Thailand need to urgently tackle education inequality says World Bank

Thailand need to urgently tackle education inequality says World Bank

The critical issue for Thailand at this point is the inequality in education and it can be tackled by consolidating small schools, suggests World Bank

As per the banks judgement, this measure would help improve the quality of education and hence narrow the widening income disparity. Thai economic growth this year has been forecast to slow to 3.8 per cent, according to the World Bank’s Thailand Economic Monitor released yesterday.

As measured by the Gini coefficient, the level of inequality in Thailand, is comparable with peers and it remains an issue that should be a national priority says the World Bank report on Thailand’s challenges and opportunities in enhancing human capital and reducing inequality. 

To address the inequality, the bank has suggested that the government consolidate small schools nationwide in order to improve quality. 

About 5 per cent of gross domestic product is what Thailand spends annually on education, which is at par with some of the developed countries. However, the bank suggested productive spending has to be improved. 

Too many small schools are facing the trend of a declining number of children and youth. Poor families and households in the rural areas are sending their children to schools near their homes in order to reduce transport cost.

Small schools are facing shortage of teachers and educational equipment which is resulting in poor PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) scores for the children. 

It was also pointed out that Thailand’s quality of education is lower than the Asean average. A child born here today will reach only 60 per cent of potential, in terms of productivity and lifetime income. “Inequality of education in Thailand is one of the biggest challenges, with poorer areas being under-served,” said the bank.

1 million (Approx) poor children are currently getting inferior quality of education and infrastructure due to which the 12.4 years of basic schooling expected for a child born today in Thailand is equal to just 8.6 years, which is a learning gap of 3.8 years, according to the World Bank. 

Government is designing many laws to empower the poor and people living in rural areas, which will come into effect in the next few months.

According to the World Bank, the Thai economy is projected to grow by 3.8 per cent in 2019 and 3.9 in 2020 amidst a global slowdown and elevated trade tensions. Export growth is estimated at about 5 per cent this year.

By pursuing economic reform and investing in human capital, Thailand can become a high-income nation with equal opportunities for all citizens.

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