|Photo by echo0101 through a Creative Commons license|
Most of the world celebrates New Year with fireworks. In Thailand we welcome the New Year, in April, with water. During “Songkran” (Thai New Year), we pour scented water on the hands of our elders as a show of respect and to receive their blessings. It’s also a very festive celebration that’s marked by entertainment, water fights that spill into the streets, and a huge amount of people travelling by road to spend the holidays with their families and friends.
When things get out of hand, the situation becomes a recipe for disaster. During the Songkran week of 2012 alone, according to the government’s Road Safety Directing Center (pdf in Thai), there were 320 deaths and 3,320 people injured by road traffic crashes, mostly from drunk driving. Every Songkran becomes a reminder that road traffic injuries and fatalities are still a major public health and development challenge in Thailand.
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ประเทศเกือบทั่วไปในโลกฉลองปีใหม่ด้วยการจุดพลุเล่นไฟ ในประเทศไทย เรารับปีใหม่ในเดือนเมษาด้วยชุ่มช่ำของน้ำ ในเทศกาลสงกรานต์ เรามีประเพณีรดน้ำดำหัวผู้ใหญ่เพื่อแสดงความกตัญญูและความเป็นสิริมงคล แล้วยังเป็นช่วงเวลาของความสนุกสนาน ได้เล่นน้ำกันบนท้องถนน ผู้คนต่างเดินทางไปกับเพื่อนผองและครอบครัวกันเป็นจำนวนมากในวันหยุดนี้
แต่เมื่อสังสรรค์กันจนเลยเถิดไป ความสนุกก็กลายเป็นความหายนะได้ จากสถิติของศูนย์อำนวยการความปลอดภัยทางถนน (pdf) สัปดาห์สงกรานต์ปี 2555 มีผู้เสียชีวิต 320 ราย และบาดเจ็บ 3,320 ราย จากอุบัติเหตุบนท้องถนน และส่วนมากมาจากการเมาแล้วขับ ทุกๆ สงกรานต์จึงเป็นเครื่องเตือนใจว่า ประเทศไทยกำลังประสบกับปัญหาหลักในเรื่องการสาธารณสุขและการพัฒนาประเทศจากการเสียชีวิตและบาดเจ็บที่เกิดจากอุบัติเหตุทางถนน
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การล่าช้างเพื่อเอางามาขายยังคงดำเนินต่อไป ช้างจำนวนมากถูกทิ้งให้เลือดนองและตายไปในท้องทุ่ง เช่นเดียวกับบรรดาเจ้าหน้าที่ที่ปกป้องรักษาทรัพยากรธรรมชาติของประเทศต่างๆ ในช่วงสิบปีที่ผ่านมา มีเจ้าหน้าที่ลาดตระเวนเพื่อการอนุรักษ์สัตว์ป่าถูกสังหารไปกว่า 1,000 คนใน 35 ประเทศ สหพันธ์ผู้พิทักษ์ป่าระหว่างประเทศ (International Ranger Federation) ให้ข้อมูลว่าจำนวนเจ้าหน้าที่ที่ถูกสังหารทั้งโลกในช่วงระยะเวลาเดียวกันนี้อาจมีมากถึง 5,000 คน
|Noel Aspras in the Philippines says that "even the lowliest of farmers owns a cellphone now" because it has become a necessity. Watch the video below.|
When I lost my mobile phone two years ago, I felt dismembered. After all, my cellphone was constantly by my side, serving as alarm clock, calendar, and default camera for those ‘Kodak’ moments you couldn’t let pass. It was also a nifty calculator that I turned to when splitting restaurant bills with friends.
After grieving the loss of my “finger” for two days, I pulled myself together and got a new, smarter phone that allowed for faster surfing on the web, audio recording and a host of other functions that, well, made me quickly forget the lost unit. A blessing in disguise, I told myself.
So when no less than a farmer from Pagsanjan in the Philippines’ Laguna province told me that mobile phones were “no longer a luxury, but a necessity,” and added that “even the lowliest of farmers riding on a carabao (water buffalo) owns one,” I couldn’t agree more.
(Last week, I posted: “Wanted: Jobs and your questions about how to find them” on this blog. We received dozens of questions back through social media. Lars Sondergaard, a World Bank expert on education, answered some of them in a video and now he gets to a few more here. He throws out some questions of his own and would love to hear back from you. — Anne Elicaño)
Anonymous asked through the blog: “I was wondering about job outlook for chemical and mechanical engineers in the future”
If you are just about to graduate as an engineer and worry whether you will be able to find a job, I have some good news: in most countries, too few students study engineering relative to the jobs available with the results that engineering graduates tend to have an easier time finding employment than their peers. A lot is written about this vibrant demand, check out this article in Forbes about the demand for engineers (or the World Bank’s “Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth”)
Earlier this week I asked you to send us your questions about the link between jobs and skills --which should I acquire to make it in the current job environment? Thanks for all the replies --there were so many and so interesting that Lars Sondergaard, our expert, will address in a separate blog post next week the ones that couldn't make it into the video interview. Stay tuned!
|Lars Sondergaard will answer 5 of your questions in a video|
Use social media to ask the World Bank about the type of skills and education that are needed in today’s global economy.
The global economic recession has made the search for a good, stable job even more significant. In Asia, where I’m from, jobs have always been foremost in young people’s minds because of the harsh conditions brought about by social and economic inequality or, if you’re not from a developing country, the previous generations’ memory of it. We don’t have an equivalent to a “gap year” to take time out between the life stages of high school and university to travel.
What can make a person more employable? Policymakers say that having the right skills and good education largely have something to do with that. It’s not just about being able to go to school. In Thailand and some other countries, schools are linking with companies so that students can enhance the skills their future employers needs. A World Bank report, Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth, also recommends investing more in research and scholarships, prioritizing underfunded but important subjects like engineering and sciences, and improving the management of public universities.
Have your say
Do you have a question about the effect of the recession on joblessness in your region? Or the type of skills most needed by the market?
We’re asking an expert on education, Lars Sondergaard, to take questions in a video interview that we’ll post at the end of this week.
Here’s how to get involved:
So what are you waiting for? Ask now and share with your friends!
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Nếu bạn hỏi ai đó là điều gì hấp dẫn anh hay chị đến với Bangkok, bạn sẽ thường nghe câu trả lời đó là những món ăn đậm đà gia vị ngon tuyệt vời, những người Bangkok vui nhộn và hiều khách và một thành phố sống động kỳ lạ luôn tràn ngập ánh sáng mặt trời. Nhưng điều gì nữa đã đưa gần 40 chuyên gia trong lĩnh vực phòng chống tham nhũng từ 15 quốc gia trong khu vực Châu Á – Thái Bình Dương, từ Bộ phát triển quốc tế Anh, từ các cơ quan của Liên hợp quốc và từ Ngân hàng thế giới, đến với Bangkok cuối tháng 3 vừa qua? Đó là sự quan tâm học hỏi xem việc kê khai tài sản công chức ở các nước trên thế giới được thực hiện như thế nào và làm thế nào để kê khai tài sản trở thành một công cụ hữu hiệu hơn trong phòng chỗng tham nhũng.
Cuộc hội thảo khu vực về minh bạch tài chính (minh bạch hóa tài sản) đã được Ban liêm chính thị trường tài chính và Sáng kiến thu hồi tài sản bị đánh cắp (Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR)) của Ngân hàng thế giới tổ chức. Hội thảo này đã tạo ra cơ hội để chuyên gia các nước tham dự chia sẻ thông tin về thực hiện kê khai tài sản trong khu vực công của mỗi quốc gia, từ các quốc gia đã xây dựng hệ thống kiểm soát việc kê khai tài chính tương đối phát triển như Hàn Quốc và Thái Lan, hay các hệ thống mới được xây dựng như Đông Timor, và các hệ thống đã đạt được môt số kết quả nhất định như của Việt Nam và Trung Quốc. Các đại biểu đã nhiệt tình chia sẻ kinh nghiệm của mình, những khó khăn mà họ gặp phải và mong muốn được học hỏi lẫn nhau. Đối với Việt Nam, cùng với việc đánh giá 5 năm thực hiện Luật phòng chống tham nhũng, có một số thông điệp bổ ích có thể được nghiên cứu và áp dụng.