Quality Issues of Education in Thailand
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In the present chapter, we examine the pretence of a consensus about the low quality of Thai education, which in fact conceals deep discrepancies and leads to distorted and ineffective educational policies. First, the chapter unveils that seven major pillars of education reflect major flaws which adversely affect the quality of Thai education: weak curriculum and pedagogy, diploma-oriented education, vocational logic of education, too extended private initiatives and funding, weakness of decentralized educational administration, insufficient focus on educational and social inequalities, and to social cultures derived from social hierarchy. Generally, these seven factors influencing the quality of education are analysed separately through a prevalent unidimensional approach, while au contraire they must be considered altogether in their complex interrelations through a multidimensional approach.
Second, the chapter suggests related decisive actions for improving the quality of education across the board. First, we suggest consistent and related reforms of the educational system from without, namely, reducing social inequalities, revolutionizing the social order based on social hierarchy, reinstating public education as a priority, and assuring political continuity in the educational field. Second, we argue for consistent and related reforms from within the educational system – improving the rules for climbing the educational pyramid, the criteria for recruiting and training teaching personnel, the implementation of didactics in conceiving curricula and pedagogies, and eventually a research system on education for and by strengthening the teaching-research nexus.
The ambition of bettering the quality of national education across the board requires these coordinated actions by going beyond the current Thai political divides and instability and by abandoning short-sighted, fashionable, and internationally inspired educational policies which do not fit the Thai context.
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