Sukhothai, Thailand

  • City population: 
  • GDP – city: 
    Less than USD 10,000
  • Average number of years of schooling: 

A rich cultural heritage

Located in the lower northern region of Thailand, Sukhothai boasts a rich cultural heritage. It is home to the Sukhothai script and the King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription, the latter being a UNESCO Memory of the World. As a centre for handicrafts, the city is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for Crafts and Folk Art, which has promoted Sukhothai into a learning hub.  

Vision and Strategy

Sukhothai sees lifelong learning as key to sustainability, with improved formal and informal education opportunities, decent work, cultural prosperity and economic development driven by sustainable entrepreneurship practices in the creative arts. Sukhothai believes that, by joining the UNESCO GNLC and sharing practices with its members, it will achieve its lifelong learning goals. Its strategy is based on increasing public awareness and participation in lifelong learning and enhancing Sukhothai’s share of best practices in lifelong learning.  

Policies, Plan and Implementation

Sustainability and health

  • Sustainability is promoted through initiatives integrating technology with traditional handicraft practices for a sustainable creative arts industry in line with the national strategy of Thailand, Thailand 4 .0. Moreover, the Sukhothai provincial public health office encourages healthy living by promoting traditional Thai medicine.  

Equity and inclusion

  • The Sukhothai ‘wisdom-learning’ curriculum provides crafts education to local artisans. In addition, community-based learning centres make education accessible to marginalized citizens such as those with disabilities or in remote areas. The city also provides ICT facilities to learners across nine districts.  

Decent work and entrepreneurship

  • Projects are in place to help local craftspeople to integrate technology into their work by adapting to new business models; those most affected by economic recession during the COVID-19 pandemic were prioritised in these projects. In addition, students from poorer families are supported through vocational skills training to improve their economic prospects. 

Good practices

Usa Sangkhalok

  • This local pottery makes pottery from sawdust mixed with clay. Given that unused sawdust is a source of air pollution and a health hazard, this initiative promotes a greener and healthier environment through a material innovation in the crafts industry.  

Kids' creative workshop

  • This event enables 250 students coming from urban and rural communities to participate in craft-making activities  

The Sukhothai 'wisdom-learning' curriculum

  • This programme integrates crafts into the educational system (formal and informal) for all ages. It has supported lifelong learning efforts through leading educational institutes around Sukhothai.  

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