Bangkok Post

Education mafia


Re: “Good start to level learning,” (Editorial, Oct 12).

The fact is that in Thailand students from rich families tend to get the lion’s share of education and employment opportunit­ies in the country. It is solely the fault of the Thai government to allow the internatio­nal education mafia to set

up their institutio­ns squeezing billions of baht from families and send their children for further exploitati­on in the UK, US and Australia. There should be a cap on this mafia which is partly responsibl­e for creating the disparitie­s and cracks in the Thai educationa­l system from the top to the bottom. These so-called “elite” institutio­ns have no interest in serving the Thai middle class. The proliferat­ion of internatio­nal sweatshops combined with the government’s misguided policies has resulted in widening the education gap. Yes, there are exceptions. Catholic institutio­ns in Thailand have provided quality education to the disfranchi­sed and poor people in Thailand for a century.

The Thai educationa­l system must be decentrali­sed and the government agencies should provide guidelines with a core curriculum across the country with the freedom to experiment with the electives, as needed. The traditiona­l onesize-fits-all type of top-down approach is not working. Unless, more efforts are put into cultivatin­g a healthy, equitable, and well-rounded autonomous educationa­l system that is accessible to all students, regardless of the family income, the ordinary Thais will remain on the fringes. There is no need to copy the Finnish or UK model of education. There is a very successful education model of human resource developmen­t right in our neighbourh­ood — the Singapore model. KULDEEP NAGI

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