Thailand and its ASEAN partners are moving toward a single community by 2015, universities in Thailand have been urged to help increase the potential of all provinces in order to enhance the country’s competitiveness.
Education Minister Woravat Auapinyakul touched on the issue of preparations for the ASEAN Community when he gave a briefing on his policy to executives of various universities at a meeting on September 2, 2011.
In his briefing, he said, universities must spread knowledge about natural resources and cultural assets in various provinces. The Minister wanted universities to come up with analyses of what should be developed in each province, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of Thailand and other countries.
He expects to see changes in the curriculum, with the introduction of new technologies to help develop educational institutions in the next few years.
The education policy of the Yingluck Shinawatra administration seeks to reform the curriculum at all levels in line with global trends and on the basis of Thai culture. It will develop universities in Thailand to world standards and restructure the educational management system through the decentralization of administrative power to the provinces.
The Government will create educational opportunities, taking into consideration equality and fairness among all groups of the people, especially the poor, the underprivileged, the disabled, and minority groups. It will reduce constraints for having access to university education and higher vocational education by operating an education loan program in which repayment is linked to the borrowers’ future income. In particular, the Government will set up a central testing system to fairly and efficiently select students to continue their studies at the university level. The “One District, One Scholarship” project will be carried out to provide Thai students with greater opportunities to pursue their studies abroad. Moreover, community education management will be arranged to create a learning society and lifelong education.
As for teacher reform, the Government will produce teachers of higher quality at an international standard, which will help raise the status of teachers. Allowances and salaries for teachers will be improved, while training will be arranged for them on a continual basis.
The Government will manage university and vocational education in response to the labor market. It will promote the setting up of vocational training centers for students and the general public to learn and gain experience before engaging in businesses. Local universities will also be developed as international research universities. Research and development to create intellectual capital will be given a major boost.
In a move to cope with liberalization in the soon-to-be-realized ASEAN Community, the Government will work with the private sector and educational institutions in human resource development and planning.