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Ongoing closure of small schools in Thailand

Discussion in 'Education from Thailand' started by Gor Blimey Guvnur!, 11 Nov 2016.

  1. Gor Blimey Guvnur!

    Gor Blimey Guvnur! Thread Starter What the duck ! Staff Member

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    Minister confirms plan to close all small schools
    Nearly all schools with fewer than 120 students will be merged into larger schools within five years, Education Minister Dapong Ratanasuwan confirmed on Thursday.

    The exemptions will be a few schools in remote areas.


    Source and full story: Minister confirms plan to close all small schools | Bangkok Post: news

    In the story too: "This would result in stronger management and better quality education". Yes for economic reasons sure, but as we know, many schools in Thailand are already quite crowded and 50 to a classroom is common. Unless they have a grand plan to build a lot more big schools (which I don't think they have that cover 15,000 odd schools going with say an average of 80 students a school afaik ...that's a lot of students eh) then bigger class sizes will be an end result. Putting the managment arguments aside, how does this give rise to a' better quality eduction'?

    I had the privilege of going to a small school of 45 kids aged 5 to 9 in the UK and it certainly gave me a head start and was a good education ...many of those there are gone now ....economics rules I think there and in Thailand too.
     
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  2. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Exactly my first thought. HTF would that result in stronger management and better quality education? Perhaps mismanagement?

    My wife's village school would be one of them, maybe 40 to 80 kids, not more. The teachers 15 years ago invited me to their open-air office at 9 am to have some Lhao Kao?

    A chubby assistant told me that I must buy some new PVC for the floors in the classrooms and I was shocked after seeing the first Thai school from the inside.

    Quality education and quality tourists seem to cope well here. Damn, I need a cold one now. Cheers.-
     
  3. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    The plans go back to several years ago. I really doubt whether this is really going to happen. Too much power and money involved on the lower echelons.
     
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  4. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Plus getting poor kids from a Baan Nok to a huge school in the city. That just won't happen in my lifetime because poor people can't afford the fare, a room, and food.

    Plus some other expenses, usually given in an envelope under the table.

    The hub of education completely messed up. And so did the TCT and the whole MoE with all the Admirals and Generals.
     
  5. evl

    evl Active Member

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    I'll go against the consensus so far and say that this is a long overdue move. Other than in remote areas, if these small schools had a good reputation, the numbers of students would not be so low; parents are choosing to send their children elsewhere because it is simply not possible to have expert teachers and good resources in schools with such small numbers. Small schools cannot afford libraries or computer labs. They cannot hire dedicated science or math teachers. These small schools are a waste of vast amounts of public money because of a lack of efficiency in running them and employing staff for so few students. There is also a "brain drain" from small government schools as teachers have better opportunities in larger schools, hence good teachers are less likely to remain teaching in their small local schools.
     
  6. Gor Blimey Guvnur!

    Gor Blimey Guvnur! Thread Starter What the duck ! Staff Member

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    ^Good points Evl, thx for the post, and I agree mostly with your insight.

    Still do worry though about the displaced of about 1 to 1.5 million students adding to already overcrowded schools though. If they were serious about doing this within 5 years then they should also get busy building some brand new schools and extending existing schools given land space too. However, maybe this plan will never be carried through according to Stamp's post that this ongoing situation has been going on longer than I thought ...plus 'other reasons' too.
     
  7. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    And Thailand could take a couple of refugees and let them live in the then empty schools. That's it.
     
  8. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    Found myself agreeing with most if not all of your points, yet still feel there is a third way, beyond close or remain open.

    Local schools can deal with local problems and help students with their current context.

    Now it, I believe, goes without saying that children should be provided the tools with which self improvement (both interms of knowledge and skills) and the opportunity to improve their financial situation. The ability to climb out of poverty is one which I feel passionately about. Often faced with 'institutional drag' or put another way, a status quo which prefers to keep the poor in poverty, students find themselves going to school and then leaving school with pretty much nothing learned save for an ability to follow the orders of a more important social class.

    But the drive for a one stop, one format school in Thailand is, for want of a better word, foolish.

    The problems and opportunities of those in the city and country are different. The single curriculum serves the urban elite well, but it offers little to the rural masses.

    Why not create rural schools where the focus is on the context of the rural? The local area is farming, teach the students agriculture, marketing, plant science, water management, irrigation engineering etc.

    Some might say that such school condemn the poor to much of the same, but if the parents are given a choice then such worries must surely be put to rest. What is more the current academic subject focus is not working.

    Grade 12 students are leaving school entering low quality universities, with the end result being a fast track to a low quality job. I suggest arming the rural majority with the skills to use the community of knowledge to improve their own lot.

    Now of course this will never happen since big agri business would never let it happen, but it would be good to see something else than the cookie cutter education at the moment.
     

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