Thailand’s Education Ministry has reported that Ordinary National Education Test (O-Net) scores will not be used as criteria for admitting students into Grade 7 and Grade 10 in the 2021 academic year.
Permanent secretary for education Supat Champathong said the Covid-19 crisis was the main reason behind the ministry’s decision to change the criteria as the pandemic had prevented schools across the country from providing sufficient lessons to students.
According to the Bangkok Post, the Education Ministry asked the National Institute of Educational Testing Service (Niets), which organizes the O-Net exams, to cancel the national tests for students in Grade 6 and Grade 9 at the end of this academic year.
Mr Supat said the tests this year should not go ahead as students have not been able to study properly due to Covid-19. However, Niets has not yet decided whether the tests will be scrapped yet.
O-Net test scores must not be used
He said he had discussed the matter with Niets and there is a possibility that this year’s O-Net tests will be held on a voluntary basis. Students can decide whether they want to sit the tests.
“When the tests are not mandatory for Grade 6 and Grade 9 students, O-Net scores must not be used as admission criteria for Grade 7 and Grade 10 students,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Supat said the ministry will also not use O-Net scores as an indicator evaluating the performance of schools and their administrators.
Currently, O-Net is used to measure a student’s basic knowledge in four key subjects — mathematics, English, Thai language and general sciences in Thailand.
All Prathom 6 (Grade 6) as well as Mathayom 3 and 6 students must take the test to assess their academic proficiency.