6 of the most inspiring quotes on learning by Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Reference, 14 October 2016

The world’s longest-serving monarch, Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, passed away Thursday afternoon at the age of 88 following years of declining health.

However, he leaves behind a legacy that will be remembered by his people.

Throughout his 70-year reign, Bhumibol attached great importance to education, particularly the importance of life-long learning.

Thanks to his various education initiatives, from establishing schools to granting scholarships, the Thai people accorded him the title, “Teacher of the Land”.

In his many commencement speeches given over the years, he reminded every new batch of graduates to never stop learning or improving themselves.

TheKingof Thailand

Having been educated abroad – Bhumibol was a graduate of University of Lausanne in Switzerland – he was a strong proponent of studying overseas, and even revived an annual scholarship program to send Thais to pursue their undergraduate studies at foreign universities.

Besides that, Bhumibol urged Thais to embrace the “learn wisely” method of learning, a concept that he developed.

Here we’ll share 6 of the best quotes by Bhumibol which encapsulate his enduring commitment to life-long learning and ensuring that education opportunities would be extended to all in his kingdom.

1. On the importance of a good education

“Talking about the well-being of the people, the improvement of education is essential. Without good education, people cannot earn their living. The emphasis must be at all levels. If we talk about higher education and the need for scientists of high standing, we must start from elementary or kindergarten levels. Without a good foundation, there is no way to build up higher levels of learning.”

2. On how learning never ends

“Learning is a never-ending process. Those who wish to advance in their work must constantly seek more knowledge, or they could lag behind and become incompetent.”

3. On what education means to him

“Education means guiding and promoting persons to progress in learning, thinking, and performing according to their own ability. The ultimate aim should be for each individual to be able to make the best use of his or her potential, to benefit oneself and others in harmony and without conflict or harassment.”

4. On the two kinds of knowledge

“Education can be divided into two kinds of knowledge: first is the academic knowledge, which will be beneficial to oneself and the country, if applied after completing the course of learning; second is moral knowledge, or ‘Dhamma’, that is, learning how to conduct oneself. Both require wisdom on the part of the learner. But those who use only the academic knowledge, without moral knowledge, cannot be considered persons of wisdom.”

5. On the benefits of practical experience

“Subjects that are best learnt through practical studies must be taught through practice. Learning through direct practical experience results in true and clear knowledge that can always be resorted to because of expertise, in contrast with teaching without practice, which often turns into learning just to pass the examination, or learning to be forgotten.”

6. On how knowledge must be built up over time

“No academic knowledge can be acquired all at once. One has to gradually accumulate the knowledge until it is broad-based and comprehensive. In learning, it is necessary gradually to build up what is learnt, as the base for higher and more in-depth knowledge.”


Continuous Skin-to-Skin Care

A small baby held continuously in skin-to-skin contact, often known as kangaroo care, is kept warm, safe from infection, and will likely breastfeed sooner. This video shows how to help a mother position her baby, secure him safely in a wrap, and care for the needs of her baby and herself while in continuous skin-to-skin contact.

The Story of Ebola

About the Film

This animated story is told by a young girl whose grandfather dies from Ebola and puts the rest of her family at risk. It brings to life the many messages that are so crucial in understanding this disease on a community level. The film makes visible the invisible Ebola germs to help people see and understand how Ebola spreads and how to protect themselves. Critical messages are woven through the story so that people better understand Ebola, see themselves within the context of an outbreak, and see how to act in ways that can keep themselves safe from the disease and protect their communities. This film is intended to help meet the need for better education and awareness that is critical in eradicating this disease in West Africa, and whenever and wherever potential outbreaks may threaten communities in the future.

The Story of Cholera 

About the Film

The film was produced in collaboration with internationally acclaimed animator Yoni Goodman. It has been seen in virtually every country in the world, and is currently narrated in 35 languages.

The story features a young boy who helps a health worker save his father and then guides his village in preventing cholera from spreading. By making the invisible cholera germs visible, this simple animated narrative brings to life the teaching points of cholera prevention.

The Story of Cholera is widely used as a general tool for teaching sanitation and hygiene, and has become a favorite educational tool among communication for development specialists, aid workers, animators, and public health experts. It has been translated and narrated by groups all over the world, and used in diverse settings such as refugee camps in Lebanon and state-wide training programs in India.

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Global health lessons from Thailand’s successful liver fluke elimination campaign

Outreach and education efforts can play an outsize role in disease elimination programs, researchers suggest in a review publishing July 25 in Trends in Parasitology. As a case study, they consider recent public health efforts in Thailand, using everything from village-wide presentations to children’s comics, to elaborate traditional song-and-dance routines to try to stamp out infections caused by the parasitic liver fluke.

Barely the length of a fingernail, the Southeast Asian liver fluke is a flatworm that thrives in the freshwater lakes and rivers of the Mekong basin. In its parasitic life cycle, it first infects snails, next cyprinid fish such as minnows and carps, and finally humans, often through consumption of koi pla — a popular salad of raw fish, red ants, lime juice, and spices. The parasites can cause cholangiocarcinoma, a highly lethal bile duct cancer that is rare in the Western world but nearly 50 times more common (85 cases per 10,000 people) in Northeast Thailand, a hotspot of liver fluke infestation.

Cancer researcher Banchob Sripa, a professor at Khon Kaen University, began engaging with villages still affected by liver flukes about 10 years ago, when there was little to no progress in sight. “I myself grew up in a poor family in Northeast Thailand where the disease is endemic,” he says, “And when I started working with communities in my province, I found that the liver fluke problems still persisted with nearly three-quarters prevalence in certain villages, despite over 30 years of Thai government campaigns against the parasite.”

Sripa and co-author Pierre Echaubard of the Global Health Asia Institute argue that a flaw of early campaigns was that they focused exclusively on the medical relationship between human host and liver fluke parasite. Social and ecological factors — including cultural traditions of raw fish sharing, farming practices and open sewer systems that let the parasite flourish in community ponds, and a lack of community education about parasite transmission — went unaddressed.

After several years of observing a liver fluke control model designed by Sripa and his colleagues, the Thai government officially rolled out a new campaign in 2016 addressing the complexities of liver fluke infestation. Instead of trying to stamp out food sharing among healthy individuals, an ingrained cultural practice that strengthens community bonds, they encourage the deceptively small change of sharing cooked fish dishes in place of raw ones. They take education efforts into classrooms and village meetings, distributing posters and comics explaining the risks posed by the parasite. They attempt to disrupt the liver fluke transmission cycle at multiple points, in particular the open defecation practices that transfer fluke eggs back into water sources.

Though agricultural intensification and climate change could pose new challenges for managing liver fluke transmission, early results in the afflicted Lawa Lake region are promising, with human infection rates in the worst-hit areas down to below 10%, fish infection rates dropping from 70% to below 1%, and no infected snails detected. Sripa is optimistic that the campaign’s combination of educational efforts and medical anthelmintic treatments has led to a tipping point. “The success of the control program drives me to expand the model to our neighboring Mekong countries like Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam,” he says. “I believe that with intensive integrated intervention using this EcoHealth/One Health approach, we can eliminate the entire infection within 10 years,” he says.

The greatest lesson for other public health campaigns, he says, is that “top-down policy alone is not sustainable. We need to empower communities to take care of themselves with support from the government rather than just giving and expecting change to happen.”

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Materials provided by Cell PressNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Real or fake? Creating fingers to protect identities


Do you know how safe it is to use your finger as a security login? And have you wondered how your cell phone knows if your finger is real or a fake?

Michigan State University biometric expert Anil Jain and his team are working to answer these questions and solve the biggest problems facing fingerprint recognition systems today: how secure they are and how to determine whether the finger being used is actually a human finger.

In an effort to test and help solve this problem, Jain, a University Distinguished Professor, and doctoral student Joshua Engelsma have for the first time designed and created a fake finger containing multiple key properties of human skin. Commonly called a spoof, this fake finger has been used to test two of the predominant types of fingerprint readers to help determine their resilience to spoof attacks. Watch the finger being made in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wprg_mekQY&feature=youtu.be

The fake fingers developed at MSU were created using a combination of carefully chosen materials, including conductive silicone, silicone thinner and pigments. In addition to determining the materials, the entire fabrication process, using a molding and casting technique, was designed and implemented by the team.

“What makes our design unique is that it mimics a real finger by incorporating basic properties of human skin,” said Jain. “This new spoof has the proper mechanical, optical and electrical properties of a human finger. Compared to current fake fingers that only contain one or two of these properties, our new version could prove much more challenging to detect. It will help motivate designers to build better fingerprint readers and develop robust spoof-detection algorithms.”

Developing more resilient fingerprint readers is important because they are now abundantly used for authentication in cell phones, computers, amusement parks, banks, airports, law enforcement, border security and more.

One specific way the synthetic fingers will be used is for testing the recognition accuracy between different types of fingerprint readers. The readers differ based on the type of sensors used to record the digital fingerprints, such as optical (using light rays to capture an image) or capacitive (using electrical current to create an image).

Currently, recognition accuracy declines when the same fingerprint taken using two different types of fingerprint readers is compared. For example, if a capacitive reader was used to capture a fingerprint, but an optical fingerprint reader was used later to authenticate that same fingerprint, it’s less likely the print will be accurately identified. By using MSU’s new spoof, companies could develop methods to improve the accuracy.

“Given their unique characteristics, we believe our fake fingers will be valuable to the fingerprint recognition community,” said Jain. “Consumers need to know their fingerprints and identity are secure, and vendors and designers need to demonstrate to the consumers the technology is not only accurate but also resilient to spoof attacks.”

Jain and his team have begun work on the next phase of this research: designing and building a fingerprint reader to test spoof-detection capabilities. Once ready, this low-cost reader could be easily built in a couple of hours by others in the fingerprint recognition community to test for real versus fake fingerprints. Jain’s lab is additionally working on algorithms that will make this fingerprint reader more resilient to spoof presentation attacks.


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Materials provided by Michigan State UniversityNote: Content may be edited for style and length.