Academic warns govt against frequent changes in Education Ministry
The chairwoman of Chulalongkorn University Council yesterday cautioned Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra against naming a new education minister too often.Suchada Kiranandana called on Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana to pass her message on to Yingluck.
Phongthep, placed at the helm of the Education Ministry in late October, is the third education minister in the two-year old Yingluck-led government.
"The country's educational problems cannot be solved, partly because the government's educational policies are not consistent. The education minister is changed far too often," Suchada said.
She was speaking at a certificate-presentation ceremony at which Phongthep was also present.
Suchada said the Education Ministry was not a sanctuary for politicians, but a place where long-term plans must be drawn up for the country's development.
"The government must formulate a clear direction about the production of graduates and require quality graduates from universities," she said.
Silapakorn University Council board member Chainarong
Intarameesap also lamented that the government never considered recommendations from brainstorming sessions on educational reform.
"Over the past year, the prime minister has never convened a meeting of the committee on the educational-reform policy, even though she chairs the panel," he said.
Chainarong called on Phongthep to look into studies on educational reform, as they could be useful to the country's educational system.
Phongthep, meanwhile, said the government would plan for the future and develop a system via which universities would produce graduates in response to the country's needs. "We will also pay attention to the different potential of people," he added.
Phongthep, who helped draft the 1997 Constitution, said he should take partial blame for letting the 1997 Constitution place so much emphasis on university degrees.
He said the country now faced a shortage of graduates with vocational-education backgrounds.