Let's Share

09.09.2011   THAI PBS CHILDREN'S PROGRAM: TURN TODDLERS INTO THINKERS

Apart from strengthening news reporting, Thai PBS is also devoted to develop quality programs, especially the children’s program which is our current focus. Thai PBS’s children’s programs have been continually improved to cater to the needs of children and bring benefits to the society.

Mr. Suwit Sasanapichit, Director of the Program Department, explains that Thai PBS chooses to focus on children’s programs not only because of their primary importance to the growing up of children, but also because Thai PBS sees it as a great opportunity since currently there are but a few producers who create programs that are truly suitable for children. He adds that “most of children’s programs are made to gain money from advertising. As a public broadcaster, Thai PBS aims to produce quality programs that truly benefit the children. However, our children’s programs are not targeted solely at the kids; we try to encourage parents to watch them with their children. The concept of our programs is clean, unharmful and family-oriented. If parents have a chance to watch TV with their kids, they would be able to judge which programs are suitable for kids and select appropriate programs for their little ones who still cannot make judgments themselves.”

Thai PBS has co-operated with Thai Health Promotion Foundation to develop model programs for two groups of children: 3-6 years old and 6-12 years old. This co-operation has set up the standard guidelines for children’s program production. “We have invited academic persons and psychologists to assist in the development of the guidelines. To produce a good children’s program, several factors must be taken into consideration – contents and storytelling, editing and soundtrack, even the presenter’s costume or the font on screen. All of these have effects on children’s attention. Many countries abroad have already established guidelines for children’s program production, but such guidelines cannot be implemented in our country because the behavior of their children is different from that of our children. That’s why we need to develop our own guidelines,” Mr. Suwit explains.

“We have to develop the art of communicating with children in the face of evolving world. Being a commercial-free station, Thai PBS should be a key player to address this concern,” Mr. Suwit says, then gives his definition of a good children’s program. “A good program for children should teach them to be reasonable and aware of their ignorance. The program should allow them to learn things they want to know, not what adults want them to know. It should teach them to ask questions and know how to find the answers.”

In the coming year, Thai PBS is focusing on science programs for children. In a modern world where new technologies are invented every day, science programs will help them to understand and catch up with changes. One example is “The House of Little Scientists,” a section in a variety show for kids on Thai PBS. Cute animated characters take young children to an adventure in which science experiments are required to overcome obstacles. With the guidance of the program host, little guests have a chance to carry out fun and easy experiments that young audiences can try at home.

Mr. Suwit concludes that “in the present day, it is important to teach our children to think for themselves. That is the main reason why we have laid emphasis on children’s programs; at the same time, we are updating for new learning innovations to introduce to our young audiences. Most of all, we hope to expand the target from children to parents by adding more family-oriented programs. We will not produce TV shows for entertainment alone; our shows must lead to good consequences. Parents should always keep in mind that media can be poisonous for their children and only they can dilute such poison.”