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Only 85 percent complete lower secondary. There are academic upper secondary schools, vocational upper secondary schools, and comprehensive schools offering academic and vocational tracks. Students who choose the academic stream usually intend to enter a university. Vocational schools offer programs that prepare students for employment or further studies. Admission to an upper secondary school is through an entrance exam. Children are required to attend six years of elementary school and at least the first three years of high school.
Those who graduate from the sixth year of high school are candidates for two tests: Public schools are administered by the government. Due to budgetary limitations, rural schools are generally less well equipped than the schools in the cities.
The standard of instruction, particularly for the English language , is much lower, and many high school students will commute 60—80 kilometres to schools in the nearest city. The school year is divided into two semesters. The first begins in the beginning of May and ends in October; the second begins in November and ends in March.
Formal education has its early origins in the temple schools, when it was available to boys only. From the mid-sixteenth century Thailand opened up to significant French Catholic influence until the mid-seventeenth century when it was heavily curtailed, and the country returned to a strengthening of its own cultural ideology. Unlike other parts of South and Southeast Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent, Myanmar Burma , Laos , Vietnam , Cambodia , the Malay Peninsula , Indonesia and the Philippines which had all benefited from the influence of countries with centuries of educational tradition, Thailand has never been colonised by a Western power.
As a result, structured education on the lines of that in developed countries was slow to evolve until it gained new impetus with the reemergence of diplomacy in the late nineteenth century. It is possible that one of the earliest forms of education began when King Ram Khamhaeng the Great invented the Thai alphabet in basing it on Mon, Khmer, and southern Indian scripts. Stone inscriptions from in the new script depict moral, intellectual and cultural aspects. In the period of the Ayutthaya kingdom from to during the reign of King Narai the Great — , the Chindamani , generally accepted as the first textbook of the Thai language, collating the grammar.
The prosody of Thai language and official forms of correspondence was written by a monk, Pra Horatibodi, in order to stem the foreign educational influence of the French Jesuit schools It remained in use up to King Chulalongkorn's reign — Narai himself was a poet, and his court became the center where poets congregated to compose verses and poems. Although through his influence interest in Thai literature was significantly increased, Catholic missions had been present with education in Ayutthaya as early as under Portuguese Dominicans and French Jesuits were given permission to settle in Ayutthaya in His reign therefore saw major developments in diplomatic missions to and from Western powers.
On Narai's death, fearing further foreign interference in Thai education and culture, and conversion to Catholicism , xenophobic sentiments at court increased and diplomatic activities were severely reduced and ties with the West and any forms of Western education were practically severed. They did not recover their former levels until the reign of King Mongkut in the mid-nineteenth century. Through his reforms of the Buddhist Sangha , King Rama I — , accelerated the development of public education and during the reign of King Rama IV — the printing press arrived in Thailand making books available in the Thai language for the first time; English had become the lingua franca of the Far East, and the education provided by the monks was proving inadequate for government officials.
Rama IV decreed that measures be taken to modernise education and insisted that English would be included in the curriculum. King Rama V — continued to influence the development of education and in the first relatively modern concept of a school with purpose constructed building, lay teachers and a time-table was opened in the palace to teach male members of the royal family and the sons of the nobility.
Recognizing that the private sector had come to share the tasks of providing education, the government introduced controls for private schools.
In on the initiative of Queen Sribajarindra, girls were admitted into the educational system. In , a two-part education plan for Bangkok and for the provinces was launched with programmes for pre-school, elementary, secondary, technical, and higher education. In , the first government school for girls, the Bamrung Wijasatri, was set up in Bangkok, and in , the first teacher training school for women was set up at the Benchama Rajalai School for girls.
The bloodless revolution in that transferred absolute power from the king to democratic government encouraged further development and expansion of schools and tertiary institutions. The first National Education Scheme was introduced formally granting access to education regardless of ability, gender, and social background.
In , compulsory education was extended to seven years, and for the first time special provisions were made for disabled children, who were originally exempted from compulsory education. In , the government began a series of five-year plans, and many of the extant purpose-built school buildings, particularly the wooden village elementary schools, and the early concrete secondary schools date from around this time.
In , the key stages of elementary and secondary education were changed from a year structure to the year system that is in use today. In ,Economic, social, political,environmental and population development in Thailand have created a series of problems that must be addressed addressesed by education.
Sukavich Rangsitpol ,Minister of Education of Thailand, launched the current education reforms. The main aim of education reform is to enhance the quality of education from until educational excellence is achieved by the The goal of the education reform is to realize the potential of Thai people to develop themselves for a better quality of life and to develop the national into peaceful co-existence in the global community.
The objective of education reform is to create learning individual ,organization , and society. An educated person or the authentic learning outcome should possess the following abilities and characteristics which are based on Thai cultural heritage and appropriate level of education: According to UNESCO ,Thailand education reform has led to the following results, 1 The educational budget increased from billion baht in to billion baht, in The free 12 year education was in The Constitution and that was the first time Thailand had give access to education for all of their people.
Sukavich Rangsitpol,Minister of Education left office due to the political in Thailand. Nothing had been achieved from . Prayut Chan-o-cha , Thailand's prime minister and junta leader, says school reform is urgently needed. Authorities instructed public schools and state agencies to hang a banner listing Gen Prayut's teachings on their premises. State agencies have also produced a poem, song, and part film based on the teachings.
The military government under Prayut Chan-o-cha instituted a "land defender battalion" program to teach uniformed children aged four and five to do push-ups, crawl under netting, salute, and eat from metal trays on the floor.
The news site reported that this is the second time that the Royal Thai Army has run the program, and said that many more schools and kindergartens will join the program in the future. They indicate that the IQ of Grade 1 students has dropped from 94 in to The international standard is It is highly possible that Thailand's education system is harming student IQs.
While the IQ of pre-school students is acceptable, IQ drops as primary schooling commences, suggesting a need for changes at schools. The IQ of students in rural areas is considerably lower, at just This difference persists at university. While studies have found the IQ of Bangkok university students averages , the IQ of provincial university students is points lower.
Alarmingly, the low IQ levels in the recent survey confirm continuing high levels of intellectual disability: IQ levels lower than 70, also termed "mildly impaired or delayed". The average global percentage of such students is 2 percent. However, a previous survey found that 6. The recent results suggest intellectual disability in some rural areas could now be up to 10 percent.
One cause of lower IQs might be traced to nutrition. WHO research suggests iodine deficiency accounts for losses of between 10—15 IQ points. There is again a huge regional disparity, with 82 percent of households in Bangkok and only 54 percent of households in Thailand's northeast consuming adequately iodised salt. The regions with the lowest IQs are those same areas with the highest iodine deficiency. In July , the Thai Department of Health initiated a program to provide better nutrition and health education at Thai public schools.
Its aims are to increase average IQ from 94 to and boost the average height of children. Children at schools across the country will receive healthier meals and more instruction on healthy living and exercise. In , a World Bank study concluded that " The alternative is hiring , more teachers for up-country schools in order to match Bangkok's teacher-student ratios.
But it is strange given its unusually generous spending on education, which in some years has hoovered up more than a quarter of the budget. Rote learning is common. There is a shortage of maths and science teachers, but a surfeit of physical-education instructors. Many head teachers lack the authority to hire or fire their own staff.
In May , parents and students at the prestigious Bodindecha Sing Singhaseni School , commonly referred to as "Bodin", in Bangkok staged a hunger strike to protest what they viewed as admissions irregularities. The issue arose when Bodin students were denied the right to continue their studies at the school at the end of the school year.
The students suspected that school executives had taken away their seats to give to children of parents willing to pay huge sums of "tea money" or bribes. The greater the competition, the higher the amount of donations the parents believe they have to offer in exchange for their children's chances to get a good education at a quality school.
Thai society holds teachers in high regard as evidenced by naming one day of the year as "Teacher's Day. The government is taking steps to ameliorate the plight of teachers by refinancing loans owed to "formal" lenders. Almost all villages have an elementary school. Most sub-districts tambon have a school for ages 6 through 14 and all districts amphoe have secondary schools for ages 12 through Many have vocational colleges for students from age The government is not able to cope with the entire number of students, thus the private sector, which is supervised by the government, provides a significant contribution.
The level of education in the private sector is generally, but not always, higher than that of the government schools. Expensive, exclusive private and international schools provide for a high level of achievement and a large number of their students continue their education at universities abroad. Charitable organisations missionary societies or diocesan , and other religions provide the backbone of non-government, low-fee, general education and some established universities, and their standard is relatively high.
Cheaper, newer and individual private schools, are occasionally run more for profit and government subsidies than for results, and are often indistinguishable from government schools in terms of quality of buildings, resources, teaching competency, and overcrowded classrooms.
Their only real benefit is the prestige afforded to the parents for schooling their children in the private sector.
In rural schools, absenteeism among both students and teachers is high due to family and farming commitments. Some schools close down during rice planting and harvesting seasons. Over government vocational colleges accept students who have completed Matthayom 3. Their campuses are usually located within daily commuting distances, although some may offer limited dormitory accommodation on campus.
Many specialised vocational schools offer training in agriculture, animal husbandry, nursing, administration, hospitality and tourism. Thailand has had 21 education ministers in the past 18 years — Each lasts an average of nine months.
In , at the recommendation the Minister of Education, Dr. Kayla Sarah Ketudat , responsibility for basic elementary education was moved from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Education. Both the Ministry of University Affairs and the Ministry of Education have been actively involved in teacher training.
The Thai national budget allocates considerable resources to education. In FY , educational expenditures represented almost 20 percent of the national budget, or four percent of GDP. Although education is mainly financed by the national budget, local funds, particularly in urban areas, are spent on education. Systematic educational research began in when the International Institute for Child Study was established in Bangkok.
The institute has now become the Behavioral Science Research Institute and has conducted both basic and applied research. In-depth research, particularly that of the ONEC, contributed to the education reform initiative of , and extensive research is provided by the country's universities, especially in faculties of education.
The Department of Curriculum and Instructional Development of the Ministry of Education also conducts research into testing, curriculum, and content.
The National Library, university libraries, and other libraries around the country are electronically networked in order to facilitate research. At elementary levels, students study eight core subjects each semester: Thai language, mathematics, science, social science, health and physical education, arts and music, technology, and foreign languages.
At age 16 Matthayom 4 , students are allowed to choose one or two elective courses. The science program Wit-Kanit and the mathematics-English language program Sil-Kamnuan are among the most popular. Foreign language programs Sil-Phasa in Chinese , French , Japanese , Korean , Russian , Spanish , and German for example, and the social science program sometimes called the general program are also offered.
Both elementary and secondary levels have special programs, the English Program and the Gifted Program. In the English Program students learn every subject in English except for Thai and social studies. The Gifted Program is mathematics-science focused. The Vocational Education Commission manages vocational institutions of higher learning in Thailand. Technical and vocational education TVE begins at the senior high school level where students begin to follow either general or vocational education tracks.
At present, around 60 percent of students follow the general education programmes. However, the government is endeavouring to achieve an equal balance between general and vocational education. Three levels of TVE are offered: Vocational education is also provided by private institutions.
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