Thailand’s Education Ministry to launch enhanced O-Net Plus exam system

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Education Ministry of Thailand is gearing up to introduce the enhanced O-Net Plus exam system, a move that will rejuvenate equivalency testing and provide a benchmark for assessing teaching quality. Education Minister Police General Permpoon Chidchob affirmed the necessity of a benchmark to evaluate students’ knowledge and skill levels, a role that the National Institute of Educational Testing Service’s (NIETS) Ordinary National Educational Test (O-Net) is set to fill.

As disclosed by Pol. Gen. Permpoon, the ministry, in collaboration with the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), the Office of the Teacher Civil Service and Educational Personnel Commission (OTEPC), and Niets, is outlining future plans for the test.

The existing O-Net, which covers maths, Thai language, science, and English, may be replaced by an improved version, O-Net Plus. The latter will allow students to take exams in additional subjects without repeating those already passed or taken, the current system does not extend to all eight core subjects, reported Bangkok Post.

Pol. Gen. Permpoon anticipates the O-Net Plus’s roll-out in the 2024 academic year, although it will not be obligatory yet. The test will have an increased emphasis on critical thinking skills. Students will have the option of taking the O-Net Plus test, aimed at enhancing their skills and gauging their learning achievements, rather than coercing them into scoring high for their school’s benefit.

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The O-Net Plus will also serve as a tool to assess the competence of teachers and education personnel. The minister pointed out that subpar performances in maths tests would indicate a deficiency in teaching quality. The O-Net aims to test the knowledge, abilities, and logic of Prathom 6 (Grade 6), Matthayom 3 (Grade 9), and Matthayom 6 (Grade 12) students, using the Basic Education Core Curriculum’s standards.

Currently, the test scores of grade 6 and 9 students do not influence their admission into new schools. Only the O-Net results of Grade 12 students factor into the university entrance examinations.

In other developments, the cabinet has recognised a proposal to reorganise the Ministry of Education, dividing it into two separate offices to manage primary schools and secondary to high schools, respectively.

In related news, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin declared his government’s determination to tackle Thailand’s education inequality crisis, promising concrete steps toward eradicating school dropouts and revolutionizing the educational landscape.


Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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