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Ministry eyes O-Net test subject cut

Discussion in 'Education from Thailand' started by Stamp, 20 Dec 2016.

  1. Stamp

    Stamp Thread Starter Administrator Staff Member

    26 Nov 2010
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    The Ordinary National Educational Test (O-Net) may be limited to four core subjects -- mathematics, science, Thai and English, the permanent secretary for education, Chaipreuk Sereerak, says.

    Mr Chaipreuk said the Education Ministry plans to discuss with the National Institute of Educational Testing Services (Niets) the possibility of reducing the number of subjects included in national tests for students in Prathom 6 (Grade 6), Mathayom 3 (Grade 9), and Mathayom 6 from the current five to four, leaving out social science.

    Under the plan, social science may eventually to be excluded from the O-Net tests because the subject's content varies depending on the local context of different areas. It would not be practical or fair to incorporate it in the central test where students take the same test regardless of where they came from.

    "The main idea is to get a more accurate assessment of a student's basic knowledge and skills as we think it's really hard to measure a student's social science knowledge in a manner that best reflects the context of each location," he said.

    To assess a student's social science knowledge, schools must set their own examination questions and set the test themselves, Mr Chaipreuk said.

    Social science would be tested separately and the score could count toward the O-Net assessment, he said.

    The proposed change to the O-Net test will also be discussed with the Council of University Presidents of Thailand by the end of this year.

    Mr Chaipreuk said the proposed change could be implemented quickly. This could be done through the exercise of special powers under the military regime. Normally, such a change requires at least three years' advance notice to allow educational institutes and students time to adjust.

    He said a test covering fewer subjects could reduce stress for students and parents and help them save on after-class tutorial costs.

    Back in 2015, the Niets reduced the number of subjects tested in O-Net exams from eight to five.

    The three subjects dropped were; health and physical education; arts; and academic professions and technology.

    Read the full article here: Ministry eyes O-Net test subject cut | Bangkok Post: news
  2. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    21 Feb 2011
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    Certainly a move in the right direction. Sadly the sole use of the central Thai dialect still places some students, who are Thai, at a disadvantage. I am of course referring to those with a distinctly Malay heritage. If the reason for excluding the social sciences is such as the above quote then surely the argument could be extended to the Thai subject as well?

    The curriculum of social sciences covers a very wide range of subjects. The exclusion of Social sciences would exclude Religion, which places one religion at the centre and only briefly covers others. So it gets my vote.

    But Social Science has in the past been utilised, by some countries, to indoctrinate a sense of nation, a group of values/beliefs all good citizens have in common. Put another way Social Sciences have in the past been used, by some countries, to maintain the advantageous position of the status quo elite.

    It will be interesting to see how the exclusion of history, religion, politics, economics, and geography goes down with the powers that be.
    Last edited: 20 Dec 2016
  3. ttompatz

    ttompatz Just another teacher

    10 Jul 2014
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    Nothing will change. The tests are still a joke.

    Until NIETS finally gets around to understanding that internal validity, external validity, reliability and consistency are all requirements of any good assessment the tests they produce will remain invalid, inconsistent, unreliable and meaningless.

    This is just more noise from the latest impermanent "Permanent Secretary for Education" in response to a bad showing on the latest PISA test results showing up in the news.

    Next year a new impermanent "Permanent Secretary for Education" and another change in policy that will be as meaningless as the last 10 (or 100) and result in just as futile a policy.

    sirchai and SageAdvice like this.
  4. SageAdvice

    SageAdvice Well-Known Member

    18 Nov 2016
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    ^Agree. Until appropriately trained and experienced professional educators and administrators are put in place, every change will produce the same results as the last one. However, since the object of so many involved in the Ed Biz locally is to make money, the more confusion, uninformed interpretation and overseas fact-finding trips the better. As BF has already noted, the current "system" is "designed" to produce the results that it does. If only the Brits had made it a bit farther north or east, we might have had another Malaysia (corruption included, of course). Alas, Thainess is what happens when a culture is smothered in a cocoon.
    Last edited: 20 Dec 2016

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