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32,000 Thai six graders are illiterate: Education official


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Part of the problem is that Thai parents expect school to teach kids everything and they seldom seem to take any kind of active role in trying to help educate their kids. My mother taught me as much as school did. Parents need to take control. Also the 'face' problem, schools are scared to tell the parents the truth about their kids as the loss of 'face' would lead to problems. As I keep telling people 'SCREW FACE !' Let's have some truth and face the problems head on...But TIT so nothing will ever change....sigh....

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Contrary to most comments on this thread, my recently turned 4 year old can recite and recognise all the characters of the Thai alphabet as well as the English alphabet. She can write all the English letters (big and small) perfectly, and does a fair representation of most Thai characters.

Her idea of fun is tracing around the Thai characters in some learning books to become more familiar with writing them. I've learnt over half of the Thai characters by default because she pesters me to help her all the time.

She's also responsible for helping me master my spoken Thai as her ability to relate Thai and English words with actions or situations is just uncanny.

The trouble is, the parents of Thai children rely on the teachers in their school to teach them how to read and write. Sure, they learn spoken Thai from their parents, primarily, but I can't imagine those poor peasant parents buying their kiddies books to show them how to read and write!!

OK, so you have learnt to write about half of the Thai letters - what about all of the other aspects such as the vowels, numerous peculiar rules, tone marks, special letters and definitive rules for ror reua and or ahng, not to mention consonant clusters etc:

Knowing how to write 50% of the consonants is fine and dandy but it isnot going to get you very far is it!!

The fact that I've learnt to recognise half of the Thai characters was not the point of my post, it was merely an aside. I used that analogy to show how enthralled my 4 year old is at learning - I soaked up knowledge because of her hunger to learn. As a further aside, I have no intention of learning to read or write Thai, so proficiency in the finer points of the written language that you highlight have no particular interest for me.

The point of my post was to point out that if given some encouragement, Thai children can easily learn two languages and have some written proficiency at age 4, just as our children can (and do) in the west.

Your first paragraph is on the money. And if I can draw parallels to my own country, the literacy level of Maori children in NZ is well below that of Pakeha (NZ Europeans). The main reason being lack of encouragement from their parents because of their general lack of appreciation of the need to be educated - that's a broad brush observation to a complex situation, but I think satisfactory for the sake of this discussion.

There was basically no education system in Thailand until post WWII - I haven't time to google the details but I recall that as being generally correct. Until that time also, it was normal for women to be topless in their everyday lives, thus showing how backwards (terrible word) Thai society and education was at that time.

The parents and grandparents of many of the current school age children were and are therefore illiterate or maybe only semi-literate. My wife's parents aged in their late 50's are illiterate. This is similar to developments in the west - my grandparents were born circa 1890 and they were only semi-literate. Education in the UK raced ahead after that generation and my parents (from working class backgrounds) were educated by the State and were obviously literate. My old man got me interested in crosswords as a kid, and it's a hard habit to break!

My opinion is that Thai education with regard to literacy is therefore a generation or two behind western cultures. Future parents will be generally better educated and with the aid of technology, I suspect the current and next generation of Thais will leap ahead in the literacy stakes. Just my humble analysis. smile.png

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My kid is coming up for twelve next month and he know his own name, can say when he needs to take a dump and hardly ever stabs himself in the eye when eating soup.

I wonder how he lets you know when he wants to pass a stool ie: what words you have taught him (maybe I don't need to know this actually)!!

Also, the fact that he only has two eyes makes it quite dangerous considering that he only 'hardly ever' stabs himself in the eye now. This implies that he has done on occasion in the past.

I assume the fact that it is soup means that it is with a spoon and not a knife or fork so that lessens the severity of the potential of causing damage!! smile.png.

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Yes you are very sharp he does only have two eyes, one of which is pretty much always facing forwards.

Having just re-read your post I assume he is 12 months old rather than 12, and where exactly does the other eye point if not forwards?

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.......I taught for 1 year at a 'business college' or 'vocational high school'.....

...a great percentage of the students there are illiterate......

(....Oh..sorry...it has to be kept a secret....)

.....what....???........the head of the department must keep the scam hidden.....I did what....???........I was found guilty of what...???

....I was slandered and dismissed..........(and part of my salary was withheld, too)......to keep their corrupt secrets.......secret.......

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Yes you are very sharp he does only have two eyes, one of which is pretty much always facing forwards.

Having just re-read your post I assume he is 12 months old rather than 12, and where exactly does the other eye point if not forwards?

You maybe able to read and write Thai but you understanding of written English is shall I say is not 100%

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Add another 25 of my P6 students. Their Thai reading level is below my P2 grade son. sad.png

Most Thai students will tell you that Thai language class is their worst. They absolutely hate it.

I'm not surprised they can't read. Look at their alphabet!!!

Do what the countries around them have done and use the alphabet of their former colonisers - Dutch, British,

French. Is there any ASEAN country using a pre-colonial alphabet? smile.png

Thailand was only ever occupied by Japan (although they would still deny it), that alphabet would help....

Burmese, Chinese, Portuguese and the Dutch, did the Greeks make it this far east? Or and the Spanish.

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A few years back, something like 4-5 if I remember correctly, Vietnam realized the importance of English on the "world stage", and took a somewhat radical step to improve it.

1st - The closed ALL schools and sent the TEACHERS back to school, to be taught by NES (Native English Speakers) brought in from the US. England, Australia and even Philippines to "reteach the teachers".

2nd - They "Roman-ized" their alphabet, and the teachers then taught using that. One unexpected, but much welcomed, surprise from that is that it soon began to make a marked difference in also learning the Vietnamese Language, with test scores easily showing the improvements.

Are the Vietnamese, a Communist S.E. Asian nation concerned about "face". Yes, but it's the "face of the future" of their country. Unlike Thailand, were current "face" is all important, and the future will take care of itself.

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"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."

posted about a year ago, when we moved to countryside, that the p.3. literacy rate was 50% in my son's class to be. not my number, i was there on the parents+kids/teacher meeting when this number came out!

granted, that thai is difficult language. however, kids can learn easily when they grow into a language.

if you think English is easier, than what is the explanation of the level of Thai national English teachers, or 99% of kids not speaking the language after what? 15-19 years of leaning it?

before get to conclusions, i also learnt this language, not a native, and that was 4 yrs in the school, not 19...and not an international or anything like, since that time we were still behind the iron curtain.

it is rather the result of unqualified teachers, and unmotivated kids that they cant read or write their own language, or a second one.

but now in the AESAN, things will change. yay! or not.

a wake up call is in order, but will things be different? i doubt.

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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.

It is very easy to get to high school (Matayom) and not be able to read and write. I have students that I am positive have o idea what they are doing.

In english they get by by having their friends copy for them or just being the class clown and getting passed on.

After talking to Thai teachers they have the same problem.

I hate to sound like a broken record ( I know dating myself) but until they remove the auto pass nothing is going to change.

I just had a class of students laugh at me when I told them it was important to do the final semester test. They asked why they were going to pass anyway.

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I have been teaching in Thailand for 3 years now and I have a question

Why do 1/2 the students in every class refuse to work?

answer:

why should they?

But no worries, they will get plenty of chances to learn how to fail when they get out of school.

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What a surprise! facepalm.gif

It is not surprising knowing that they are on "NO FAIL POLICY". Any student can just BUY his grade or may not care coz after all, they will pass. Furthermore, how can they learn with the pity methods of teaching of their teachers?

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Is that not amazing? And they still, despite being illiterate, somehow made it to the 6th grade. What a great teaching job. Total mockery of education.

You mentioned it right! Total mockery! They just make things right inside the room when visitors are coming. Thai teachers just pull out foreigners to boast they have foreign teachers. You seea very beautiful pictures but sadly to know they are just until pictures without anything behind them.

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I teach an English language course part time in the evenings (reading/speaking) to a class of 25 to 28 year old Technical School Thai students.

I almost fell over with shock last week when their Thai teacher informed me that these same students..."attend classes at the Tech school during the day - 12x50 minute sessions per week - to learn to both speak and write Thai......."

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The failures will continue until this "face" thing is obliterated from Thai culture.

I am under strict orders to never fail my students. Even though the lowest score can be 50%, that is not considered a failure. whistling.gif

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Failing is a total no no. Embarrassed parents would burn such a school down. In s private school would not pay for next year. Total nonsense. But I like how government explained it some time ago. Students getting dumber was a result of deficiency of certain chemical element. Cannot remember the last name now.

Sent from my GT-I9190 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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