• Education reform: Let go of central control

    Posted on: September 8th, 2013 by Pixel@110

    Thai children shortchanged

    Is it true that the quality of Thai education is the worst among Asean countries? Pavich Thongroj, adviser to the education minister plunged the country into gloom earlier this week when he said Thailand’s education ranks last after Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam.

    Mr Pavich said he got the figures from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. It turned out that the ranking comes from an opinion survey of Thais that asked how well the education system met the needs for acompetitive economy.

    As for the ranking on higher education and training among Asean countries, Thailand is ranked 4th after Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, followed by the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

    newsSEP13To put the record straight it’s not true that Thai education is the worst in Asean. What’s true is that our education system is in an appalling state which has been confirmed repeatedly by both domestic and international findingsSo much so that parents have lost hope in the system.

    This is a shame Thailand’s education budget about 20% of the national budget is proportionately among the highest in the region and the world. Yet, the majority of students consistently fail national tests, from primary to high schoollevels. A few years ago, teachers sat the same exams as their students. The teachers failed too.

    In the internationally famous Pisa test, which assessed 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics and science in 2009, Thailand was ranked among the poorest performers in the bottom 25%. As for English proficiency Thailand is among the countries with the lowest proficiency scores in a study by EF Education First, a global language trainingcompany.

    To be fair, Thailand must be credited for making universal education accessible to nearly all children in the country as well as in bridging the gender gap in education. But this is not good enough.

    The sole focus on academic excellence based on rote learning results in a high level of drop-outs The lack ofquality vocational education punishes children who are not academically inclined with low self-esteem pushes them into anti-social behaviour and robs the industry sector of much-needed skilled workers and technicians

    Meanwhile, the centralised pro-Bangkok curriculum destroys youngsters’ respect for their cultural roots Theemphasis on university education also favours rich youngsters who can afford expensive tutoring. In short, the education system ends up perpetuating inequality rather than bridging it.

    Worse, the authoritarian and militaristic culture that runs through kindergarten to university levels has effectivelydestroyed creativity and rendered Thai children uncompetitive in a world driven by innovation

    The Pheu Thai-led government believes its one-child, one-tablet policy can launch Thai students into the digital eraEducation Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng also believes a curriculum revamp will do the trick It won’t.

    Make the schools and teachers accountable for their students’ performances, advises the Thailand Development Research Institute. Allow the locals to run the schools and design their own curricula, demands the communityschools network.

    These calls have fallen on deaf ears Thailand definitely needs education reform But it won’t happen until the Education Ministry lets go of central control.

    Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/368250/thai-children-shortchanged

    Vocabulary:

    academic: relating to education – เชิงวิชาการ

    accessible: that can be reached, entered, used, seen, etc – ที่สามารถเข้าได้

    accountable: responsible for something that has happened – ซึ่งรับผิดชอบ, สามารถอธิบายได้

    advise: to tell somebody what you think they should do in a particular situation – แนะนำ, แจ้ง

    adviser: a person who gives advice, especially somebody who knows a lot about a particular subject – ที่ปรึกษา

    appalling: shocking; extremely bad – ซึ่งทำให้ตกใจ

    assess: to carefully consider a situation, person, or problem in order to make a judgment – ประเมิณสถานการณ์

    authoritarian: controlling everything and forcing people to obey strict rules and laws – เผด็จการ, เกี่ยวกับอำนาจเบ็ดเสร็จ

    behaviour: the way that someone acts or behaves – พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว

    bridge the gap: to reduce or get rid of the differences that exist between two things or groups of people – ลดความขัดแย้ง

    budget: an amount of money able to be spent on something – งบประมาณ

    centralised: controlled from the center – ไตยรวมศูนย์

    community: the people living in one particular area – ชุมชน

    competitive: involving competition – มีการแข่งขัน

    competitiveness: trying very hard to be better than others – ความตั้งใจในการแข่งขัน; ความสามารถในการแข่งขัน

    confirm: to state or show that something is definitely true or correct, especially by providing evidence – นยัน

    consistently : continuously; happening again and again in the same way – อย่างต่อเนื่อง

    creativity: the ability to create new ideas or things using your imagination – ความสามารถในการสร้างสรรค์, ความคิดสร้างสรรค์

    credit: to believe or say that somebody/something is responsible for doing something, especially something good – ให้เกียรติ, ยกย่อง, ให้เครดิต

    cultural: related to the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group – วัฒนธรรม

    curriculum: the group of subjects studied in a school, college, etc – หลักสูตร

    definitely: without any doubt; for certain – อย่างแน่นอน

    do the trick: solve the problem –

    domestic: relating to a person’s own country – ภายในประเทศ

    driven by: caused by –

    drop-out: a student who leaves or quits school before they finish and graduate – นักเรียนที่ถอนการเรียนวิชาใดวิชาหนึ่ง,ผู้ที่เลิกเรียนเมื่อครบอายุ,การถอนออกกลางคัน,ผู้ที่ออกจากโรงเรียนกลางคัน

    effectively: in reality – ตามความเป็นจริง

    emphasis: special importance or attention that is given to one thing in particular – การเน้นย้ำ

    era: a period of time that has a particular quality or character – ยุค, สมัย

    excellence: the quality of being extremely good – ความเป็นเลิศ

    fallen on deaf ears: something said to someone who does not want to hear it –

    figure: a number representing a particular amount, especially one given in official information – ตัวเลข, จำนวนเลข

    finding: results, what people “find” or discover by doing some research or activity – ผลของการสืบค้น, ผลของการค้นหา

    focus: to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another – เพ่งความสนใจ

    gap: a large difference between people or groups – ช่องว่าง

    gender: the fact of being either male or female – เพศ

    global: throughout the world – ทั่วโลก

    gloomy: nearly dark, or badly lit in a way that makes you feel sad – มืดมัว, ทึมๆ

    high school: a school for children between 14 and 18 in the US and between 11 and 18 in the UK – โรงเรียนมัธยมปลาย, โรงเรียนมัธยมศึกษาตอนปลาย, โรงเรียนเตรียมอุดมศึกษา

    higher education: education after high school at universities and colleges: “Higher, post-secondary, tertiary or third level education is the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology. Higher education also includes certain college-level institutions, such as vocational schools, trade schools, and career colleges, that award academic degrees or professional certifications.” –

    hopeful: someone who wants to succeed or who seems likely to win – ผู้ที่ต้องการประสบความสำเร็จ

    hopeless: very bad (at something); with no ability or skill – ซึ่งไร้ความสามารถ

    inclined: wanting to do something; tending to do something – ซึ่งมีแนวโน้มที่จะ

    innovation: the introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing something; a new idea, way of doing something, etc. that has been introduced or discovered – นวัตกรรม, การคิดขึ้นใหม่, สิ่งที่นำเข้ามาใหม่

    international: connected with or involving two or more countries – นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ

    launch: starting something – การเริ่มต้น

    majority: more than 50 percent of a group – เสียงส่วนใหญ่

    militaristic: operating and functioning in the same way as the military –

    minister: a member of the cabinet, the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy – รัฐมนตรี

    national: for the whole country – แห่งชาติ, ของชาติ

    opinion: your feelings or thoughts about somebody/something, rather than a fact – ความเห็น, ความคิดเห็น, ทัศนคติ

    perpetuate: to make something bad continue and not stop – ทำให้ถาวร,ทำให้ไม่สูญไป,ทำให้เป็นอมตะ

    plunge: to (cause someone or something to) move or fall suddenly and often a long way forward, down or into something – ลดลงอย่างเร็ว (เช่น ราคา, อุณหภูมิ)

    primary school: a school for young children usually between the ages of 5/6 and 11 – โรงเรียนประถมศึกษา

    proficiency: the ability to do some task or work correctly and efficiently; skill, knowledge, competence – ความช่ำชอง, ความเจนจัด, ความสามารถ, ประสิทธิภาพ,ความเชี่ยวชาญ, ความคล่องแคล่ว

    proportion: part or share of a whole – สัดส่วน

    punish: to make somebody suffer because they have broken the law or done something wrong – ทำโทษ

    punishable: that can be punished, especially by law – ซึ่งมีโทษ

    punishing: causing severe damage   –

    punishment: an act or a way of punishing somebody – การลงโทษ

    put the record straight: to correct something publicly and show people what the actual truth is –

    quality: the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is – คุณภาพ

    rank: to put someone or something into a position according to their success, importance, size etc – จัดลำดับ

    ranking: the position of somebody/something on a scale that shows how good or important they are in relation to other similar people or things, especially in sport – อันดับ

    reform: to make a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair – แก้ไข ปฏิรูป

    region: a large area of land, usually without exact limits or borders – ภูมิภาค, ขอบเขต, แถบ, บริเวณ

    rendered: made to be – ถูกทำให้

    repeat: something that happens again, i.e., which is very similar to a previous happen – การกระทำซ้ำ

    repeatedly: happening, said or done many times – อย่างซ้ำๆ

    respect: a feeling of admiration that you have for someone because of their personal qualities, their achievements, or their status, and that you show by treating them in a polite and kind way – ความเคารพ, ความนับถือ

    revamp: to make a major change or revision to something – ปรับปรุงใหม่

    root: a basic cause or idea – รากฐาน, แก่นแท้, ต้นตอ

    roots: the feelings or connections that you have with a place because you have lived there or your family came from there – รากเหง้า, ต้นกำเนิด, บรรพบุรุษ

    rote: memorizing things by repeating them over and over, without really thinking or practicing problem solving skills – การท่องจำอย่างเดียว,

    self-esteem: belief and confidence in your own ability and value – การเคารพตนเอง, การเคารพในตัวเอง, ความเชื่อมั่นในตัวเอง

    shame: a cause for feeling sad or disappointed – น่าเสียดาย

    shortchange: to give people less than they should get; to give a customer less money back (change) than they should get when they pay more than the bill –

    skilled: having enough ability, experience and knowledge to be able to do something well – มีทักษะ,

    sole: only – เดี่ยวๆ

    state: condition – สภาพ

    survey: to ask a large number of people questions to find out their opinions – สำรวจ

    technician: a person whose job is keeping a particular type of equipment or machinery in good condition – เจ้าหน้าที่เทคนิค, ช่าง

    training: teaching people how to do a certain job or activity – การฝึกอบรม, การฝึก, การอบรม

    turn out: to be discovered to be; to prove to be – กลับกลายเป็น

    universal: involving everyone – ทั่วไป

    vocational: teaching the skills necessary for particular jobs – การสอนวิชาชีพ

    vocational school: a school that focuses on providing the skills necessary for particular jobs – สถานศึกษาวิชาชีพ โรงเรียนอาชีวศึกษา

    youngster: a young person or a child – คนหนุ่มคนสาว, เด็ก