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Lifelong learning policy for the elderly people: a comparative experience between Japan and Thailand

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This study examined and compared the legal inputs, structural settings and implementation process of lifelong learning policy in Thailand and Japan focusing on street-level agents. The findings demonstrated that while both countries had legal frameworks that provided a legislative platform to promote lifelong learning among the elderly based on a bottom-up implementation of policies, three major differences existed that equated with different outcomes of lifelong learning among the elderly in both countries. First, the promotion of lifelong learning for the elderly in Thailand mirrored complex administrative structures of several host organizations and multiple legal frameworks; whilst Japan’s lifelong learning policy had been promoted based on the Social Education Act under a single ministry. Second, while Thailand based its policy implementation on government agents at the regional and local level in policy delivery, Japan developed a community-based multilayered platform that promoted the policy with active involvement from various local players. Finally, lifelong learning policy for the elderly in Thailand reflected the personal initiatives of policy promotion by government agents at the local level; whereas, lifelong learning policy for the elderly in Japan was pursued based on the interests of the elderly and the community in which they lived.
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Keywords: lifelong learning for the elderly; lifelong learning in Japan; lifelong learning in Thailand

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Mahidol University, Thailand

Publication date: November 2, 2014

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