THE Education Ministry is reviving the Khuruthayat Project through which successful candidates will get scholarships to study in teacher-education programmes and get teaching jobs after their graduation.
The project, which was scrapped more than a decade ago, aims to recruit quality teachers to the country’s educational sector.
Education Council secretarygeneral Prof Piniti Ratananukul yesterday disclosed that the Khuruthayat Project would name nearly 6,000 scholarship recipients in its first year. The project will run until 2029.
“We will choose about 4,000 participants from Mathayom 6 graduates who will enrol in the teacher-education programme and the rest from university graduates who will take an extra course to get teacher licences,” he said. The extra course will take about one to one and a half years.
The country’s ongoing educational reform now focuses on teacher quality, as research suggests the educational quality will depend largely on the quality of teachers.
Speaking at a seminar on Wednesday, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) president Somkiat Tangkitvanich said the country should be able to recruit quality teachers to classrooms to improve education quality given that supply surpassed demand.
“With the supply of about 600,000 teacher candidates to be available by 2019 and just 40,000 or 50,000 positions to fill, we should be able to get really qualified ones,”Somkiat said.
He believed quality teachers were one of the main cores to raise the country’s educational standards.
Deputy Education Minister Krissanapong Kiratikorn said at the same seminar that the country’s education should also be adjusted to respond well to the world’s changing context.
“Today, the world expects members of its labour force to have many skills, particularly about fast-evolving technologies,” he said, “The Education Ministry will strive to equip Thai children with up-todate skills”.
Krissanapong said that his ministry had also focused on promoting lifelong learning, as Thailand would soon become an ageing society.
“In addition to the fact that the country will see a lower birth rate and the growing population of the elderly, we also need to think about dropouts,” he said.
According to available statistics,one out of 10 children going to schools quit before they complete primary education. About five others complete just Mathayom 3 or vocational-certificate education.One will go to a university but never graduate.
“From the statistics, it is clear that seven out of 10 Thai youth will drop out of official schooling before they acquire solid skills and knowledge,” Krissanapong said.
First Published: The Nation, March 27, 2015