July 01, 2014 00:00 By Supinda Na Mahachai
THE OFFICE of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) is implementing the National Council for Peace and Order's four key policies for education, while a Bt504-billion budget is reportedly planned for the Education Ministry for the 2015 fiscal year.
Obec chief Kamol Rodklai said the policy to revamp the school curriculum so that 21st-century Thais were inculcated with desirable characteristics including being patriotic and united would materialise via extraction of history and civic duty out of the “Social Studies, Religion, and Culture” subject group.
He said the second policy, which related to the development of information technology for education, had resulted in the One Tablet per Child scheme being replaced with the “smart classrooms” scheme.
The budget-allocation shift would allow Obec to build between 15,000 and 18,000 smart classrooms.
The agency has also submitted new project details to the NCPO’s psychological and social affairs panel.
Kamol said Obec would expand the long-distance learning transmitted from Wang Klaikangwon School in Hua Hin to all schools ahead of His Majesty the King’s birthday on December 5.
Under the third policy to narrow gaps in the quality of education, he said Obec would elevate each school’s quality and promote foreign-language learning and boost national academic performances, especially in the Ordinary National Educational Test.
The fourth policy to improve education administrations included a per-head subsidy adjustment.
As Obec’s long-term mission is for education reform, he said the Education Ministry would soon set up a national committee to produce an education blueprint and Obec would establish a panel to work with it.
Meanwhile, Education Ministry permanent secretary Suthasri Wongsamarn said the Bt504-billion budget – approved by the NCPO’s psychological and social affairs committee – was a 4.5-per-cent increase on the previous budget.
She said the budget’s framework provided more money for Obec – Bt311.7 billion (up 1.5 per cent) – the Office of the Vocational Education Commission – Bt21.1 billion (up 1.6 per cent) – and the Office of the Higher Education Commission – Bt122.65 billion (up 18.02 per cent).