The information-technology skills of Thai eighth-graders are near the bottom of a new list ranking 14 countries.
Chaiwut Lertwanasiriwan, of the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), said one of the key reasons for the low score – in which 13th-placed Thailand scored 373 points and last-placed Turkey 361 – was the focus on memorisation of textbooks rather than emphasising application and practicality like the countries at the top of the list.
Chaiwut said grouping IT in a subject titled “basic career teachings and technology orientation” meant that analytical thinking crucially associated with IT teaching was absent.
He said teachers, who were governed by corresponding curricula, did not teach students how to apply IT knowledge in their daily life or other lines of learning.
IPST recently took part in the International Computer and Information Literacy Study that led to the creation of the list.
The Czech Republic topped the list with 553 points while Chile was ranked 12th with 487 points.
South Korea, the only Asian country that took part in the event apart from Thailand, earned 536 points to finish fourth.
Chaiwut said various relevant indices were essential in determining a country’s score such as Internet availability, broadband penetration, the number of mobile-phone users, and the proportion of homes with personal computers.
He said this was evident in students from demonstration schools under university supervision in Thailand. Students from these schools, who often come from well-to-do families, earned 518 points in a separate category on individual types of schools compared with the 330 points scored by schools in urban areas.