THE OFFICE of Higher Education Commission (Ohec) will consider a new Thai Qualifications Framework (TQF) for teacher-education programmes next month.
The framework, which makes a big leap from the current version, was prepared in response to the government’s recent decision to cut teacher-training programmes to four years.
This will replace the five-year programmes that were introduced in 2004 in the hope of boosting the quality of teachers and making the profession more popular. The government explains that the training period has been shortened in response to changing circumstances and fast-evolving technology. “The new framework has been approved by the TQF subcommittee for undergraduate courses. The next step will be to present it to Ohec on February 13,” Prapansiri Susaoraj said yesterday in her capacity as chair of the committee preparing the new framework. Prapansiri, who is also dean of Srinakharinwirot University’s Faculty of Education, said the new framework was based on research, experience of several education deans and information gleaned from public hearings.
“So, the new one will be completely different from the current version,” she said.
According to her, the new framework keeps pace with latest trends, ethics, civic education and research for innovations.
“We are controlling redundant content listed under different subjects and placing an emphasis on practice,” she said.
Prapansiri added that while at least a one-year teaching practice was mentioned in the new framework, it was not necessary for the internship to last 12 consecutive months – hours put in can be accumulated.
She said she believes the new framework will go well with the use of modern teaching materials, and expressed confidence that the latest framework will strengthen the new generation of teachers and help them perform well in the changing world. “This framework will also boost teachers’ morale,” she added.
As for proficiency in the English language, Prapansiri said her committee has decided to encourage relevant agencies to ensure their graduates’ command of English is equivalent to B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
“However, at this point, we have not made B2-level command of English mandatory for graduates,” she said, adding that it will be necessary to check on graduates’ level of English before making B2-level proficiency a must. She said Ohec will push through the new framework before the second round of the Thai University Central Admission System (TCAS) kicks off. Several universities stopped accepting applications in the first round of TCAS due to the change in the teacher-training period.