A survey conducted last year of 4,929 prathom 1 students across the country showed that their average IQ was 93.1 points compared to 94 three years ago which was below the international standard level of 100, said Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin at a press conference on Wednesday.
However, he said that the IQ of the primary education students in urban areas is higher than that of their peers in the rural areas which averages 89 points. But the EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) of the urban and rural youngsters are up to normal level, he added.
The minister disclosed that the ministry had worked out three strategies to improve the IQ and EQ of Thai children. These include cooperation between public health offices and children’s centres to promote the development of children; promotion of closer relationship between families and children’s centres with emphasis on spending more time together, hugging and less time spent on watching TV or video games and greater access to simple information about child’s development.
Three factors were identified for attributing to IQ slide among Thai children, said Dr Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, director-general of Mental Health Department. The three factors are: parents spend less time with their children because parents were divorced or parents have to work far away from homes; children were left to be tended by elderly people or grand parents; and the quality of pre-school education at children’s centres.