The Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection (DJOP) and dtac signed a memorandum of understanding on developing digital skills for future career opportunities and skills to safeguard against online risks for youths under Thailand's criminal justice system.
The youths will be able to learn digital skills and develop a positive attitude towards digital technology via an e-Learning platform and on-site workshops. In addition, dtac Net for Living, together with Thailand Professional Qualification Institute (TPQI), have launched "dtac Net for Living course" on an online platform. Youths who are trained in this course will obtain an educational equivalency certificate to continue their studies further and pursue career opportunities.
Rehabilitation to Social Reintegration
According to the DJOP, in fiscal year 2022, there were 12,202 cases involving Gen Z children and youths, with approximately 3,000 being rehabilitated in juvenile detention centers and training centers nationwide.
Pol. Lt. Col. Wannapong Kotcharag, Director-General of the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection (DJOP), said, "The DJOP provides rehabilitation in both physical and psychological aspects, as well as offering education and upskilling sessions conducted by teachers and experts. These skills and education can be applied in real life when they return to society."
In the juvenile detention centers, three types of education are provided for the children and youths: (1) non-formal and informal education, (2) formal education, and (3) alternative education courses to support youths in completing compulsory education (Grade 9). Vocational training is also provided. Certificates of completion are provided for graduates, so they will be able to return to society afterwards. Each year, around 1,557 youths completed their compulsory education and 2,237 completed short vocational training.
One of the philosophies DJOP upholds is to provide youths under Thailand's criminal justice system an opportunity to improve and develop themselves to be able to return to society. This collaboration with dtac is one of our efforts to create opportunities for juveniles to learn about the digital world and online tools from experts, as well as enhancing experiences for them to be able to safeguarding themselves from online risks.
Digital Inclusion to Enhance Livelihood Opportunities
Stephen James Helwig, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Total Access Communication PLC or dtac, said, "The youths under rehabilitation with the DJOP are digital natives or Gen Z born between 1997 and 2012 - meaning they are between 10 and 25 years old. They grew up with digital technology and innovation. dtac and DJOP have thus partnered to help reconnect and reactivate them upon their return to a society under rapid digital transformation. We aim to provide them an opportunity to develop their digital skills so that they canconnect and work with other youths their own age.
An interesting survey forecasts that Gen Z will soon be the largest consumer segment. As they join the workforce, their income is predicted to rise more than fivefold to 33 trillion USD by 2030, accounting for more than a quarter of global GDP, and exceeding millennials' income. By 2031, the digital competence index measure forecasts that Gen Z's average competence score will be 2.5% higher than Millennials, and over 8% higher than Gen X. Moreover, youth in this generation are more active on social, political, environmental and human rights issues. They therefore want to use social media and digital technology as a tool to exchange their views and solve challenges."
Under this MoU, the DJOP and dtac will together provide digital resilience and digital business skills to children and youth under Thailand's criminal justice system in 21 juvenile detention houses nationwide for a period of three years. Specifically, the strategies to promote the learning include:
- Combine online and at-site training formats for a better learning experience.
- Provide Net For Living training to increase digital marketing and entrepreneurship skills
- Provide access to 'Dek-Lum' e-learning in dtac's SafeInternetLab online community for learners to continue their learning in online risk and digital skills.
dtac's Net For Living training course has been endorsed by TPQI to meet its 'Essential Competency Standards' level of the 'E-Commerce Curriculum.' The course certificate will be an advantage for youths to continue their education or to pursue employment opportunities. This year, we aim to provide e-Learning education for at least 500 youths under Thailand's criminal justice system.