Thai education official admits online learning’s pitfalls

Photo by Unicef Thailand.

A Thai education official admitted that online learning in Thailand has weakened students’ reading and writing skills. The secretary-general of the Office of the Basic Education Commission said this is especially a problem for kindergarten and primary students. He said students “must” start school in-person on May 15. This was after rumours circled that school might be interrupted again.

The Pattaya News reported that the secretary-general “expressed concern” over literacy and numeracy skills if students continue studying online this year. To counter students’ decline in these skills, the OBEC plans to teach literacy and numeracy for students in grades 1, 2, and 3, instead of focusing on all subjects normally taught in Thai schools. The other subjects are science, social studies, health, art, home economics, and English.

An online survey conducted last month found that 66.8% of parents doubt how effective learning is effective for their children. 55.5% say they have little confidence in it being effective. 11.3% said they’re not confident about online learning’s effectiveness at all. Only 6.1% of parents said they were very confident, with 27% reporting feeling “fairly” confident. The survey questioned 1,089 parents across Thailand. The university that conducted the survey is Suan Dusit Rajabhat University in Bangkok.

These scores are in line with the worldwide problem of online learning failing students. In the US, only 6 out of 10 teachers assigned letter grades in the Fall of 2020 because so many kids were failing in school.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.