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Modernization of Vocational Education

Rationale

The purpose of vocational education and training is to prepare primary and middle level technical manpower in various fields in accordance with industry demands and labor market trends. As such, it aims to develop a set of professional knowledge to promote innovation and technology which will support overall national development.

According to a study by the Office of the Education Council, a number of factors have contributed to lower participation rates in vocational education. These include: a lack of vision or clear targets/ objectives; variation in the standard of educational provision from institution to institution; as well as limited course relevance for industry.  As a result, the proportion of young people participating in vocational education compared to those studying for a university degree is decreasing, and Thailand is experiencing a serious shortage of qualified, middle-level manpower.

Furthermore, an increase in the number of public vocational Institutions has led to a decrease in the number of students studying in private institutions. As a result, the private institutions have less funding available to invest in the latest technology and learning equipment.  Quality of training has suffered and the manpower produced is less competent and less able to adequately respond to the needs of entrepreneurs. If Thailand is to build a knowledge-based society and economy, it must improve the quality of learning among its people and upgrade vocational education provision to meet the needs of the learner.

1.      Innovative Equipment and Tools - Rapid technological change requires the continuous building and updating of knowledge to ensure national competitiveness in the global economy. Therefore, investment in vocational education and training in the use of modern equipment and tools so that students keep pace with developments in technology should be given priority.

2.      Modern Teachers and Education Personnel – Personnel management should ensure the necessary quality and quantity of teachers and educators in the Value Chain of Knowledge to produce graduates who meet the required standards. The on-going professional development of teachers and workplace trainers will ensure the delivery of standardized and tacit knowledge to learners.

3.      Up-to-date Administrative Strategy – Effective use of information technology and innovative administrative procedures should be sought to promote unity of policy and diversity of practices. Steps should be taken to increase autonomy and accountability in the management of vocational institutions. On-going monitoring procedures should focus on outcomes rather than post-audit evaluations. All partners should have equal opportunities to participate in vocational education provision. Effective means of educational delivery, focusing on learners, should be given priority.

4.      Modern Education Service and Learning Approaches – The introduction of information technology will increase access to vocational education and training for all target groups. Moreover, it will increase flexibility of learning provision in terms of time and place, reduce educational expenses and promote lifelong learning.

The teaching-learning process should be developed to encourage learners to associate thinking ability with performance, and learning ability with knowledge sharing. Teaching-learning approaches should not be restricted to the classroom or workplace settings, but include virtual classrooms to promote learning anywhere at any time.

5.      A New Set of Knowledge – Vocational education and training should ensure that learners can apply state-of-art knowledge and technology in real-world situations. The appropriate application and integration of international courses should be encouraged to raise vocational education and training in Thailand to international standards. Learners should be encouraged to undertake research as part of their studies. The development of knowledge management systems should also be encouraged so that information can be easily accessed and utilized in order to generate new knowledge and support the development of new technology and innovation.

The modernization of vocational education and training should provide the intellectual infrastructure to support innovation in Thailand. It should draw upon modern scientific and technological knowledge as well as local knowledge and wisdom. Value added products and services should be developed to support parallel improvement in quality of life. Ultimately, this will support lifelong learning in a knowledge-based society and promote sustainable socio-economic development.

The Vocational Education Modernization Project aims to improve quality based upon:

1.       The establishment of intellectual infrastructure.

2.       The creation of a learning society.

Goals:

To produce and develop manpower that corresponds to the needs of the labor market, targeting industrial groups and local community.

To establish a professional learning society, as well as procure and develop intellectual infrastructure.

The establishment of intellectual infrastructure in the field of vocational education and training focusing on the:

1.      Promotion of technology usage in vocational education through the integration of information communication technology and internet in conventional teaching/learning methods.

2.      Development of education quality through the provision of modern equipment and laboratories so that qualified and manpower with high potential can be produced.  Niche markets will be highlighted in accordance with the socio-economic development policy of the government.

3.      Support professional development among vocational teachers so that they are able to adapt the learning content and approach to respond to the needs of a rapidly changing society.

4.      Development of vocational knowledge and technology should be complemented by the integration of local wisdom so as to promote excellence and innovation in education as well as to improve academic performance and the lifelong productivity of the youngsters.

The creation of a learning society in the field of vocational education and training through:

1.       Promote lifelong learning, knowledge acquisition and IT competency among youth and provide diversified curriculum in both formal and informal vocational learning systems to vocational education standards.

2.       Development of learning potential through increased access to lifelong learning opportunities for all, relevant to the local context, to enhance employment possibilities within the community and support the development of new entrepreneurs.

3.       Establishment of professional learning community networks through support to schools to enable them to become centers of such networks and maintaining cooperation with business enterprises, communities, religious institutes and colleges.

Expected Outcomes from Education Institutions:

1.      Vocational Education Institutions have the potential and are well-prepared to produce manpower and provide service corresponding to the needs of the industrial target group.

2.      Greater cooperation between educational Institutions and the business sector on human-resource development.

3.      Application of new technology and innovation leading to improved capacity for research and knowledge management in vocational institutions.

4.      Recruitment of well-qualified teachers and educators to meet the demands of  manpower production.

 

Expected Outcomes from Business Sector:

1.      Wide recognition of vocational qualifications by business sector nationally and in the global marketplace.

2.      Strengthened relations with local communities through career development relevant to community settings.

3.      Increased competency of citizens to enhance global competitiveness.

 

Estimated Budgets:

Total                               35,026.55 million baht

Fiscal year 2009                    8,681.29   million baht                                             
Fiscal year 2010                  13,515.02  million baht

Fiscal year 2011                   12,830.24  million baht

 

Responsible Agency:

Office of the Vocational Education Commission

 

Project to Develop the Quality of Schools

which did not Meet Standard Criteria on Second External Assessment



Education quality is given special attention worldwide today because it is an important indicator of national economic success. Competency among a nation’s citizens will affect the speed of progress of that nation.

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was designed to assess the reading, mathematics and scientific literacy of 15-year-olds in participating countries. Thailand was among the 57 participating countries. The assessment found that average scores for Thai students ranked 44-47 in science, 41-42 in reading, and 43-46 in mathematics with less than 3% of all Thai students ranked among the highest academic performance. This corroborates the results of national tests which also indicated that overall quality of learners was unsatisfactory.

Furthermore, the second phase of external quality assessment (2006-2008) of 20,373 schools under the jurisdiction of the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) revealed that 4,566 schools (22.41%) failed to meet recognized standards.  For the most part these were smaller schools located in the remote rural areas.  The main reasons cited were:

·       Academic performance in all subject groups was low (Standard 5).

·       Learners had not developed adequate critical thinking skills and had poor analytical skills (Standard 4).

·       Learners had low motivation to acquire knowledge and had not developed a good reading habit (Standard 6).

·       Teacher ability and overall quality of teachers (Standard 9).

·       Teacher qualifications and knowledge areas unrelated to actual subjects taught (Standard 8) and teachers spend too much time performing administrative tasks which impacts on overall learning quality.

For this reason, the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) in cooperation with the Office of National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA) implemented a pilot project to upgrade the quality and academic performance of the students among the small schools which did not reach the required standards.  In the first phase, the project involved 440 schools in 22 education service areas (ESA).  It was expanded to include 215 schools in the second phase and then a further 225 schools. ONESQA supported ESA offices to develop and strengthen internal quality assurance mechanisms of these institutes by hiring additional staff to assist in administrative work.  In addition, relevant software and education equipment was provided to promote the efficiency of teaching-learning methods. Assistance was given by the team of education experts from OBEC and other concerned officials to inspect and follow up on quality assessment periodically. It is recommended that the project is expanded to cover all schools so that the necessary quality improvements are made to enable them to pass a second assessment.



Goal :

To encourage educational institutions which fail to pass the quality test in the second round to improve their standards so that they can pass the next assessment.

Special Objectives :

1.      Provide quality education to enhance  learners analytical thinking, knowledge acquisition, and improve academic achievement accordingly   (Standard 4, 5, and 6).       

2.      Develop the quality of teachers in learner-centered teaching  approaches (Standard 9).

3.      Develop teaching-learning activities and education administration and management of institutions on a systematic basis (Standard 9 and 12).



Target Group :

4,126 schools which failed the second round of external assessment (from a total of 4,566 schools, not including the schools which have already passed the first round of assessment) according to data on Nov., 2008.



Missions

1.      Promote analytical thinking, creativity and knowledge acquisition of learners through group activities and project based learning both in and outside the classroom. Encourage schools to organize at least one camp activity per semester.

2.      Develop the quality of teachers so that they can implement a learner-centered approach and manage multi-grade classroom learning. Encourage teachers to produce and adopt ICT media such as CD-ROM, E-Learning to assist their teaching. Support the integration of knowledge from the classroom into the student’s daily and community life, to decrease the redundancy in the subject area. Strengthen cooperation between teachers, educational supervisors and higher education institutes so as to improve teaching-learning procedures. Create a learning network or learning community.

3.      Reduce the workload of teachers which is not related to actual teaching-learning activities by providing sufficient administrative support staff in the school and school clusters within each ESA. Provide necessary teaching materials and equipment such as computers, televisions, duplicating machines, etc.

4.      Group educational institutions into school clusters to facilitate educational management and to provide academic support. Encourage group-learning in certain or all subject areas using distance learning systems via satellite, and create learning centers with funds allocated to cover travel expenses for students to the center.

5.       Promote internal quality assurance in schools, Draft a development plan in cooperation with parents and members of school committees and based upon academic achievement data of students from various institutions. Encourage schools to conduct periodic self-evaluation in order to improve education management, reporting the outcome of such evaluations to the relevant organizations. Provide assistance and support through education experts from OBEC and education supervisors in the specified period (at least once per semester).

6.      Develop libraries and natural learning sources in schools and encourage activities to develop good learning habits.

7.      Promote academic leadership among educational supervisors, educators and experts, including coaching and counseling in order to develop the quality schools to their full potential.

8.       Conduct research and develop administrative and managerial capacity in underprivileged schools to improve learning quality as well as give moral support for education personnel.      



Budget

Estimated budget for the above-mentioned activities is 4,668,140,000 baht



Implementation Period

Fiscal year 2009-2010
Responsible Organization



Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC)

Expected Outcomes



1.      Improvements in student quality according to Standard 4, 5 and 6.

2.      Improved management of small schools by developing leadership and administrative capacity among school principals, teachers and administrators in accordance with quality standard level 9 and 12.

3.      Small schools pass the standard external assessment in the next round and are accredited.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 16:21  

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