais had the idea of transforming Indochina from the war scene it had been for 40 years into a large regional market. He sought to take advantage of the opening opening in neighboring Cambodia and Laos, and stimulated extensive Thai investment in the two countries.