• Latest comments on the curriculum overhaul process

    Posted on: Ҥ 21st, 2013 by Pixel@110

    The Bangkok Post has just published the following article:

    The national school curriculum should not be overhauled until its strengths and weaknesses have been properly assessed, academics said yesterday. Somwang Pitiyanuwat, chairman of the National Institute of Educational Testing Service board committee, said a full evaluation of the 2008 curriculum would take about six months.

    “When the curriculum’s strengths and weaknesses are found, we will obviously know how to develop it,” Mr Somwang said. “The national assessment of students’ academic achievements and school quality assessment must be carried out in the same way.” Mr Somwang agreed with proposals that only the “necessary” subjects – maths, Thai and English – should be taught to students in the first stage of elementary school.

    Pawit Thongroj, an adviser to the education minister and chairman of the reform committee,
    said key changes in the proposed new school curriculum included a decrease of core learning fields from eight to six and a reduction of learning hours in the classroom. He said a public hearing would be held soon to gather opinions on the new curriculum, which will be implemented in pilot schools in the next academic year.

    The Education Ministry started reforming the national school curriculum last year. Former education minister Phongthep Thepkanchana ordered the overhaul after Thai students performed poorly in several national and international tests.

    Chainarong Indharameesup, former adviser to the prime minister and director of Silpakorn University Council, urged the ministry not to rush the curriculum overhaul. He said the current curriculum needed to be thoroughly evaluated, along with teacher quality and productivity.

    “Personally, I agree with the idea of improving the curriculum, but it is not necessary to overhaul it quickly as that would spark panic among thousands of teachers, students and parents,” he said. “Many teachers are not able to effectively teach their students based on the present curriculum,” he added.

    Sathon Vijarnwannaluk, a lecturer from Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of science, said he opposed merging maths and science in the new curriculum as this could lead to poorer quality. “No country merges these two subjects together. Maths and science use different study skills, although the teaching of them should be linked,” he said.