When Thai schools ask students to focus on memorizing textbooks and give a free pass to students who write reports by copying text from the internet, Thai education seriously needs a remodeling.
Education Minister Dapong Rattanasuwan admitted that there are problems in all aspects of Thai education, particularly issues concerning English proficiency and critical thinking.
Speaking during a weekly program called “Thailand Moves Forward,” Dapong revealed results of a recently-conducted study that revealed that academic performances of Thai students in math, science, English and Thai languages are below standard.
He added that they also lack critical thinking skills and discipline. Their awareness of national history has also declined, and Dapong said that courses provided at the tertiary level do not cater to the demands of the business sector.
Dapong said the ministry has begun solving the problem by reducing class hours and promoting English language learning as well as vocational skills in schools.
In last year’s EF English Proficiency Index, Thailand ranked 62nd out of 70 countries surveyed — which means their English ability is among the worst in the world.
To improve the overall English teaching in public schools, 350 Thai teachers have undergone an intensive English language course. The ministry aims to produce 13,500 more qualified English language teachers before the end of 2018, according to National News Bureau of Thailand.
YSEALI Critical Thinking in Classrooms Regional Workshop in Thailand Now Accepting Applications
Bangkok, February 13, 2018 — The Asia Foundation is now accepting applications for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Critical Thinking in Classrooms Regional Workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of State through the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. This regional workshop will take place from May 21-26, 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, and bring together 60 participants from ASEAN countries.
Applications must be submitted through the online application form by March 7, 2018. Detailed application instructions can be found here.
Launched in 2013, the YSEALI is the U.S. Department of State’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community of leaders who work across borders to solve common issues.
The objective of this workshop in Bangkok is to challenge and inspire participants to learn about and advocate for critical thinking skills in the classroom, to address education gaps, social challenges, disinformation, and fake news. By achieving this objective, the project will contribute to ASEAN efforts to reform government education systems to include a stronger emphasis on critical thinking, and skills that will be critical for full engagement in the digital economy, which will contribute to future innovation and economic growth in ASEAN countries. The conference will serve as a platform for emerging young leaders from ASEAN countries, to meet with leading experts on critical thinking in classrooms, and learn about strategies for reforming education, and interpreting false and conflicting online information.
The workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to work together to develop possible solutions to educational and social challenges, and address problems associated with disinformation and fake news. As a follow-on component, the program will support selected participants to implement projects and/or share lessons learned with governments, educational development institutions, community organizations, or youth groups upon their return home.
All program and travel costs including flight/transportation, meals, and accommodation will be covered. Please note that only flights within the 10 ASEAN countries are eligible; additional costs are the responsibility of participants.
Photo courtesy of YSEALI/US Department of State
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
- Be aged between 18 – 35;
- Be a citizen of an ASEAN member state (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam);
- Be a YSEALI member (to become a YSEALI member, please register at http://yseali.state.gov);
- Possess strong English-language skills;
- Key characteristics: Emerging leaders with a strong interest in education policy and reform, 21st century skills, workforce competitiveness, child psychology, media & social media literacy.
- Have a keen interest in applying critical thinking to advance education reform in his/her own country, or applying critical thinking to spread media and social media literacy in his/her advocacy against fake news and disinformation.
- Be available and able to participate in all program components on the dates specified;
- Be an emerging leader or practitioner. Individuals with a track record in the following fields are encouraged to apply: education policy, higher education, school administration, journalism, academic research, public policy analysis/advising, psychology (or related discipline), entrepreneurship, human resources, social enterprise, media/social media analysis. Students are welcome to apply.
Note: Priority will be given to applicants who have not previously attended a YSEALI regional or U.S.-based workshop or fellowship.
Applications will be evaluated by the Asia Foundation together with U.S. Embassy staff in ASEAN countries. Participants will be chosen without regard to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background, marital status, or financial need. All submitted application information will be treated as confidential unless stated otherwise in the application. The identities of nominees will remain confidential throughout the selection process. The Asia Foundation will announce the final selection in early April 2018.
Please read the application instructions to check for eligibility, prepare materials, and submit the final application. The call for applications will close on March 7, 2018.
The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals: strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.
Please direct any inquiries to The Asia Foundation in Bangkok by emailing YSEALITH@asiafoundation.org.
Jointly organized with: