July 12, 2013 00:00 By SUPINDA NA MAHACHAI
Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang yesterday vowed to make 2013 the "Year of United Efforts for the Improvement of Thailand's Educational Quality".
He said the ultimate goal was to equip students with desirable and necessary skills for their lives in the 21st century.
“They should be able to think for themselves, and analyse as well as learn things by themselves,” Chaturon said in front of top education officials.
He expected his goal to be achieved by 2015, adding that he had already identified a number of success indicators.
“Thailand’s ranking in the Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA] should climb,” he said.
In the latest PISA, published in 2009, Thai students were in 50th spot.
Chaturon said another indicator was that more of Thailand’s universities should make it into the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of |the top 400 institutes. Presently, only one Thai institute is on the list.
An important goal would be a 50:50 ratio of students in general-education programmes to students in vocational-education programmes, the minister said.
“Another indicator is the ability to boost educational opportunities and educational equality,” he said.
Chaturon has also vowed to continue existing policies and programmes that were in place before he came to the helm of the Education Ministry late last month.
Meanwhile, Deputy Education Minister Sermsak Pongpanit said the Office of Non-Formal and Informal Education would introduce an international programme in preparation for the 2015 launch of the Asean Economic Community.
“There must be at least one international-programme classroom in each province,” he said.