From the cabinet’s resolution of 11 January 2011, QLF agreed on a 2011-15 work plan to reform Thai Education under the concept of “For an equal and just Thailand of the future.” One of the main tasks is to create a good future for the country through human development, especially the development of children and youth.
This involve two important objectives:
•The upgrading of the quality of education through the “Award for Good Teachers Project” in order to invite all Thais to recognize and lend their support to good teachers with the aims of improving the quality of learning and expanding the number of good teachers who are devoted to disadvantaged children and youths.
•The creation of educational opportunities for 13.9 million children, youths and unskilled workers who require capacity building. This can be achieved through the management of a system to monitor their progress, to expand opportunities and to develop skills.
1. Award for Good Teachers
Based on many different countries’ experiences, everyone agrees that “the quality of the teachers is a key success factor in determining a quality education.” This was the impetus for the “Thai society collaborates to recognize and respect good teachers project” which aimed to upgrade the quality of teaching.
Characteristics of good teachers are those who
•“possess good pedagogic skills, deliver results and are well respected.”
•“Possess good pedagogic skills” – can plan and deliver lessons well and is involved in continuous professional development.
•“Deliver results” – their teaching leads to successful students who can progress in life.
•“Are well respected” – serve as a good role model and are respected.
In 2011, 18,871 good teachers were selected to receive awards recognizing them. From these 18,871teachers, 549 scholarships worth 250,000 Thai Baht were given to each teacher who teaches disadvantaged children. The scholarship can be used to expand what they have done on a continuous basis for a period of one year and a half.
With the involvement of the community, ten “Outstanding Province” Awards were given to those provinces that selected good and effective teachers.
The target for 2013 is that Thai society will have a total of 60,000 good teachers; at least two or three of these good teachers will be selected from every district in Thailand per year.
2. Equal Education Opportunity
The State of Problem Facing by 20% of Thai Population: There are 5 million disadvantaged children who drop out or never enter to the schooling system due to various socioeconomic and health factors and 8.8 adult unemployed or underemployed who require additional skill-based training.
These 13.8 million citizens who need learning opportunity can be classified into 5 groups with estimated number from the latest survey by QLF (2010-2011).
1. Children with physical or mental disability
1.1 Children with physical disability (estimated 200,000) 1.2 Children with learning difficulties and mental disorder (estimated 1.5 millions)
2. Children with economic and geographical difficulties
2.1 Extremely poor children who are living under 2US$ per day (estimated 3 millions) 2.2 Children in remote areas (estimated 160,000)
2.3 Stateless children (Estimated 300,000)
3. Children with family and social problems
3.1Childreninjuvenilepenitentiaries (recorded60,000) 3.2 Orphans (estimated 90,000) 3.3 Homeless children 3.4 Forced child labour
4. Children who experienced unfortunate events
4.1 Underage (18 years old) mother (estimated 100,000) 4.2 Children with HIV infection 4.3 Children forced into prostitution
4.4 Children addicted to drugs 4.5 Children from the three southernmost provinces of Thailand (Estimated 50,000)
5. Disadvantaged citizens who are unemployed or underemployed and need retraining/capacity building (Estimated 8.8 millions)
The Reform Measures are composed of four main measures
These measure are being implemented in over 30 pilot Case Management Units (CMU) within schools and Local Administrative Organization in 15 provinces across Thailand.
1. Organize a system to take care of the education of children who are at risk from the beginning in order to reduce their risk of dropping out of the system.
2. Encourage schools to identify at-risk children who will likely drop out from the system.
1. Promote non-governmental organizations that assist society and the community to help restore the mental health of their citizens and to create diversified choices in their careers, e.g., children affected by HIV/AIDS, child prostitutes, homeless children, children under prosecution, and children from the three southernmost provinces.
2. Have teachers in the three southernmost provinces supervise children until they complete their studies.
1. Open up the schools’ assessment system and the transfer of credits so that children can re-enter the system.
2. Arrangespecialcare/supervisiononacase-by-casebasisoraccordingtospecial needs (when the need arises).
3. When evaluating teachers, give credit to those who help disadvantaged children.
4. Arrangeasystemofsupervisionforchildrenunderprosecution,childrenatrisk and disadvantage children in both juvenile penitentiaries and those who have left juvenile penitentiaries in order to prepare them for re-entry into society.
5. Organize vocational training programs.
1. Provide guaranteed educational opportunities for the youths’ future by creating jobs, enhancing skills and salaries of child labor and the part of the population that lacks skills. This can be achieved through the establishment of a comprehensive vocational center in local areas and the creation of a database to support the local administrative organizations.
Other projects also include:
1. The System Research Projects
The projects within this group aim at delivering “essential knowledge” and “critical policy recommendations” that have potentials to improve “Quality, Efficiency and Equality” in Thai education System and our learning society.
1.1 The National Education Account
• Time: August 2011- early 2013
• Main Output: Organized information of educational expenditure of Thailand by central government and local government agencies, households, private sector, NGOs, international sources between 2008-2011.
• Delivering Knowledge: The Identification of inefficiency and inequity in educational resource allocation in Thai education system and the desirable flow and budgeting planning and management that can improve quality in educational services.
• Potential Policy Recommendation: Policy recommendation on the utilization of the National Education Account to improve resource allocation within the education system which will maximize efficiency, reduce inequality and improve quality of the educational services in Thailand.
1.2 The Benefits Packages for disadvantaged children
• Time: November 2011- 2014
• Main Output: The comprehensive and practical dictionary of benefit packages for all 4 main groups of disadvantaged children (age 0-18) that can be referred by not only policy makers for budgeting purposes but also by practitioners who seek for standardized clarifications of health and social care as well as learning supports for disadvantaged children under their supervision.
• Delivering Knowledge: The nationally recognized standard for benefit packages that all disadvantaged children are required to receive from responsible governmental agencies and schools which can effectively improve their life, learning opportunity and, if possible, working skills.
• Potential Policy Recommendation: The benchmark for law makers and practitioners to extend additional services and benefits to the disadvantaged children by the process of making new legislation and authorize additional resources to meet the standard requirement from this project.
1.3 Unit costing for Disadvantaged Children
• Time: November 2011- mid 2015
• Output: The Unit Cost of delivering cares and benefits to 5 groups of disadvantaged children based on the recommendation of benefit packages from the Benefits Packages for disadvantaged children project.
• Delivering Knowledge: How much it cost to effectively and efficiently provide the required cares and benefits to the disadvantaged children across Thailand via existing governmental agencies and local governmental organizations. This unit cost is simply the missing resources required for Thai government to equally fulfill the right to universal access to schooling for all Thai children.
• Potential Policy Recommendation: The proposal for the government to provide additional resource for 5 million disadvantaged children across Thailand to fulfill the right to universal access to schooling for all children.
1.4 Information System for Disadvantaged Children
• Time: November 2011- 2015
• Output: Operational multi-agencies information system to assist unit costing and the administration of benefit packages for disadvantaged children.
• Delivering Knowledge: How to operate the delivery system for disadvantaged children in terms of cross-agencies information sharing, reporting and monitoring as well as budgeting system. This system will also assist practitioners and teachers to record and monitor the progress of the children as case by case basis.
Potential Policy Recommendation: Provide the full comprehensive package of operational information system for related governmental agencies and practitioners to provide cares and benefits to disadvantaged children. This system will complement the policy recommendation from benefit package and unit cost projects. Together these 3 projects will offer a systematic reform of providing equal opportunity for education regardless the difficulties of each child.
1.5 The Quasi-Randomized Evaluation Programs
• Time: November 2011- 2015
• Output: The evaluation of outcomes and related empirical evidences from the program interventions QLF has been implemented through the school’s learning innovation grants and the teacher award program.
• Delivering Knowledge: The estimated effects on students’ learning and teacher’s incentive as well as the public perception on the program which will be used for the development of QLF’s future program on teacher quality and school’s granting programs. It will also deliver the estimated outcomes on the changes in the awareness of stakeholders on quality of teacher in their community. This paradigm shift will be fundamentally instrumental for future decentralization and teacher quality programs.
Potential Policy Recommendation: Decentralization of policy on teachers’ quality and policy on school autonomy and accountability.
2. Innovative school Learning Projects
Since 2010, the total of 1,282 projects have been funded by QLF and are carrying out across Thailand.
•Promotion of learning innovations at the secondary school level 1/2010-2011: total of 200-300 schools
•Theme of the project: effective teaching, happiness at educational establishments and good management of educational establishment.
•Promotion of learning and development of high quality students at the local level (municipal) 1/2010-11: total of 460 schools.
•Theme of the project: promotion of reading and joy of learning and civic education.
•Promotion of the creation of learning innovations at the secondary school level 1/2010-11:
•Theme of the project: development of thinking skills, life skills, happiness at educational establishments, and good management of educational establishments at a total of 200-300 schools.
•Promotion of learning innovations at the vocational school level 1/2010-11:
•Theme of the project: development of learning innovations, instillation of good values and morals, and the promotion of the positive value of a vocational education at a total of 56 schools
•Photo contest for the creation of a “learning society”
•Theme of the project: QLF collaborated with Shutterism.com with aims to change the perceptions of education and society and create the first online photo bank in Thailand. Apart from giving participants a chance to send in photos starting at the beginning of last year, it also motivated “all sectors” to participate in the creation of new learning processes through attractive photos and the slogan of “click-push-vote.”