LAMPANG — Not known for his English-language skills, junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday enlisted a kindergarten student to promote him in English.
During a visit to Lampang province, Prayuth met third-year kindergarten girl Varin Rampai, who studies at Assumption Kindergarten, part of the private Catholic school Assumption College. A video of the girl endorsing him was later posted online.
“May name is Varin. Today, I go visit the prime minister. I love the prime minister because it’s my first time that I see him. He also gave me a present and said he want to go to my home… He gave me a microphone to speak,” the Assumption Lampang Kindergarten girl said in the 48-second clip posted to Prayuth’s official Facebook page.
“Introducing a talented kid… [she] speaks excellent English and is admirable. I watched it and feel proud on behalf of the parents and all teachers. They are all talented. This is the future of Thailand,” the message read.
The post attracted mostly positive comments, with many praising the girl for her skills.
A few critics said learning to be bilingual should not be a skill reserved for the privileged elite or those who attend famous private schools such as Assumption College or other international schools.
Facebook user Sirinin Wachon said poor rural children “hardly have an opportunity to develop like this girl.”
Mocking Prayuth’s own lack of English fluency, Facebook user Chataporn Markboon wrote: “The prime minister should exhibit his English-language speaking ability for children to see, so you won’t feel ashamed.”