BANGKOK – Thailand’s spending on education, representing 4 per cent of gross domestic product or 20 per cent of the national budget, is the highest in the world, according to research findings by Mahidol University.
The National Children and Family Development Institute which conducted the study on Thailand’s educational system concluded that spending on fundamental education is as high as Bt35,000 per person per year while parents have to pay on average Bt25,000-35,000 per student each year for added extras.
Despite the high expenditure, the country’s educational gap–the delivered performance–remains wide and in need of improvement.
Study hours for Thai students are five times more than countries such as the US and Canada where students spend 600-700 hours in classes while Thai students 2,000-3,600 hours.
Despite the state’s high spending on education and extra classes for children, Thai students’ learning proficiency is rather low.
Suriyadev Tripati, institute director, called for education reform in short, middle and long terms, changes in teaching methods and evaluation systems while education courses must be developed in accord with human proficiency in the 21st century.
In the long run, Thailand’s human resources must be developed so that people become the brains of the nation, he said.