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Preschool and Primary Education: Thailand’s Progress in Achieving Education for All

  • Sheldon ShaefferEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 42)

Abstract

Despite the government’s rhetoric in support of Education for All (EFA) – especially its goals on Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) and universal primary education – the EFA framework never became an integral part of planning within the Ministry of Education. Ministers (and therefore priorities and policies) change frequently, and the Ministry’s structure is fragmented with unclear chains of command and piecemeal reforms. Enrolment in ECCD services is high (although inequitably distributed), and the professionalism of their personnel has been enhanced, but the “architecture” of ECCD provision is complex, with multiple pathways and providers, teachers with different qualifications, and diverse methods and curricula. Given Thailand’s development status, the NER of primary education (93%) is problematic as are the disparities among wealth quintiles; the continued disadvantage of remote, ethnic, and migrant communities and children with disabilities; and the system’s poor performance in international assessments. These problems derive from the low capacity of teachers trained more in content than in pedagogy; inequality in teacher deployment; weak implementation of child-centered learning, mother tongue-based education, and multigrade teaching; and the problem that principals see themselves more as civil servants than instructional leaders. Despite the large percentage of the national budget spent on education, many challenges remain: inequitable, inefficient, and ineffective financing, weak school-based management, incomplete decentralization, and the need for a more visionary and quick-acting bureaucracy able to ensure that students gain both the hard skills needed for a competitive, technology-based, globalized future and the “soft,” transversal skills essential for development while at the same time retaining the nation’s sociocultural uniqueness and diversity:

Keywords

Early Childhood Care And Development (ECCD) Mother Tongue-based Education Multigrade Teaching Programme For International Student Assessment (PISA) Office Of The Basic Education Commission (OBEC) 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The RISE InstituteWashington, DCUSA

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