Greater focus on history and citizens duties

national June 15, 2014 00:00

By Supinda Na Mahachai,

The Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) will not separate history and citizen's duties into the basic education's Ninth subject group.

This was because the History and Citizen’s Duties Course Development Committee’s recent meeting viewed such a move as requiring legal amendments, which could take a long time, and history could not be taught on its own, said senior educator and the committee’s chair, Winai Rodjai. 
As Obec aims to give more importance to these topics, history would cover 40 hours per year for primary and lower secondary levels and 80 hours for higher secondary level, he said. Citizen’s duties will be taught along other three topics – religion, economics and geology – over 80 hours for primary, 120 hours for lower secondary and 240 hours for upper secondary level, he added. 
Since citizen’s duties would have additional information about rights and liberties, and democracy that would be practical in daily life, it was necessary to add more class hours, he explained. The committee thus would consider taking some of the schools’ elective course hours to teach the pupils about citizen’s duties via citizenship development activities at 40 hours per year for all levels, he said. 
The handbooks for teachers about the additional history content and additional citizen’s duties would also be produced, he added.
Obec deputy chief Kamol Rodklai yesterday said that the workshop on the course details would be held at the end of June so that they could be implemented by the second semester of the current academic year. 
In accordance with the wishes of the National Council for Peace and Order, Obec said it would separate history and citizen’s duties, which is currently included in the Social Studies, Religion, and Culture subject group, into two new subjects so that they could be taught at one class session each per week. 
Kamol said that Obec had set out its plan to have students at international schools in Thailand study Thai history. He said that many of these schools currently didn’t have this subject on their curriculum, although almost half of the students there were Thai children of wealthy parents. He said the History and Citizen’s Duties Course Development Committee would complete the course structure and handbook within two months and, the textbooks should be printed by September and the course be implemented this academic year.

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