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32,000 Thai six graders are illiterate: Education official


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32,000 Six Graders Are Illiterate: Education Official
By Khaosod Online

school.jpg
Students at Napuey School in Kon Khaen Province using tablets in their class

BANGKOK: -- The Ministry of Education is to renew a drive against illiteracy after national test result revealed that tens of thousands of Thai school pupils somehow cannot read or write, according to an official.

Dr. Chinnapat Bhumirat, Secretary of Office of the Basic Education Commission of Thailand, said approximately 64,000 Pathomsuksa 3 and 32,000 Pathomsuksa 6 students in Thailand are illiterate. The number amount to 8% and 4% of the overall students number in their range, respectively.

The official said that the commission will tackle the issue with innovations to draw interests from illiterate children. He added that the method, which complies with the policy of Education Ministry, is expected to adopt in November 2013 – February 2014 and will be evaluated monthly.

“Students of peripheral and ethnic backgrounds who suffer difficulty to communicate in Thai are also the main group that we must follow closely” said Dr. Chinnapat, who is also formerly appointed as Permanent Secretary for Education of Thailand by the UNESCO in 2008.

He continued, “So far, we are planning to use innovations to help those children undergone with the understanding of Thai language through bilingual lessons.”

Source: http://www.khaosod.co.th/en/view_newsonline.php?newsid=TVRNM09UazBOVGsyTXc9PQ==

-- KHAOSOD English 2013-09-24

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How do they actually get through to grade 6 if they can't read or write. My 5 yr old son is being tested this week in Thai and English reading writing and Arithmetic proficiency. He is actually very good in both languages.

I realise that some children are slower at learning than others and these children should be afforded special classes and not promoted up the order. Simply elevating them only makes things harder for them.

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If all children were educated to degree level who is going to do all the boring factory jobs. We need the less well educated as well as the geniuses in society. As long as every child is given the opportunity. If they don't or cant take advantage of whats offered no problem.

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I recall reading something very recently about an apparently radical and new concept for the Thai education system: Holding back students to repeat a year if they fail their exams. I guess up until now it is standard to just progress up to the next level regardless of your scores?

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^ True! When I first arrived in Thailand I was frustrated at not being able to read signs, menu's etc. I taught myself the Thai alphabet and can now read at a very basic level. Written Thai is fairly complex and difficult to learn, compared with English. However, I might point out that it is a very regular language and once you have mastered the alphabet, you can see how every word should be pronounced.

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