Obec finds reading skills lacking
Almost a quarter of Prathom 3 and 6 pupils nationwide have poor reading skills and are in need of urgent assistance, according to the Education Ministry.
The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) earlier this month conducted a reading test to measure and evaluate the pronunciation skills and reading comprehension of all Prathom 3 (Grade 3) and Prathom 6 (Grade 6) pupils.
The test was aimed at identifying students with poor reading skills so teachers can pay special attention to developing their abilities.
About 889,000 students, comprising 445,000 Prathom 3 students and 444,000 Prathom 6 students, took the test.
Initial test results, revealed yesterday, showed more than 200,000 students from both grades have reading problems, which are divided into four levels — students who are unable to read; able to read but need improvement; able to read but fail to understand; able to read but understand only a little.
For Prathom 3 students, 27,000 or 6.27% students were unable to read, 23,700 (5.32%) were able to read but need improvement, 14,600 (3.2%) were able to read but failed to understand, and 62,000 (14%) students were able to read but understood only a little.
For Prathom 6 students, 7,880 (1.77%) were unable to read, 6,750 (1.52%) students were able to read but need improvement, 7,080 (1.59%) were able to read but failed to understand, and 51,580 (11.6%) were able to read but understood only a little.
Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani, Nakhon Phanom and Chiang Mai were among provinces that recorded high numbers of students with poor reading abilities.
Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng admitted the number of students with reading problems was high. The ministry would work with teachers to organise extra courses to improve the students’ reading skills.
‘‘Teachers and school executives are not to be blamed for the reading failures. It is the failure of the educational system as a whole,’’ he said. ‘‘If this problem is not solved, it will be difficult for them to achieve their potential because reading is the foundation of every subject.’’
Obec secretary-general Chinnapat Bhumirat said extra intensive courses will be provided for these 200,000 pupils during the second semester.