Connect with us


Opinion: Education key to “Smart City’ success

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Given its present status as a mass tourism destination, Phuket has potential for development as one of the enthusiastically-dubbed ‘Smart Cities’. In the broader sense, however, the real key to our future success in this digital age lies in raising local educational standards.

Previous successive governments have trumpeted similar grandiose schemes, but without adequate funding or ever directly addressing the main obstacles to success.

Given the huge amount of money Phuket has pumped into national coffers over the years, and the pittance gotten back in budget allotments, this 460 million baht in sustainable development funding is not only appreciated, but long overdue.

As a cosmopolitan, non-industrial island, Phuket enjoys many advantages over rival destinations in luring start-up companies and the young entrepreneurs behind them.

But there is also a lot holding us back. In addition to low educational standards in key areas, such as computer science and English language, Phuket’s embryonic IT sector has long been hindered by restrictive, complicated laws governing foreign investment and immigration of talented foreign workers.

Sadly, the status quo is probably more enticing to computer hackers than legitimate IT firms willing to play by the rules.

Poor internet speeds, lack of other basic infrastructure, corruption, political instability and other security concerns are among the other factors that have also held back growth in this otherwise promising sector. However if these issues are addressed in a serious way, as promised, it could be a real game changer for Phuket.

The other thrust of the Smart City campaign involves using IT technology to improve public services. The success of these technologies in some western cities clearly demonstrates the potential for success, but in the hands of the technically inept, they also hold enormous potential for misuse and waste.

A good example is the proposed use of IT monitoring to warn of flash floods in Patong, which makes little or no sense from a hydrologic standpoint given the very small area of the drainage basin involved and the fact that most of the area has been covered over by impervious material.

When it comes to sensing and assessing danger, all the advanced technology of the world will make little difference if we cannot change a culture of carelessness that renders so many among us incapable of taking steps to prevent immediate threats to our health and well-being.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)27 mins ago

Phuket Covid-19: 1 Phuket Prison death, 1 Sandbox infection

Central Thailand1 hour ago

Bovine attack kills forest ranger in Khao Yai National Park

Thailand2 hours ago

Korat Police allegedly use police van for trip to beach

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand3 hours ago

Kalasin man allegedly robs convenience store and then a gold shop the next day before being arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Sunday Covid Update: 117 deaths and 13,576 new cases

Tourism19 hours ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime20 hours ago

Woman shot by stray gunfire during motorcycle shooting

Phuket21 hours ago

Phuket pair arrested in possession of meth pills, homemade gun

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Prayut to propose to CCSA to reopen theatres, allow filmmaking

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 UPDATE: Select provincial totals

Transport23 hours ago

Woman dresses as astronaut to show moon-like road condition

Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 hours ago

CCSA announces vaccination goals for October; 50% inoculated

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Phuket Covid-19: 235 daily infections, 238 hospital beds available

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Saturday Covid Update: 122 Deaths 14,109 new infections

Thailand2 days ago

Oct 1 reopening NOT confirmed, Kpop star sparks frenzy for Thai meatballs |Thailand News Today

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11