Impact of the Thai rote-learning System on Education

Impact of the Thai rote-learning System on Education

Progressive learning with changing mindsets, introducing lifelong learning to encourage vibrant interaction between students and teachers will never sprout in a rote-learning environment, the present nucleus of Thailand’s education system.

The Thailand 4.0 innovation-led economy will require the replacement of rote-learning by the 4Cs method – Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Reflection. This will bring a profound and much needed change in teacher-student and worker-boss/manager relations. It will also give rise to a classroom culture of intense questioning, and similar “collaborative questioning sessions” in the workplace. Respect and knowledge should be balanced, but the former must not prevent people from presenting creative and innovative ideas.

People will have to adapt to this new situation, interacting to absorb, present, defend and explain their ideas and arguments in an environment freed of obstacles to the 4Cs. Arguments that protect existing networks – for example, the teaching profession, from moves to allow unlicensed professionals to teach in the classroom – should be heard. But the “complainers” should be made to understand that our workforce currently has a skill level of “Thailand 0.4”, with improvements needed urgently if Thailand is to achieve a 4.0 environment.

Cutting the teacher training programme from five to four years was the right move, but it’s now a high time to consider ending the training of Thailand 3.0  “rote-learning teachers”. Time is to now deliver 21st-century teachers, including pre-school staff who are guardians of children in the crucial early learning stage up till five years old. Thailand desperately needs an education system geared to the new social and economic era it is now entering, an era embodied by the Eastern and Southern Economic Corridor projects.

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