Education minister backs students over entrance exam date

(Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin's call for an immediate switch in the dates for university entrance exams is directly opposed to the order to students to 'be patient' by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. (File photo))

The Education Ministry voiced support Tuesday for calls for the reinstatement of the original schedule for the General Aptitude Test (GAT) and the Professional and Academic Aptitude Test (PAT) if the Election Commission pushes the election back from the originally proposed Feb 24 date.

The exams were brought forward from Feb 23-26 to Feb 16-19 on Nov 1, so that 450,000 students eligible to vote could exercise their right unhindered on the expected polling date, drawing protests from students, who said their preparation time had been cut.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said Tuesday he would informally discuss the issue of reinstating the original exam schedule at a meeting of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT).

The CUPT has the authority to decide on the matter, he said, however it is only likely to change the exam schedule once the EC has locked in a date, he said.

The ministry shares the same view as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who earlier told students to wait for an EC announcement before protesting.

Dr Teerakiat reiterated that the possible reinstatement of the exam schedule wouldn't affect university admissions.

"All students, please stay calm and wait until a formal announcement is made," he said.

While his words were similar to those of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, his promise directly contradicted the premier's tweet to students that they should refrain from discussing the problem.

The minister said he had read comments from students on social media after it was reported the election date could be delayed.

A number of Mathayom 6 students last week launched a campaign on social media calling for the original schedule to be reinstated after it was disclosed the Feb 24 general election would likely be deferred to avoid a clash with activities connected with His Majesty the King's coronation, set for May 4-6.

Social media has been awash with the #Delay My Ass hashtag, and a campaign on calling for the original date has garnered more than 5,000 supporters.



Source :

Bureau of Information and Communication Technology Office of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education E-Mail :