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Study showing home-learning cuts maths ability by 50% rings alarm bells in Thailand


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Study showing home-learning cuts maths ability by 50% rings alarm bells in Thailand

By The Nation

 

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The government’s Equitable Education Fund (EEF) has presented research showing students lose 50 per cent of their maths knowledge and 30 per cent of their reading literacy after prolonged home-learning away from school.

 

Thousands of Thai students are learning from home after all schools in 28 provinces under maximum Covid-19 controls were closed earlier this month. As a result, learning conditions have deteriorated, said EEF education economist Pumsaran Tongliemnak on Monday.

 

He cited a study by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) which found that spending a long time at home cut students’ maths knowledge by half and their reading literacy by almost a third. Learning via screens affects mental health as well as social and emotional development, Pumsaran commented.

 

The NWEA study’s results are consistent with research from Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology (MIT) which shows learning through educational technology alone does not compensate for non-school effects such as declining knowledge, lack of social experience, poor access to proper nutrition and also age-appropriate study.

 

Pumsaran said that although Thailand has yet to study the affect of Covid-19 on education, there was enough available evidence to predict inequality impacts on Thai education in two key areas.

 

These were students falling out of the education system, and a decline in learning and health development among vulnerable groups – especially disadvantaged children, those in remote areas, children with disabilities, and those who need special education.

 

Pumsaran predicted that prolonged home-schooling would widen the education inequality gap between rural and city children by two school years. In the long-term, it may affect economic inequality by causing the cycle of poverty across generations to continue, he added.

 

Kraiyos Patrawart, deputy managing director at EEF, said Thailand’s educational inequality in the three years before Covid-19 had improved among the poorest households in terms of class absence rate.

 

However, the fresh Covid-19 outbreak had meant that 143,507 extremely poor children in the 28 “maximum control” provinces could have no school for two semesters or 40 per cent of the academic year.

 

“The biggest concern is children’s learning development and growth. We should make the most of the remaining three months [of the academic year] if schools can open as normal, with teachers checking students' health and learning, running after-school programmes, and monitoring the gap of classes for children in remote areas,” said Kraiyos.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30401426

 

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2021-01-19
 
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I wonder what the criteria is to select on-line teachers?

The photo shows a teacher and around 18 kids, I wonder how often kids are invited to ask questions and further are kids at home allowed to ask questions or indicate that they don't understand?

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I recently tried to refresh my school maths  skills (from 45 years ago) and soon came to the realisation that it was an almost impossible task unless one has access to a teacher/student  who can answer some of your many questions. There are lots of videos out there with some excellent teachers but if you get stumped on some basic concepts only a real teacher can help you. Not to mention the large number of errors that exist in published material. I spotted half a dozen errors in one book I read. It was a 2nd edition re-published in China. I found the first edition in a friend's house without the same errors.

 

Maths is hard to study by yourself at home.

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1 hour ago, starfish said:

When i´m shoping at 7/11 and i have to pay, for example 65 Baht, i´ll give a 100 baht note and a 5 baht coin to the cashier, which, more often than not, results in a blank stare and total, utter confusion.

Then i get back 35 Baht plus my 5 Baht, and they seem even proud to have shown me, that i have mistakenly given 5 Baht too much. Silly me.

 

Now take away further 50 % from this maths ability. That leaves us where ?

 

 

I had a few similar experiences when I moved here a few years ago.  After a few months I just gave up trying to be helpful.

 

But I have been unable to answer the question - is the problem Thais have difficulty with basic maths or is it the Thai way of thinking?

 

 

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

However, the fresh Covid-19 outbreak had meant that 143,507 extremely poor children in the 28 “maximum control” provinces could have no school for two semesters or 40 per cent of the academic year.

These are the Children that probably need the Education more than many.

I also now see ( and hear ) the Local Teenage Bikers racing around the Neighbourhood Streets at all Hours.

These are just 2 of the many social aspects to Kids not being in School, and receiving some Education, and the longer it goes on, the more the apathy will set in when Schools reopen.

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1 hour ago, JimHuaHin said:

But I have been unable to answer the question - is the problem Thais have difficulty with basic maths or is it the Thai way of thinking?

Education, they all know the national anthem, they all know how to march, they all know to respect anyone wearing a uniform and they all know Thailand was never colonized, what more do they need? 

 

 

Edited by PatOngo
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5 minutes ago, PatOngo said:

Education, they all know the national anthem, they all know how to march, they all know to respect anyone wearing a uniform and they all know Thailand was never colonized, what more do they need?

 

Yep, it´s this system of trying to learn by just mindlessly memorizing everything, and never, ever, challenge the teacher with questions, which he possibly is not able to answer, making him loose face. The damn authority and face thing.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, starfish said:

When i´m shoping at 7/11 and i have to pay, for example 65 Baht, i´ll give a 100 baht note and a 5 baht coin to the cashier, which, more often than not, results in a blank stare and total, utter confusion.

Then i get back 35 Baht plus my 5 Baht, and they seem even proud to have shown me, that i have mistakenly given 5 Baht too much. Silly me.

 

Now take away further 50 % from this maths ability. That leaves us where ?

 

Happens to me quite often at Tesco.

When I try to explain why I am left with a blank stare and smile.

It's frustrating when you proffer a 25 or 50 satang coin.

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

The government’s Equitable Education Fund (EEF) has presented research showing students lose 50 per cent of their maths knowledge and 30 per cent of their reading literacy after prolonged home-learning away from school.

It's quite possible this has more to do with courseware quality than home-learning per se. & with so many kids studying from home, there's a great opportunity to improve courseware via multiple small experiments.

 

(UK comprehensive school maths & languages severely stunted my abilities in both those areas... If I could pick up Chinese in my 30s, a donkey should have been able to teach me French & German in my teens.)

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3 hours ago, JimHuaHin said:

I had a few similar experiences when I moved here a few years ago.  After a few months I just gave up trying to be helpful.

 

But I have been unable to answer the question - is the problem Thais have difficulty with basic maths or is it the Thai way of thinking?

 

 

This one isn't a problem unique to Thailand.

 

Most of us here, grew up in an era before electronic cash registers, where the cashier actually had to do the math to calculate your change. In those days they understood what giving that coin meant.

 

Now the register tells them what to give you back, and God forbid you should confuse them by offering additional money!

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Thai Home Learning = working in the fields and playing Angry Birds on your phone before bed.

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4 hours ago, overt2016 said:

 

Happens to me quite often at Tesco.

When I try to explain why I am left with a blank stare and smile.

It's frustrating when you proffer a 25 or 50 satang coin.

Well don't do it, then neither of you loose face do you.

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1 hour ago, IH8lokcdown said:

thai math learning declining by half?  I thought you can't divide by zero

True, but this is not divided by zero, instead it's divided by 2... you know, 100/50=2...

However... 50% of zero is still a zero...

Edited by tomazbodner
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