Thailand's Falling Rate of Education
Education in Thailand To begin with, education in Thailand has not always been the most effective. Even though their education isn’t the best, some of their schools are still pretty strict. The kids have to respect the teachers because they are taught Buddhist teachings which stress respect for teachers. The kids also have to go through 3 types of schooling (Anubon, Prathom, and Matthayom), these are like preschool, elementary, and secondary school.
Grade Levels First of all, kids in Thailand don’t and can’t get the best education existing. The mean years of schooling is 7.9, which is much lower than the U.S. average which is 13 years. Also, the adult literacy is 97% which is good because then they can teach kids to have good literacy too.
The first school that the kids go to is Anubon which is preschool and kindergarten where they teach them manners at ages 3 – 5. Next is Prathom which is elementary school which has two levels. The first is, grades 1 – 3 (6 – 8 years old) and the second is grades 4 – 6 (9 – 11 years old). Next is Matthayom which is secondary school. This also has two levels.
The first is, grades 1 – 3 (12 – 14 years old) and the second is grades 4 – 6 (15 – 17 years old). To enter schools, they have to take and entrance examination where they can choose the field of study (science, math, arts, orlanguages). The entrance examination determines the programs they can enroll in universities. There are only limited spaces and most students study in Bangkok or Chiang Mai (in big cities). Private and Public Schools Adding on, there are public and private schools. The public schools are often understaffed which is not good for the kids education.
The kids also have to wear uniforms which are paid by parents, which are red and white. The teaching styles are lecture based, require a lot of memorization, the teachers are highly respected because of Buddhist teachings which stress respect for teachers. They also have Wai Kru Day (Praise Teachers Day) where the students go to teachers on their knees and offer a wai and give flowers or gifts. Normal school days start at 7:30am and end at 3pm. Also for primary students, they get to go to school for free because the government pays. In some schools, about 70 – 120 kids are in the school.
The government is helping schools to become better. One improvement is that they are having better playgrounds and better safety. Finally, some parents that are very busy and cannot get their kid to and from, the schools can help them to manage their kids when they are not free. Pisa Examinations and the Government The education system in Thailand is a disappointment for the government and the Thai people. The government had promised 15 years of free education.
Thailand wants to be a developed country by 2036. Prayut Chan-o-cha (Prime Minister) wants to start a fresh education. The government spends 4% GDP on education. To continue, the students are also not on the international level they should be. Students take Pisa tests which is the Programme for International Students Assessment. Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, China, Taipei, and Japan dominate math and science.
Singapore was at the top for global comparisons. In 2012, Thailand came 54th for math, 57th for reading, and 54th for science. The government spends a lot of money to improve academic achievement/raise results of Pisa but it’s still not enough. Finally, students in Bangkok or big cities have better education than rural schools which are way below national average. Subjects in School The school year is from May to March for primary and middle school. Secondary school just starts one month later.
Middle school in Thailand is still 3 years long, where they have Thai language, arts, music, maths, physical and social science, technology, and foreign languages are core subjects but vocational students have a different path. In secondary school, the students who want to continue have to do electives courses. The most popular elective courses are science and maths and english programs. Some other choices foreign languages and social science. Finally, students are allowed to take vocational education. The education system is grounded in high school, where students may choose to adopt this more practical form of education.
The students can also get a certificate in vocational education. In primary school, the students learn the alphabet, numbers and improve life skills. Solutions Some solutions for the education system in Thailand are to bring in other teachers for other countries who might have more experience. Also, those teachers can teach the kids better English because they are likely to know more. Even though the government already pays a lot for education, they should just spend more time on the education because it is important for the kids (of all ages) to have a good education and for the kids in the future.