Education officials want politicians to stop interfering in their work

national July 22, 2014 00:00

By Supinda na Mahachai
The Natio

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THE EDUCATION Ministry is trying to prevent political interference in its work by pushing for new legislation.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Sutthasri Wongsamarn has vowed to raise the issue with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) early next month.

It is one of the many suggestions made during a recent Educational Reform for Thailand’s Reform seminar.

“We will present the seminar’s summary for the NCPO to consider,” she said.

Sompong Jitradub, who teaches at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education, told the seminar that the new legislation should be drafted and enforced to prevent political meddling.

Former education minister Varakorn Samakoses shares the same view. Speaking at the seminar, he pointed out that when new politicians or new parties come to power, they change education policies and disrupt ongoing work.

“So, we have to prevent political-office holders from intervening in work that must be done,” he said.

“Politicians shouldn’t try to please teachers. We need accountability in the educational system.”

Yongyuth Yuthavong, a social-psychology adviser to the NCPO, said the junta had given serious attention to education reform because education was a key facet in creating a peaceful and harmonious society.

“We need to inculcate the right judgement in people and we need to develop an accountable education system,” he said.

Yongyuth also supported the idea of issuing gold cards for students to use in seeking free education at a school they want to attend.

Many speakers at the seminar emphasised the need for capable and ethical teachers and trying to produce morally sound students.