Education in Thailand
GSID, Nagoya University
For the OFW Preparatory Seminar
June 11, 2008
Key Words
King Chulalongkorn (Rama V, 1868-1910)
Abolishment of slaves, modernization of education,
construction of railways & roads, postal system, etc.
“Lak Thai (Thai Pillar)” (1929)
Nation State, Religion (Buddhism) and the King
Constitution Section 66. Every person shall have a duty
to uphold the Nation, religions, the King and the democratic
regime of government with the King as Head of the State
under this Constitution.
Key Words (2)
Sufficiency Economy (Sethakid Popiang)
Green and Happiness Society
The Tenth National Economic and Social Development Plan (20072011) (The National Economic and Social Development Board)
Green and Happiness Society: Thai people uphold moral values lead
knowledge, can cope with all changes, and live in warm and loving families
within empowered communities and peaceful society. Thailand has sound,
stable, and equity economy; good quality environment and sustainable
natural resources; upholds good governance system for the administration at
all levels under constitutional monarchy, and be able to live with dignity in
the world community.
“Green and Happiness Index (GHI)” is primarily based on the philosophy of
Sufficiency Economy, human-centered development, and the vision of the
“Green and Happiness Society.” It consists of six components, namely
health, warm and loving family, community empowerment, economic
strength and equity, good quality environment and ecological system, and
democratic society and good governance.
Philosophy of Sufficiency
Economy (Sethakid Popiang)
Bestowed by His Majesty the King
Based on adherence to the middle path, is
advocated to 1) overcome the current
economic crisis that was brought about by
unexpected change under conditions of rapid
globalization, and 2) achieve sustainable
Philosophy of Sufficiency
Economy (Sethakid Popiang) (2)
“Sufficiency economy” is a philosophy that stresses the middle path as the
overriding principle for appropriate conduct and way of life of the entire populace.
It applies to conduct and way of life at individual, family, and community levels.
At the national level, the philosophy is consistent with a balanced development
strategy that would reduce the vulnerability of the nation to shocks and
excesses that may arise as a result of globalization. “Sufficiency” means
moderation and due consideration in all modes of conduct, and incorporates the
need for sufficient protection from internal and external shocks. To achieve this,
the prudent application of knowledge is essential. In particular, great care is
needed in the application of theories and technical know-how and in planning
and implementation. At the same time, it is essential to strengthen the moral
fibre of the nation so that everyone, particularly public officials, academics,
business people, and financiers adhere first and foremost to the principles of
honesty and integrity. A balanced approach combining patience, perseverance,
diligence, wisdom, and prudence is indispensable to cope appropriately with
critical challenges arising from extensive and rapid socio-economic,
environmental, and cultural change occurring as a result of globalization.
“The Ninth National Economic and Social Development Plan (2002-2006),” p. 1.
Development Plans
The National Economic and Social
Development Plan (The National Economic
and Social Development Board)
National Education Plan (2002-2016)
Three objectives:
1. All-round and balanced human development
2. Building a society of morality, wisdom and learning
3. Development of social environment
Constitution of the Kingdom of
Thailand B.E. 2540 (1997)
Section 43. A person shall enjoy an equal right to receive the
fundamental education for the duration of not less than 12 years which
shall be provided by the State thoroughly, up to the quality, and without
In providing education by the State, regard shall be had to participation of
local government organizations and the private sector as provided by law.
Section 81. The State shall provide and promote the private sector to
provide education to achieve knowledge alongside morality, provide law
relating to national education, improve education in harmony with
economic and social change, create and strengthen knowledge and
instill right awareness with regard to politics and a democratic regime of
government with the King as Head of the State, support researches in
various sciences, accelerate the development of science and
technology for national development, develop the teaching profession,
and promote local knowledge and national arts and culture.
National Education Act
B.E.2542 (1999)
Section 15. There shall be three types of education: formal, nonformal, and informal.
Section 16. Formal education is divided into two levels: basic
education and higher education.
 Basic education is that provided for 12 years before higher
Section 17. Compulsory education shall be for nine years,
requiring children aged seven to enrol in basic education
institutions until the age of 16….
Section 27. …basic education institutions shall be responsible for
prescribing curricular substance relating to needs of the
community and the society, local wisdom and attributes of
desirable members of the family, community, society, and nation.
National Education Act 1999 (2)
12-year basic education curriculum
Drastic reform in educational administration structure
Office of the National Education Commission Office of the
Education Council
Ministry of University Affairs Office of the Higher Education
Decentralization of authority for educational
administration 175 educational service areas in 76
provinces (One educational service area=200 schools)
Basic Education Curriculum
B.E.2544 (2001)
Limitations and weaknesses of previous curriculum
1. The formulation of curriculum by central authorities does not reflect or
respond to the needs of education institutions and provincial society;
2. Curriculum and learning development in mathematics, science and
technologies fail to build up leaders in these fields. This necessitates the
improvement of teaching and learning procedures in order to build up skills,
creativity, and the right attitude among Thai people;
3. The application of curriculum fails to foster the foundations of critical
thinking, to create learning procedures in life skills and management, and to
enable learners to effectively tackle fast changes in the social and economic
4. Foreign languages learning, especially in the English language fails to
build up competencies in using languages for communication and seeking
knowledge from various and extensive resource centers in the Information
Basic Education Curriculum
2001 (2)
 1. Education shall aim at unity of the national, emphasizing Thainess in parallel with international consciousness;
 2. Education shall be for all Thai citizens who shall have equal
rights to be educated, whereas social institutions shall be invited
to be State partners in education provision.
 3. Learners shall be supported in order that they develop
continuously and as lifelong learning, taking into consideration
that learners are the most important and learners are capable of
self-development and self-realization;
 4. The curriculum structures, substance, time-frame, and learning
management processes shall be flexible;
 5. The curriculum shall be applied to all education systems, for all
target groups; the learning results and experience shall be
equated and transferred.
Basic Education Curriculum
2001 (3)
1. Self-esteem, self-discipline, strict observance of religious teaching and practice,
morality, right behavior, and desirable virtue;
2. Creative thinking, thirst for knowledge and learning, acquiring reading, writing and
research habits;
3. Universal knowledge, keeping pace with changes and advancement in academic
world, skills and potential for communication and technology management, adjustment
of thinking and working processes to encounter changing situations;
4. Skills and learning processes in mathematics, science, thinking skills, generating
intelligence and quality life skills;
5. Physical exercises for good health and personality;
6. Efficiency in producing and consuming, a preference for producing than consuming;
7. Knowledge of Thai history, pride in being a Thai, a good citizen who strictly observe
democratic ways of life, under a regime of constitutional monarchy;
8. Consciousness in the preservation of Thai language, art, culture, custom, sports,
local wisdom, natural resources, and environmental development;
9. Love and dedication to the country and community, contributions to the society’s
Educational Institution
Each educational institution shall formulate own
curriculum which comprises all about learning and
other experience planned for learner development.
Basic learning substance and each subject,
additional subjects for each year or each semester,
semesterial learner development activities and
criteria of desirable character shall be formulated.
These shall be based on the core basic education
curriculum standard which is essential in educational
institution curriculum management.
Innovative Schools
1. State-Supervised Schools
2. Bilingual Schools
3. Schools for Gifted Students
4. Buddhism-Oriented Schools
5. Model ICT Schools
6. Perfect Schools or ‘Dream Schools’
“One District: One Perfect School”
The National Economic and Social Development Board, Office of the
Prime Minister. The National Economic and Social Development Plan.
Office of the National Education Commission, Office of the Prime
Minister. National Education Act B.E.2542 (1999) and Amendments
(Second National Education Act B.E.2542 (2002)). Bangkok: ONEC,
Ministry of Education. Basic Education Curriculum B.E.2544 (2001).
Bangkok: MOE, 2002.
Office of the Education Council, Ministry of Education. Education in
Thailand 2005/2006. Bangkok : Amarin Printing and Publishing, 2006.
Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education. 2006
Educational Statistics in Brief. Bangkok: MOE, 2007.
Watson, Keith. Educational Development in Thailand. Hong Kong:
Heinemann Asia, 1980.
Sangnapaboworn, Waraiporn. Education Reform in Thailand during
1999-2004. Nagoya: Graduate School of International Development,
Nagoya University, 2005.
Useful Links
Ministry of Education
Office of the Education Council
Office of the Basic Education Commission

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