Improve image of vocational students to ensure Thailand's Asean success

your say September 12, 2014 01:00

Re: "Thousands of teachers should get permanent contracts: Ovec", National, September 9.

I agree with the approach of the Office of Vocational Education Commission (Ovec), in asking the new government to approve its plan to hire 10,000 more permanent teachers. 
In addition to helping solve the problem of a shortage of vocational teachers, the new permanent contracts will be an incentive for the teachers to devote themselves to improving education. Both teachers and their students have lost opportunities to develop for the nearly two decades since 1996 when the government launched its plan to open 90 vocational colleges without approving a budget for hiring teachers.
However, I am concerned that only 30 per cent of all students completing Matthayom 3 are interested in going to vocational colleges. And that figure is likely to decline at a time when the country’s industrial and business sectors are facing a severe shortage of workers.
Meanwhile many people stereotype vocational students as lacking intelligence, abilities or goals in life and bound for tough, lower-income work that has less prestige than the jobs that university graduates get.
This stereotype needs to be discussed and corrected with the understanding that our vocational students are vital to the successful implementation of the plan to make Thailand the hub of an integrated Asean.
Sutipunt Bongsununt