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4.1.4 Secondary Education

The National Education Plan 1992 stipulates that secondary education is basic education for all. The government should expand basic education for all to enable people to improve a quality of life. Secondary education is divided into lower and upper secondary levels.

Lower secondary education :

Progress in science and technology has played an important part in rapid economic and social development of the country with an impact on lifestyle and people’s values. International culture pours into the country in various forms. It is therefore necessary to take an action to upgrade the knowledge, idea, values and basic education of the people. A duration of six years of basic education may not be enough to meet these demands. The government’s policy is to encourage more of its people to continue their studies in lower secondary level. This is the level which aims at providing literacy to the people. The National Education Act 1999 has extended compulsory education from 6 years to 9 years which means that compulsory education will include lower secondary level. This will become fully effective in 2002. The situation of lower secondary education is as follows:

Enrolment ratio at lower secondary level

Gross enrollment ratio or the percentage of the total number of students in lower secondary classes compared to the population aged 12-14 since 1990 has constantly increased from 1.39 million in 1990 to 2.43 in1998, or from 39.66% in 1990 to 72.65% in 1998.

Table showing gross enrolment ratio at lower secondary level, and the ratio of students in public schools to private schools, classified by academic year:

Academic Year Number of

Students

Population

aged 12-14

Percentage of students per population Ratio of public to private school students

1990

1992

1994

1996

1998

1,394,129

1,772,469

2,200,323

2,445,231

2,426,931

3,515,128

3,465,303

3,477,361

3,363,831

3,340,414

39.66

51.15

63.28

72.69

72.65

89 : 11

91 : 9

93 : 7

94 : 6

94 : 6

Source : Bureau of Educational Policy and Planning. Office of the Permanent Secretary for Education (Educational Statistics in Brief)

The proportion of public and private school students at lower secondary level since 1990 has shown a remarkable decrease of the number of this category of students in private schools, from 11 % in 1990 to 6% in 1998. This may be because the government has proclaimed to extend compulsory education from 6 years to 9 years and basic education to 12 years. At the initial stage, provision will be made in the form of opportunity education expansion to the underprivileged to enable them to study in secondary level by arranging supporting programmes such as free tuition fee, food, uniform, and textbooks. This has convincing more students to attend public schools.

The net enrolment ratio representing the ratio between lower secondary students aged 12-14 and population aged 12-14 shows that during 1992, 1994 and 1996, the net enrolment ratio at the lower secondary level or the percentage of students at lower secondary level when compared to population aged 12-14 is 46.71, 35.39, and 48.15 respectively.

Table showing net enrolment ratio at lower secondary level, by academic year:

Academic year

Number of

Students

aged 12-14

Population

aged 12-14

Percentage of

Students per

population

Agencies

Excluded

         

1992

1,084,494

3,465,303

31.30

ONPEC/ OPEC

1994

1,249,726

3,477,361

35.94

-

1996

1,619,732

3,363,831

48.15

OPEC

1998

1,616,599

3,340,414

48.40

OPEC

Source : Report on education and teachers. National Statistics Office.OPEC : Office of the Private Education Commission.

Rate of transition to lower education

The constantly increasing gross enrollment rate into lower secondary level had risen to an occurrence: the acceleration for more enrollment into the first yeare of lower secondary or Mathayom 1, pushing the percentage from 53 in 1990 to 91 in 1998.

Table showing the transition rate from primary 6 to the 1st year of lower secondary level (Matthayom 1), classified by academic year:

Academic

Students completing Continue studying in Transition
Year Primary 6 in previous

Year

Lower Secondary 1

Rate

1990

1,004,739

532,575

53.01

1992

1,000,387 678,480

67.82

1994

974,384 816,314

83.76

1996

946,184 854,825

90.34

1998

935,462 851,463

91.02

Source : Data on continuing education in educational institutions under Ministry of Education.

Upper secondary education :

The upper secondary education focuses on the promotion of opportunity for the students to take up subjects in which they are interested in and provide basic skills to study in higher level or to work. It also promotes the development of ethics, morality and social skills required for their work and coexistence in the society. It is divided into 2 streamlines, namely, general and vocational. This is the education as prescribed in the paragraph 2, Section 16 of the 1999 National Education Act, which states that basic education is to be provided at the minimum of 12 years prior to higher education…. Therefore, this is the level of education needing full campaign and mobilization of all parties to allow a wide and thorough coverage to all citizens.

Gross enrolment ratio at upper secondary education

The gross enrolment ratio both in the general and vocational streamlines or the percentage of the total number of students in upper secondary level when compared to population in the age group 12-14 is found to be constantly increasing. The proportion between public and private school students at the upper secondary level in a class during 1990-1998 ranges from 73:27 to 83:17.

Table showing gross enrolment ratio at upper secondary level, by academic year:

Academic No. of students Population Percentage of Public :
Year   Aged 15-17 Students per population Private

1990

833,862

3,096,621

26.93

76:24

1992

944,970

3,112,752

30.36

73:27

1994

1,184,722

3,116,242

38.02

74:26

1996

1,146,183

3,092,110

37.07

77:23

1998

 

1,679,878

3,047,264

55.13

83:17

Besides the provision of lower and upper education in schools, there are other categories provided such as education for monks and novices in Dharma-Pali schools, general education section. This is another option to increase education opportunity.

Table showing the number of students (monks, novices) in Dharma-Pali schools, general education, classified by academic year:

Academic

Number of students

Year

Lower secondary Upper secondary Total

1990

- - 24,271

1992

22,227 8,145 30,372

1994

37,162 11,955 49,117

1996

44,866 17,573 62,439

1998

48,006 19,706 67,712

1999

 

51,213 21,585 72,798

4.1.5 Education for the disadvantaged

Although it seems that the provision of basic education especially in compulsory education has met with a certain level of achievement in quantitative aspect. There is a certain number of people lacking or missing an opportunity to receive any education. In 1998, 91.32% of the total population in school age group 6-11 years received education. The remaining 8.68% or approximately 600,000 missed an opportunity to receive compulsory education. These children are disadvantaged in various respects, such as the disabled, those living in remote rural area, street children, children in slums, those without nationality and with different culture.

Several agencies are attempting to assist the economically and socially disadvantaged. Some of such agencies are; Department of General Education, Office of the National Primary Education Commission, Department of Non-formal Education, Office of the Private Education Commission, Department of Public Welfare, National Police Office (Border Patrol Police Command) and many non-government organizations such as Foundation for Children, Suan Kaew Monastery Foundation, Rajprachasamasai Foundation.

According to the Department of General Education (Special Education Division), Private Education Commission (Special Education, Welfare Education), National Police Office (Border Patrol Police), Public Welfare Department (Children and Youth Welfare Division, Hill-tribe Welfare Division), children assisted to enrol in pre-primary level to lower secondary education level from the years 1990 to 1996 had constantly increased from 33,199 in 1990 to 59,908 in 1998, representing 80% increase.

The number of children belonging to these groups studying at the pre-primary level in 1990 increased from 2179 in 1990 to 9,002 in 1996 or an increase of 313 percent; that in the primary education level from 37,839 in 1990 to 39,676 in 1996 or 5 percent; and the number in lower secondary education level from 3,181 in 1990 to 11,230 in 1996 or an increase of 253 percent.

Table showing the disadvantaged receiving education:

Academic year Pre-primary Primary Lower secondary

Total

1990

2,179

38,539

3,181

33,899

1992

2,656

38,394

5,229

46,279

1994

7,692

35,796

7,577

51,065

1996

9,002

40,348

11,230

60,580

Data available obtained from : the Department of General Education the Office of the Private Education Commission (Special Education, Welfare Education)the Office of the National Primary Education Commission (In 1998, 342,701 disadvantaged children or 85.45% ccessed to education)the National Police Office (Border Patrol Police Command) the Public Welfare Department (Children and Youth Welfare Division, Hill-tribe Welfare Division)

The above information showed that every year there has been an increase in quantity of service provided to the disadvantaged by government agencies. Children, such as street children who loiter around bus terminals, under bridges or fly-overs, or building sites, are still miss an opportunity to enter schooling system. NGOs scattering around the countries are trying hard to provide them with such opportunity whenever and wherever the situation and the condition permits. Their provision of education comes in 3 categories: 1) Optional education in which the children are allowed to choose subjects they have aptitude in; adjustment of behavior will come later in a natural way, such as in projects like that of Children’s Village School, Factory School, Children’s Forest Conservation Project. 2) Proactive education in which teachers will reach out for children loitering in various places such as public parks, underneath the elevated road bridges, bus terminals. These "street teachers" will approach the children, make friends with them and gain their confidence , then offer them with various options: to be in a home provided by the government of NGO, get some job, go to school or return home. Such projects include Early Childhood and Youth Development Centre in slum areas, Mobile Teachers for Children. 3) Informal education in which NGOs and NFE Department join in providing education to children of building labour, children in congested areas aged 14-25. However, duplication still exists regarding the target groups to which the operation by NGO’s is directed due to lack of the centre of database and focal point.

Despite the cooperation of the public and private sectors, some children still remain outside these services. It is therefore deemed necessary to strengthen non-formal education, especially at the basic education level, to provide greater opportunities and upgrade the standard of education of the people in general.

Non-Formal Education :

The Non-formal Education Department, the Ministry of Education, serves as the core service agency in providing non-formal education. People outside the formal schooling system will learn to read and write until they finish the courses as equivalent to primary, lower and upper secondary education so that they can improve a quality of life or for further education. There are three approaches of studying, namely, in class, long-distance learning and self-study:

In class

Distance learning

The outcome of the provision of education, general stream, is shown in the following table.

Table showing the number of students in general education under NFE Department, classified according to level of education, methodology and fiscal year:

Financial

Level In- class Distance Self-study Total

Year

1990

Total

121,425 200,916 118,088 440,429
Primary 19,319 13,668 2,417 35,404
  Lower secondary 84,232 124,150 18,171 226,553
  Upper secondary 17,874 63,098 97,500 178,472
1992 Total 122,932 511,895 186,815 821,642
  Primary 16,784 36,214 2,716 55,714
  Lower secondary 88,530 345,248 40,250 474,028
  Upper secondary 17,618 130,433 143,849 291,900
1994 Total 142,669 1,512,362 249,325 1,904,356
  Primary 23,337 268,776 5,180 297,293
  Lower secondary 94,466 911,911 68,206 1,074,583
  Upper secondary 24,866 331,675 175,939 532,480
1996 Total 113,668 2,053,353 276,983 2,444,004
  Primary 19,113 264,868 5,579 289,560
  Lower secondary 69,433 1,136,349 69,230 1,275,012
  Upper secondary 25,122 652,136 202,174 879,432

4.1.6 Promotion of Literacy

The promotion of literacy has been placed as high priority as part of basic education. The government has therefore set up a policy for an extensive coverage of basic education in a diverse forms and methodologies to meet the demands of specific target groups, in order to promote and maintain literacy rate.

Literay Status :

The 1990 census of the National Statistical Office demonstrated that the population aged over 6 years who were literate were 45,539,111 or 92.72% with a slightly higher percentage among males than females. Literacy rate among men was 94.47% and among women 91.02%.

Among the population aged 15-24, 98.12% was literate, 98.43% among men and 97.81% among women.

The 1994 survey of the National Statistical Office on literacy rate showed that 46,932,300 persons over 6 years of age were literate, representing 91.50%, with 93.67% were men and 89.38% were women. 93.28% of the population over 15 years old were literate, 96.07% were men and 90.57% were women at.

The literacy rate among the population aged 15-24 was 98.57% and 98.67% were men while 98.47% were women.

Table showing literacy rate 1990, 1994

Age range

Percentage of literacy among population

  1990 (population & housing census) 1994 (literacy survey)
 

Total

Male Female

Total

male Female
6 years up 92.72 94.47 91.02 91.50 93.67 89.38
15 years up 93.19 95.46 91.02 93.28 96.07 90.57
15 – 24 years 98.12 98.43 97.81 98.57 98.67 98.47

The data of the Community Development Department, Ministry of Interior showed that in 1998 97.7% of the population aged 14-50 (excluding those in Bangkok) were able to read and write Thai. However, this figure was lower than the goal set for the standard of the quality of life (goal:99 percent). The regions with higher percentage than the goal were: central and northeast. In the northern and southern regions, the rate was still lower than the goal.

Table showing literacy rate among 14-50 year-old household members who were literate in Thai, 1998

Region

No. of persons No. of persons able Percentage
  surveyed to read and write  
North

4,708,699

4,410,162

93.7

Northeast

8,903,217

8,832,179

99.2

South

2,919,265

2,848,471

97.6

Central

4,366,857

4,325,602

99.1

Total

20,898,038

20,416,414

97.7

Functional Literacy Rate :

Functional literacy includes the promotion of literacy that annexes skills training and knowledge about income generation. This is based on the belief that literacy is not isolated from life and income generation as well as from the economic, social, political and environmental aspects of life which enable people to live happily in the society, using skill in literacy as tools. One major objective of the 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan stipulates that the development of people’s potential in logical thinking and functional literacy means the ability to read and write and compute which can be applied to solve problems in present situations. People capable of attaining this level of ability must have received at least 5-6 years of schooling.

Functional literacy therefore refers to the percentage of the population who have completed at least 6 years of schooling, either in formal or non-formal.

From the 1992 survey of data on children and youth with data collected from the population aged over 6 about the highest level of education they have received, only 51.9 percent of the population at the age of 12-50 years were functional literate. However, the rate rose to 57.3 percent among people in this target group in 1997.

Moreover, the Department of Non-formal Education organized specific courses for specific purposes such as in-service military personnel, detainees and workers in industries and factories. Emphasis is placed on those who have not finished their compulsory education and those who do not know how to read and write with the aim to enable them to read and write and know how to solve problems by themselves. Educational facilities such as classrooms and teaching volunteers on low-land are provided. Graduates from this category of education will receive equivalent qualification to that of primary grade 4.

Table showing the number of non-formal education students at the basic functional literacy programme, DNFE.

Fiscal year

No. of students

1990

1992

1994

1996

58,652

71,973

30,498

47,530

N.B. The provision of non-formal education in the general streamline and the expansion of opportunity in non-formal education to 2 semesters a year with new students enrolled each semester increased to the fact that, in each new semester, there will be both incumbent students and new entrants.

4.2 Quality of Education

The Thai government has also given high priority to the provision of basic education for all both in quality and quantity. This report will attempt to discuss the provision of education for the improvement of the people’s quality of life, starting from childhood to adulthood, in the following areas: 1) Development of the student’s physical health; 2) Development of learning ability; 3) Development of the student’s ethics and morality; 4) Training in essential skill; 5) Education for better living.

4.2.1 Development of the Student’s Physical Health

The plan of action for basic education for all has set up the goal that by 2001 the students’ developmental stages will be fully covered. This specific goal aims to encourage students, especially those in the disadvantaged group to be provided with nutritionally appropriate food. Various measures have been set, for instance, public and private sectors as well as communities are encouraged to support meals and supplementary food to all impoverished students. Students are also encouraged to participate in sports as well as health promotion activities. The achievements are as follows;

Students’ Nutrition and Growth :

In the survey on malnutrition in children aged 0-5 by the Department of Health, the Ministry of Public Health during 1993 - 1995, it was found that about 13 percent of the total number of children suffered from malnutrition Level 1 ( generally regarded as not exactly called malnutrition). In 1993, the percentage of children suffering from malnutrition Level 1 was 14.4% and declined to 11.72% in 1995. Details are shown in the chart.

Source : Summarized from Surveillance report on growth in students aged 5-14, 1993-1995

The survey on students’ weight and height conducted by the Department of Health in 1991 and 1994 showed that most students have proper weight. However, some students in the Northeast and South still have lower-than-standard weight. In 1991, there was 19 percent of the total number of students from the southern and central regions. In 1994, after the launching of School Lunch Programme, the percentage of underweight students went down to 15% of the total. These students are residents in the Northeast and South. See details in chart.

The chart showed the decrease of malnutrition. It was assumed that the decrease of the malnutrition was partly effected by the School Lunch Programme.

Nutrition Services :

1) School Lunch Programme Since 1992, Thailand has set up the budget for the School Lunch Programme as revolving fund to supporrt lunch for the students in pre-primary and primary schools. The total budget allocated to the programme was 6,000 million baht. Every year, the government will allocate 500 million baht as an endowment fund. The target consists the 0.7 million pre-primary children and 1.7 million primary students were under the jurisdiction of the Office of Private Education Commission, Bangkok Municipality Administration, Border Patrol Police Command, Office of Local Education and Department of Religious Affairs.

The outcome of the implementation of the fiscal year 1994 showed that the government was able to provide assistance to 377,358 pre-primary children (budget 322.8 million baht) and 452,830 primary students (budget 1,000 million baht), or 25.4 percent of the total number of students without lunch. In fiscal year 1998, assistance was given to 687,942 pre-primary students and 1,833,328 primary students or about 30 percent of the deprived students. Details of the budget provided by the government is shown in the table. The survey by the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health shows that malnutrition among students which was 14.5%

(male:14, female:15) in 1992 reduced to 11.84% in 1998.

Table showing financial support for school lunch programmeUnit : 1,000 baht

Fiscal year

Pre-primary

Primary

Interest

Operation cost

     

(Primary)

 

1992

-

30,000

-

-

1993

100,000

120,000

-

-

1994

322,800

1,000,000

-

-

1995

524,600

1,547,000

75,000

-

1996

575,000

1,555,300

155,389

6,130

1997

611,954

1,544,000

256,000

461

1998

734,460

1,391,900

390,000

339

Source : Bureau of Educational Policy and Planning. Ministry of Education.

2) Supplementary food (milk) The government has allocated budget

for providing supplementary food (milk) to pre-primary students since 1992.At the initial stage, the service was provided to the schools under the jurisdiction of the Office of the National Primary Education Commission. The service was expanded to cover students under other agencies, namely, Local Educational Administration Office, BMA, Department of Religious Affairs, and Community Development Department(CDD). The expense allocated in 1992-1993 was 400 baht for a student per year and in 1994-1996 increased to 800 baht for a student per year. Those under CDD have been allocated an average of 1,000 baht for a student per year.

Budget was allocated for supplementary food (milk) to primary school students since 1995. The first target group was the primary grade 1 students under the Office of Primary Education Commission, Office of Local Education Administration Commission and BMA. Later, in 1996-1998, the coverage had been extended to cover students in Primary Grade 2,3 and 4 respectively. Details are shown in the chart.

The outcome of the implementation on the provision of supplementary food (milk) to pre-primary and primary school students shows that the majority of students under this project are under the Office of National Primary Education Commission. In 1992, a total number of 696,625 students benefited from the project, and increased to 4,845,330 students in 1999.

The project also bears some effect upon the physical growth of the students. The study of the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, indicated that both weight and height of the students under the programme increased. Details are shown in the table.

Table comparison of mean of weight and height before and after having supplementary food (milk), classified by gender:

Gender

Weight (kg.)

Height (cm.)

 

Before

After

Before

After

Male

36.81

38.34

145.25 147.54
Female

40.25

41.04

147.63 149.83
Total

76.06

79.38

292.88 297.37

Source : Bureau of Educational Policy and Planning. Ministry of Education.

3) Provision of Health Services The government has provided the following health services to students:

Source: Report on the State of the Management of Basic Education For All 1997. P. 22

Surveillance and monitoring on the nutrition among students aged 5-14 through the measurement of weight and height. The coverage in 1995 was 57.3%, and rose to 61.6% in 1993. The problem of underweight was solved through the provision of full course of vitamin and supplementary food

The surveillance and monitoring on nutrition condition among children aged 0-5, by comparing the weight to age, was found that in 1992-1993, the coverage met 91.5% and 91.3% of the target respectively. The percentage of coverage of surveillance and follow-up on iron deficiency anemia in students was 87 in 1992, and 92.5 in 1993.

Other services are also provided such as eye care service and check-up, ear care service and dental health promotion and protection.

Furthermore, health personnel and teachers are trained to provide guidance and counselling on health issuers to teenagers. The training was given so as to enable health officials and teachers to understand the problem of health among teenagers. Advice is also provided on prevention of drugs and AIDS.Campaign for the Drugs and AIDS Prevention. The Ministry of Education is fully aware of the severity and long-term impact of drug problem and has set up an immediate policy for every agency and educational institution to provide full efforts to solve this problem. In 1992, a five-year plan was formulated in accord with the National Drug Prevention Plan. The implementation at the initial stage focused on the integration of the content in some subjects. Later, the focus was shifted to the development related activities and projects. Successful programmes were Peer-warn-Peer and White Schools Project aimed at mobilizing all concerned to assist in drugs prevention in schools. The following table shows the budget allocated to the prevention and solution of drugs and AIDS.

Table showing budget allotted to Ministry of Education Unit : 1,000 baht

Fiscal year

Prevention & solution of drug problem

Prevention & solution of AIDS problem
1996

14,563

46,329

1997

26,453

34,988

1998

40,329

24,361

Source: Office of Special Affairs, Office of the Permanent Secretary for Education

As for the prevention and solution of AIDS problems, the Ministry of Education focuses on providing knowledge and understanding to primary and secondary school students. The outcome indicated that students were aware of the danger of AIDS. They percieved the idea of prevention and are knowledgeable and skillful in the prevention of AIDS. Even primary school students have learned how to protect themselves against risk situations. Besides knowledge dissemination, the Ministry of Education and other concerned agencies such as the Department of Public Welfare, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare assisted children whose parents were HIV positive or those effected by AIDS to enroll in Rajaprachanukroh School.( There are 32 Rajaprachanukroh Schools throughout the country in 1999 from nursery to upper secondary level.)

Service in sports and physical exercises :

The agencies concerned to the promotion of sports and physical exercises are the Department of Physical Education and the Sports Authority of Thailand:

4.2.2 Development of theStudents’ Learning Ability

Learning ability :

Students’ learning ability can be measured by physical, mental, intelligence, emotional and social development at various educational levels and can be summed up as follows:

1) Pre-Primary education The evaluation of the 6th National Education Development Plan (1987 -1991) on early childhood care and development in the form of kindergarten and child care centres, using as criteria 80% and over of compliance with the rules of psychological development, showed that 56.8% of the children passed the physical development criteria, 21.6% passed emotional, mental and social criteria, while only 4.0% passed the intelligence development criteria.

With 60% psychological development compliance, 93.2% passed the physical development , 55.7% passed emotional, mental and social development and 30.1% passed the intelligence criteria.

Monitoring children who had attended early childhood care service from monasteries under the Department of Religious Affairs with 80% compliance with psychological development, 28.3% of the children passed the physical development criteria. No children passed the emotional, mental, social and intelligence criteria. With 60% compliance with psychological development, 57.2, 28.3, 21.4, 31.2 and 0.6 percent passed the development criteria in the following aspects: physical, emotional, mental, social and intelligence, respectively.

2) Primary Education Level The Department of Curriculum and Instruction Development (DCID) conducted an evaluation on primary education curriculum to evaluate the quality of the students and education management of the school.The evaluation was randomly conducted among primary grade 6 students in schools all over the country, taking into account about 10-15% of the total number students in schools classified by agencies, education regions and provinces. The survey covers schools of all sizes. Evaluation of the achievement is undertaken in the following: 1) basic knowledge and ability 2) ability to think and solve problems and 3) general character, character for occupational development and character for social development. The test is done every other year, starting in academic year 1990. The minimum standard set by DCID is that the average scores of individual subject must be over 50 %.

The outcome of the evaluation in years 1990,1992,1994,1996 showed that the average scores of the majority were over 50% in nearly all subjects (Thai, mathematics, science, thinking and problem solving, work and basic skill for occupation, and social study) (see Annex A. Table 8)

The whole national scores of the students in the whole nation was brought to be compared tothe standard of UNESCO ( which states that more that 80% of the students must pass each subject). It was found that in 1990, most students passed in almost all subjects, except in work and basic skills for occupation in which only 70.60% of the students passed. In 1992,1994 and 1996, about 81 to 98% of the students passed in each subject. This is considered the criteria has been met.

3) Lower secondary education level The DCID has conducted an evaluation on the curriculum at the lower secondary level to measure the quality of educational management. Standard test was set up and used among sample groups comprising grade 9 (Matthayom 3) students nationwide, in order to assess the achievement in terms of knowledge, idea and character. The outcome is summarized as follows:

     
Subject/ Academic year 

1990

1993

1995

(over view)

Thai

64.35

55.49

57.75

58.14

English

-

-

34.74

-

Mathematics

39.98

43.12

33.65

39.17

Science

53.06

49.12

45.34

47.23

Problem Solve

51.24

72.94

39.87

57.36

Work-oriented

59.85

52.47

40.75

53.00

Social Study

60.22

57.43

45.82

51.54

Health Education

-

54.11

60.21

-

Regarding the learning achievement of Matthayom 3 students in 1990,1993 and 1995, most students gained an average scores of higher than 50% in tested subjects. Subjects with average scores higher than others are Thai language and social studies. (see Annex A. Table 8) Mathematics was the subject with average scores lower than others, with 39.98, 43.12 and 33.65 in 1990, 1993 and 1995 respectively. This is partly due to the problems in instructional process and the lack of teachers in subjects related to computation as stated in the previous chapter.

Development of Teaching-learning Methods :

Agencies concerned in Thailand has attempted to find various ways and measures to develop teaching-learning methods to provide the learners with knowledge, ability and new skills. The guidelines for teaching-learning development may be summed up as follows:

1)Curriculum Development The 1978 Primary and Secondary Education Curriculum was improved and updated in 1990. The content was developed to be in accord with national and international social, economic and political, as well as technological changes. This applies particularly to secondary education level. The students are free to choose their subjects according to their aptitude, personal interest, and suitability with the local condition. Local wisdom was also encouraged.

2) Teacher Training and the the Scarcity of Teachers At present, attempts have been made to develop teaching efficiency of the teachers. Traditionally, teachers concentrated on transferring the substance of knowledge to the students with teacher-oriented approach. This obstructed inter-relationship between teachers and students. Teaching-learning process is therefore being shifted to learner-centred approach. Students will learn how to think, act and solve problems. Concerned agencies are trying to develop up-to-date learning equipments and techniques of teaching-learning Teachers are encouraged to attend training courses locally and abroad.

Another problem is that teachers in some specific subjects are scarced, such as in science, mathematics, computer science and English. Agencies concerned are trying to find incentives to persuade more people to be teachers in such subjects. Special remuneration and welfare benefits are offered to teachers in these subjects.

3) Promotion of Science, Mathematics and Thai Language Since theimplementation of the 1992 National Education Plan, the Thai Government has set up a policy to promote gifted children, particular those gifted in the fields of science and mathematics. Several measures have been applied, such as encouraging youth to participate in international science and mathematics competitions abroad, organizing local and international contests of science achievements and organizing activities in Science Week. At the same time, the Government has promoted Thai identity by campaigning for the promotion of proper use of the Thai language and reading habits. Radio and television programmes have been produced. Contests on essay-writing, public speaking, reading and creative writing of literary work in Thai were organized. The Ministry of Education and publishing houses have coordinated in organizing the Annual Book Fair since 1972 which has increasingly attracted more and more public attention every year.


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