On 19 March 2013 in Hanoi, Vietnam, the Minister of Education, Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, attended a bilateral discussion on educational cooperation with the Minister of Education of the Philippines H. E. Br. Armin A. Luistro Fsc.
The Minister of Education of the Philippines admired Thai education reform, especially the policy for issuing free mobile tablets for primary students which responds to future education management which emphasizes the use of more modern technology and computers. He also talked about the policy for reducing in-class learning and increasing the rate of general and vocational educations to 50:50.
Mr. Phongthep said that the mobile tablets given to Thai students aimed to facilitate faster access to information. However, tablets cannot completely replace textbooks. So, in the academic year 2013, textbooks and tablets will still be distributed to all primary students.
In terms of reducing in class learning, the Ministry of Education follows UNESCO's standard because, in developed countries, students spend more time researching outside classroom.
In addition, more Filipino teachers are coming to teach in Thailand and both countries are formulating an agreement for teacher exchange which is crucial for the ASEAN Community as those teachers are like educational ambassadors who create knowledge-sharing. It is expected that in April or May, 2013, both countries will sign an agreement on teacher exchange.
During the bilateral discussion, the Minister of Education from Thailand raised the issue of the upcoming ASEAN Community in which Thailand will provide teaching English and ASEAN languages to Thai students and the adjustment of the schedule for academic years to accommodate transfer of Thai students as well as categorizing student visas according to the type of courses the students will attend.