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Education in Thailand

An OECD-UNESCO Perspective

image of Education in Thailand

Thailand’s education system stands at a crossroads. Significant investment has widened access to education and the country performs relatively well in international assessments compared with its peers. But the benefits have not been universally distributed and Thailand has not received the return on its spending on education that it might have expected. This report encourages Thailand to focus on four priority areas to prepare students from all backgrounds for a fast-changing world. The first is to set clear, common standards for all students through a revised and improved curriculum. The second priority is to build capacity to reliably assess students across the full range of competencies needed for success in life and in learning. Third, Thailand needs to develop a holistic strategy to prepare teachers and school leaders to deliver education reform, including implementing the revised curriculum, and to tackle teaching shortages in the most deprived areas. The final challenge is to create a comprehensive information and communications technology strategy to equip all Thailand’s schools, teachers and students for the 21st century.

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Foreword and acknowledgements

Thailand’s education system stands at a crossroads. As the country aims to move beyond the “middle-income trap”, it needs to build a highly skilled workforce, able to compete in the ASEAN economic community. Significant investment has widened access to education and Thailand performs relatively well in international assessments compared to its peers. However, the benefits have not been universally distributed and Thailand has not received the return on its investment in education that it might have expected. Too many poor children do not attend school altogether, and too many fail to reach the minimum standards needed for full participation in society. Thailand risks developing a two-tier education system – leaving children in poorer rural households behind.

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