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Research shows home-learning causes 50% drop in mathematical ability among Thai students

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Research shows that online learning causes a 50% drop in mathematical comprehension, and a 30% drop in reading literacy among Thai students. Research presented by the government’s Equitable Education Fund indicates that months of home-learning cannot match in-school study and in fact, can cause a deterioration in students’ ability. With schools currently closed in 28 Thai provinces, thousands of children across the country are participating in online learning.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Pumsaran Tongliemnak from the EEF says home-schooling with the use of screens also has a negative effect on students’ mental health and their social and emotional development. The research, carried out by the Northwest Evaluation Association, echoes a study done by Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology, which demonstrates that learning through technology is no match for the classroom. Home schooling has been shown to contribute to a decline in knowledge, as well as affecting access to quality nutrition, age-appropriate learning, and social experiences.

Pumsaran says inequality in Thai education is already evident among those who fall out of the education system, as well as the decline in learning and health development among disadvantaged children, those with disabilities or with special educational needs, and those living in remote parts of the country. He says online learning will only serve to widen the gap between rural children and those in the city by about 2 years, potentially leading to economic disparity and fueling a cycle of poverty for generations.

His colleague Kraiyos Patrawart says prior to Covid-19, inequality in education had improved in the last 3 years, in terms of absenteeism among the more disadvantaged students. But over 143,000 children living in poverty in the 28 “highly controlled” provinces, may end up missing 2 school semesters, equating to 40% of the school year.

“The biggest concern is children’s learning development and growth. We should make the most of the remaining 3 months (of the academic year) if schools can open as normal, with teachers checking students’ health and learning, running after-school programmes, and monitoring the gap of classes for children in remote areas.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Are the kids meditating in the photo? Do Thai kids meditate in school?

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 12:45 pm


  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Your math is bad because of online teaching. Your math is bad because of your three fingers all around.

  4. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    There is a difference between “home learning” and “online instruction”, though it appears the government – at least in this report – is combining the two.

    It’s no surprise if it’s actually “home learning”. How many Thai parents are prepared to teach their children math? How many can stop their day to instruct their kids in reading?

    As for online instruction, it’s hampered by lack of access by a large number of students and poor teaching skills on the part of teachers untrained in effective online instruction methods.

    This is surprising to no one.

  5. Avatar

    Tim Houston

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Oh god ! expect to get your bars and restaurants bills to be completely wrong again for another few good years.

  6. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    oh god, so now it will be 0% for Thais 🙂

  7. Avatar

    brian mc

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    50%? wow, thats almost a half!

    surely a 50% drop for those with zero ability is technically an improvement

  8. Avatar

    brian mc

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    is the problem simply that they are home learning?
    the solution is simple, make em do maths learning

  9. Avatar

    Alan Lockhart

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    If it isn’t bad enough most of them struggle to work out change from 100 baht and they are supposed to be the educated ones

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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