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Obec to cut school hours

THE OFFICE of Basic Education Commission (Obec) will start implementing a policy to reduce classroom hours from this second semester, Obec secretary-general Kamol Rodklai said yesterday.

The agency would at first reduce study hours in certain subjects such as the Social Studies, whose history and civic duty content could be taught via activities instead, he said. The class hours reduction had to be done carefully as it affected the students' study units and graduation requirements, hence they would have a meeting with educators and produce a teaching-learning guideline handbook for teachers, he explained.

He affirmed that Obec would find a practical and effective way to ensure pupils didn't study too hard and still maintained their learning quality.

In related news, Office of Vocational Education Commission chief Chaiyaphruek Serirak reported about a synthesis study on tutoring schools presented to a recent meeting of Education Ministry executives. The study, based on 27 theses since 2002, noted that Thailand, as of 2012, had 2,005 tutoring schools (of which 460 are in Bangkok) covering 453,881 students (of whom 12 per cent were high schoolers). The value of tutoring businesses rose from Bt7 billion in 2012 to Bt7.16 billion in 2013 and was expected grow to Bt8.189 billion by 2015.

The growth stemmed from hiked fees and student number increases, he said. Many kids hoped to improve academic results and boost scores in exams.

The study recommended solutions, including ensuring the schools' potential development to be of equally good quality, the motivational boost for students to pay attention in class, and adjustments in exams. The meeting assigned the study-conducting agency to study further and research tutoring schools' methods, in order to draw conclusions for a September workshop for strategies.


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