living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand – Graduating High School Seniors Fail in 7 out of 8 Subjects

Via: Coconuts Bangkok

The results of the last round of nationwide, standardized tests are in, and they don’t look good.

High school seniors, on average, failed EVERY SUBJECT but health ed on the ONET exams, according to results released this morning by the National Institute of Educational Testing Service.

Average scores for 413,000 Mathayom 6 students tested nationwide were under 50 percent, with mathematics and English remaining students’ least favorite subjects with average scores of 20.48 and 25.35, respectively.

Scores for Thai (49.26 percent) and vocational education (49.98 percent) nearly achieved an average passing rate.

The students’ did best in health ed, with a 62.03 percent average score, Morning News reported.

ONET scores for the high school graduates factor heavily into the university admissions process.


‘Health Education’?

It’s hard to pick up a newspaper without reading an article that ‘Thai teenage pregnancy’ is at record levels.




March 29, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – ICT Ministry denies claim of 200,000 broken tablets


Via: The Nation

In the House of Representatives, Democrat MP for Pathum Thani Kiatisak Songsaeng questioned the tablet policy, saying the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) had found that 200,000 devices out of the 860,000 bought for Bt2.6 billion ($64.5 million USD – $322 each) had broken.
ICT Minister Anudith Nakornthap said OAG official Pichet Trakulkan had said the figure was not as high as reported by the newspaper and the OAG did not say there was CORRUPTION (Corruption? – perish the thought!). In fact, he said, the office even stated that it was a good project that should continue. From August 2012 to August this year there were 3,244 broken tablets sent for repair, he added.
Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang said the OAG report actually found 295 broken devices at 80 schools and affirmed that the tablets improved students’ academic performance by 50 per cent. (50% AMAZING THAILAND!)
Okay, let’s see if I got this right; somewhere between 295 and 200,000, possibly 3,244.
Yeah, that makes sense,

October 11, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – 50 years of Peace Corps

Via: Facebook: U.S. Consulate, Chiang Mai

Visited a Peace Corps Volunteer at a secondary school outside Mae Hong Son as part of this month’s celebration of 50 years of Peace Corps in Thailand. Talked to the students about American culture and food. Lots of fun!



Ratana Sirikuck “Great ! WE used to have a volunteer in my school but a long time ago.”


 Nuch Pa Nuch: “I used to learn with Peace Corps Volunteer,that was  very good memory to think of my Elementary’s  English.”


July 20, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thai Youth Seek a Fortune Away From the Farm

Via: New York Times

During 18 years living across the road from rice paddies, Malinee Khammon has never planted a single seedling. The daughter of farmers who is in her last year of high school, she has become adept at deflecting increasingly desperate pleas from her parents for help on the farm.

It’s hot and exhausting — I don’t like it,” Ms. Malinee said recently as she downloaded photos from her camera onto a computer at the local community center. “I’d rather stay indoors.”


But in Thailand today, rice farming is suddenly the preserve of the old as young people stay longer in school and as the vast metropolis of Bangkok lures the country’s best and brightest to careers in air-conditioned workplaces.

All they can do with their hands is use a cellphone,” said Sudarat Khammon, who at 33 is the youngest farmer in Baan Khlong Khoo, a village of stilt houses outside the central Thai city of Phitsanulok.

Only 12 percent of Thai farmers today are younger than 25, down from 35 percent in 1985, according to government statistics, and their average age jumped to 42 in 2010 from 31 in 1985.

The move away from the rice paddies is not altogether surprising: Thailand and other rice-growing countries in Asia are following patterns of industrialization seen elsewhere.

But the transition is particularly charged for Thailand, where the growing of rice — notably the prized jasmine variety — is entwined with the country’s identity, and its livelihood. The country has been the world’s leading rice exporter since 1983, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and rice exports amounted to more than $6 billion last year.

Rice is highly politicized in Thailand, and this year, partly to appease disgruntled farmers, the government put in place a price guarantee system that has hurt competitiveness, leading to stockpiles of unsold rice.

In the long term, as the older generation of farmers dies off, experts worry that Thailand may have trouble finding people to work its 13 million hectares, or about 32 million acres, of rice paddies.



Boonmee Khammon, 41, the father of Ms. Malinee, speaks bitterly about his two daughters’ refusal to help him in the rice fields.

“They live in their own world,” Mr. Boonmee said. “They’re not interested in working on the farm — I’ve tried to force them. It’s difficult.”

Ms. Malinee says her dream is to become a teacher. Her friends at school, some of them also the children of farmers, want to be doctors, pharmacists and engineers. She seems slightly embarrassed about her farming roots. “She’s afraid of getting dark,” said Namaoi Taengbang, a friend.


Read the entire article, HERE:



Many internet cafes are packed with young people from early morning until late at night.

“Her friends at school, some of them also the children of farmers, want to be doctors, pharmacists and engineers.”

But the majority I see in the cafes are either on Facebook, or are playing video games.


And YES, I believe this might contribute to Thailand ranking 41st out of 48 out of the standard for university education.

And NO, I don’t see anything which reverse the trend.

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand Gets Low University Ranking

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

CityNews – A recent report by Universitas 21, a leading research group that ranks universities, put Thailand in 41st place out of 48 countries for the standard of university education.

The rankings are based on 20 components that include government investment and also investment by the private sector. USA, Sweden, Canada, Finland and Denmark were the top five countries, while in Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore were the highest ranked but failed to get into the top ten.

The results are based on what each country “provides” in quality education, not results achieved by an aggregate of institutions in a country. For more information on how the results were compiled follow the hyperlink above.

Thailand universities, according to Webometrics, that collates data based on performance, quality of education and some other non-academic variables, ranks Thai universities quite low on a global scale. The highest ranked is Kasetsart University in Bangkok at 140, Chulalongkorn is second at 173, while the highest ranked northern university is Chiang Mai University at 236.

Other northern schools of higher education fall a long way behind in the 1,500+ region.


personal thought:

And when you see similiar studies for high school students, you can see it is NOT improving.



May 16, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Thai students rank 8th in classroom manners


Thailand has been included in the list of top ten countries whose students have the very best classroom manners, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Japan was found to have students with the best classroom manners, followed by students from Kazakhstan, China (Shanghai), Hong Kong, Romania, South Korea and Azerbaijan. Thailand was ranked eighth in the list, followed by Albania and Russia.

It can be seen that seven out of the ten nations are in Asia while the other three are in Europe. Among the rest on the list, England was in the 28th place, above France and Italy.

The study conducted in 2009 found that students worldwide talked or interrupted classes less compared with those in 2000. It was earlier worrying that students worldwide would talk or interrupt classes more; however, the survey has proven that students have improved their manners.

Sounds like a great place to come and teach, huh?


Well hang on, you might want to read some of the comments:


“Is this survey for schools only?

Do most of the Thai kids become misbehaved when they start university?

They chat on phones, answer phones

Talk to each other

Walk off in the middle of the class to smoke

Are absent every other day

Come to class late

Don’t do their assignments

Some even apply/ repair their make-up in class among lots of other things

And all this in the middle of a lecture

It will be a bad thing to generalize as I have had a few really good Thai students.”


This is a fairly new topic on the board, and it will interesting to read the other comments; but I suspect this one, will be fairly typical.


Well, if the students are so well mannered, they must be doing well on the test scores, right?

Actually, not so good.


May 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – ‘downhill for our education system’

Via: Bangkok Post


It is more than a SURPRISE and QUITE a SHOCK when the results of the nationwide O-Net test, which measures students’ basic knowledge in various subjects, shows that on average Thai students fail miserably, especially in the important subjects such as English and mathematics, noted Thai Rath.

Out of a mark of 100, here is the average of each subject scored by students countrywide:

Thai language – 42.61

social studies – 46.51

English – 19.22

mathematics – 14.99

science – 30.90

physical education and health studies – 62.86

arts and crafts – 32.62

career and technology – 43.69


Thai Rath posed questions to education critic/academic Assoc Prof , Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University.

Q: As an academic on education, how do you feel about the nationwide O-Net result?

A: “The failure has been consistent for the last three years which is the period of transition from the previous education reform to the present one. . . .”


You can read the rest of the interview with Dr Sompong Chitradap, here:

April 16, 2011 Posted by | Bangkok Post newspaper, education | , , | 3 Comments

Thailand to hire 300 native English teachers

BANGKOK: — The Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) will seek a Bt350million budget to hire 300 native English-speaking teachers for its primary and secondary schools to tackle the shortage of English teachers, a senior official said yesterday.

According to the proposal, the native speakers would each get about Bt1 million (+/-$33,000USD) per year – a salary of Bt83,000 (+/-$2,700USD) per month – compared to the Bt9,000 (+/-$300USD) per month drawn by Thais teaching English.

Obec chief Chinaphat Phumirat said the foreign teachers would be from the United States, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, India and the Philippines.


Personal opinion:

1) I think the RATES are MUCH TOO HIGH; especially if they recruit ‘Native English Speakers’ from India and the Philippines.

btw: ‘Native English Speakers’ from India and the Phillipines’ ; well, good luck with that!

2) I think it ‘might’ be a good idea to hire 300 native English teachers.

However, I can’t help but wonder if instead of teaching primary/secondary students, if it would be more beneficial to help the ‘Thai university education majors’ with their English, and HOW to teach English.

3) For the U.S. cadidates, if for no other reason than ‘screening’, the Office of Basic Education could/should co-ordinated with the Peace Corps.

and last but not least,

4) Thai colleges and universities graduates thousands of teachers every year, and I have my doubts that this ‘proposal’ is ‘politically feasable’.

March 30, 2011 Posted by | education, employment | , , | Leave a comment