15 June 2015
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has stated that the Government attaches great importance to education reform, with an emphasis on basic education, as its effects would shape the future of the country.
In his televised national address on 12 June 2015 in the program "Return Happiness to the People,” the Prime Minister touched on the issue of strategies for basic education reform.
The issue was discussed recently by the Basic Education Commission, which set three major strategies to be implemented from 2015 to 2020. The strategies include teaching and learning reform, vocational development reform, and education management reform.
In the initial stage, six guidelines for basic education reform must be carried out urgently from now until March 2016. In the first guideline, an effective form of teaching should be developed to ease learners’ difficulties with learning to read and write. The second guideline seeks to manage basic education in accordance with vocational skills. Emphasis is placed on schools in special economic zones in border provinces, namely Tak, Mukdahan, Sa Kaeo, Songkhla, Trat, and Nong Khai.
In the third guideline, the teaching of English at the basic education level must be developed. For instance, the Ministry of Education should seek cooperation with the British Council in improving skills in English communication for Thai students, in preparation for the ASEAN Community.
The fourth guideline seeks to produce, develop, and train teachers, education administrators, and education supervisors. The fifth guideline involves the upgrading of distance learning, while the sixth one involves the qualification development of learners.
The Prime Minister said that he wanted to see the country’s education focus not only on an intelligence quotient, but also emotional quotient. He believed that parents also wanted to see their children be able to live happily with other people, without the use of violence.
Speaking at a recent seminar on curriculum and teaching reforms, Education Minister Admiral Narong Pipatanasai stressed the need for Thailand’s education to adjust in order to produce and develop human resource, in response to the changing situation. Education reform is not the matter of the Ministry of Education alone; all sectors of Thai society should also give a helping hand.
He pointed out that education reform must help the country cope with future challenges and prepare Thai workforce for multicultural society and the increased application of new technology. Moreover, because of the shifting demographic structure of Thailand’s population, the number of older persons will increase significantly. The Thai education needs to be ready to meet this trend, as well.