Educators unimpressed by education policies offered

Educators unimpressed by education policies offered

With the general elections near, many major political parties have started announcing their policies on education. Not many educators are impressed by what’s on offer.

 Asst Professor Athapol Anunthavorasakul, lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education, complains that most of these policies focus far too much on short-term goals.

 The education policies rolled out by the Democrat Party, Thailand’s oldest political party, include providing free vocational education, free breakfast for students and adjusting the curriculum.

 The Phalang Pracharat Party, which is pushing for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s return, is offering to help tackle student loans for struggling graduates.

 The Pheu Thai Party, which won the 2011 election, is offering One Laptop Per Child, promising to raise educational standards and equal opportunities.

The Future Forward Party, a new star on the political scene, has promised that it will ensure fair access to quality education and is seeking to engage all sectors of society in the development of the education sector.

 “But these policies hardly address the core of education reform,” Athapol said.

 Apart from this, he said the ongoing restructuring within the educational sector also looks set to trigger some more problems.

 Sompong Jitradub, who is Athapol’s senior colleague, said the education policies being offered by the parties are not as good as their economic policies. He feels that none of these parties have explained how they will solve the country’s education crisis

 “The education policies of only three parties – Future Forward, Democrat and Pheu Thai – are acceptable,” the prominent educator said.  But he doesn’t believe any of the political will be able to make a significant change to the educational sector.

 Assoc Professor Dr Methinee Wongwanich Rumpagaporn, a lecturer at the Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Education, pointed out that the Democrat Party  is focusing on learners, Pheu Thai on the management of resources and technology, Phalang Pracharat on private-state partnerships, the Future Forward Party on modernisation and youth, while Chartthaipattana Party’s focus is on farmers’ children.

Athapol also said, most of these parties did not explain how they were going to implement their policies.

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