Passing around the PC Thailand Volunteers is this article written by a Thai woman named Kaewmala. She’s an author and blogger based in Bangkok. This is one of the best articles I’ve read about the Thai education system and gives a fantastic overview of what’s going on with the current state of Thai education system. Here is a short excerpt.
We’ve heard much lamentation about the sorry state of Thai education and how Thai students perform so poorly compared to those in other countries far and near. Not only that Thai students rank near the bottom in international standardized test scores, they even flunk national standardized tests year after year.
Thai students need to pass the O-NET (Ordinary National Educational Test) to graduate at the primary (P.6), lower secondary (M.3) and upper-secondary (M.6) school levels. O-NET is organized by the National Institute of Educational Testing Service (NIETS). Ever since O-NET has been implemented 6-7 years ago, it has been criticized for many deficiencies, while students have performed extremely poorly on the O-NET tests. Every year, students and parents complain about O-NET and the media report how bad it is. And the next year, the same thing happens all over again.
How bad? Well, let’s look at the O-NET scores from last year among the upper-secondary O-NET for M.6 (Grade 12) students (which are the most important as they are used for university admission). The 2011 average O-NET scores for all 8 subjects tested, save one, were below 50%. The scores in the most important subjects were even worse: under 20% for Math and English and 30.90% for Sciences.
- Thai language (42.61%)
- Social science (46.51%)
- English (19.22%)
- Mathematics (14.99%)
- Sciences (30.90%)
- Health and physical education (62.86%)
- Arts (32.62%)
- Vocational education and technology (43.69%)