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Thailand’s Second Phase of Education Reform
Source: thailand.prd.go.th
Source Date: Friday, October 29, 2010
Country: Thailand
Created: Nov 01, 2010

Over 10 years ago, Thailand began its first phase of education reform when the country promulgated the 1999 National Education Act. Now Thailand has come to the second phase of education reform, which is set as one the present government’s major policies.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva cited human resource development as the most worthwhile investment. He said that the second phase of education reform, which started last year, would continue until 2018. It would prepare Thai people to be ready for changes that aim to bring about a better quality of life and create a peaceful society where people respect one another’s rights and honor human dignity.

The Prime Minister said that during the first decade of education reform, the country had spent a great deal of time and resources on projects and management. It seemed that the quality of learners, which is a major objective of the reform, was overlooked.

So in the second phase, he said, all people involved must focus on improving the quality of learners. As for the poor and the underprivileged, not only will a 15-year free education program be mobilized, but they will also be provided with greater educational opportunities. Various funds and mechanisms will be introduced to support the teaching profession.

The Prime Minister stressed that the goal of education reform is to produce able personnel who are virtuous and happy serving as good citizens. In this regard, the reform must strive to build citizens of good quality, with political, economic, and social well-being.

Although the country needs to develop higher skills and knowledge, he said, education must not be separate from society as a whole. One of the problems in the past was that some skills developed by young people did not pertain to social and economic needs, which led to higher unemployment and other problems.

The Prime Minister cited the Sufficiency Economy philosophy, initiated by His Majesty the King, as an important guideline for Thai life. The current political and social conflicts stimulate the need for members of society to create the right social values for young people, who need to live with others in harmony and to respect differences.

Prime Minister Abhisit pointed out that, in order to achieve the target of preparing people for changes through education, the Government had put the promotion of reading on the national agenda. He also underlined the importance of learning foreign languages for communication and for seeking more knowledge, especially through the Internet.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Chinnaworn Boonyakiat said that the second phase of education reform would focus on four areas: the development of the quality of Thai people, the development of teachers, the development of educational institutions, and the development of new education management.
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