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25 March 2014
Read in Minutes


Syllabus shakeup to be piloted

Lamphai Intathep

A revised version of the national curriculum will be piloted in 100 schools in the 2014 academic year which starts in May.

A reform of the country’s basic curriculum was initiated by caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana while he was education minister. The curriculum reform panel was led by Pawit Thongroj, an adviser to the education minister.

Despite a change of education minister, a draft of the revised basic curriculum is now complete.

Next, it will be sent to the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) for public hearings.

Caretaker Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng said a section on 21st-century skills has been added to this version to encourage students to engage with global issues.
They will also be taught to think critically rather than memorising facts by rote as in the past.

“The curriculum reform should be sped up, but we must also seek opinions from others in the sector.”

“We have to hasten it, because basic curriculum reform and the learning and teaching overhaul must go together,” he said.

Asked whether the government’s status as a caretaker would affect the reform, Mr Chaturon said the matter needs no cabinet approval.

“If people in the education profession agree with the revised curriculum, whoever the minister is, he or she has to carry it on.”

Benjaluk Nampha, Obec’s adviser, said the revised curriculum would be implemented in about 100 schools as a
pilot project.

“It would be applied in schools of all sizes and areas to see whether different school contexts affect our ability to implement the changes,” he said.

Worapoj Wongkitrungrueng, a researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute, said encouraging students to adopt 21st-century skills must be regarded as the main target for the reform.

In the proposed basic curriculum, eight core subjects are reduced to six.

The subjects are language and culture; life skills and the world of work; media skills and communication; society and humanity; the Asean region and the world; and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


First published: Bangkok Post,  March 25, 2014