Recently, Quality Learning Foundation (QLF) cooperated with Mahidol University, Dhurakij Pundit University and Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna Tak Province to organize a workshop, “Learning for Jobs: Area-Based Education Pointers for Policy”. The workshop was supported by Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth). Participants were from 10 provinces (Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Sorn, Amnat Charoen, Surin, Kanchanaburi, Chon Buri, Trat, Phuket and Surat Thani) andconsisted of governors, educators, representatives from the Provincial Education Office, Educational Service Area, Province Governor’s Office, Office for Provincial Statistical Office of Thailand, Ministry of Labour, Local governments, school principals and career guidance teachers. The meeting objective was to build thecapacity of the provinces in developing their own career education policies which wouldmeet the needs of their own labour market and economic and social development.
Mr. Peera Ruttanawijit, Adviser to the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), Ministry of Education, said that this project cooperation was organized to support and drive learning reform by using an area as a setting. This will allow provinces to design their own career education policies that will suit their own economic strategy and labour force policy and strenthen Thailand’s economy as a whole. OBEC’s policy is pushing forward skills and attitude building for children in three areas- academic skills, career skills and life skills. Key measures under this project, carried out by QLF, Mahidol University and Dhurakij Pundit University, involve developing provincial committees withstakeholders from the public to private sector and civil society, conducting a study on the labour force market, equipping students with the necessary knowledge, skills and values to make informed decisions at each key education stage for successful transition from school to further education or work, and hence managing their career pathways and lifelong learning, and running a social campaign in order to createawareness about the importance of preparing students with life and work skills.
Prof. Dr. Sumalee Tungpradabkul, aresearcher from Mahidol University,said that career education is very important both for children that want to study further and children that have to quit of the education system to work. If we do not prepare them today, Thai children will be behind in the world. Therefore, provincial committeeson career education should develop cooperation with all sectors such as government, education, civil society and the private sector (employers) to analyse and develop information on labour force markets and use that information to design career education plans in their own provinces. These plan can then be used for development,e.g. curriculums, career guidance to equip students to meet the needs of job market and in accordance with the provincial economy and strategy through the cooperation of people in the area.
This is a one year project from September 2016 – August 2017.