New York Times on Thailand’s failed education system & a Yingluck minister in the middle of it

There have been a great deal of reports, on how Thai school produce students who can not think, but recites. Thailand recognizes the problem and have been trying to change the educational system, with recently, the UN helping to develop a cirriculum that foster independent thinking. The latest is an article by the New York Times. NYT says quote: “Frank described the teachers there as “dictators” who order students to “bow, bow, bow” and never to contradict them. The group’s message has resonated, partly because he has found a measure of common cause with the country’s United States-trained education minister, Phongthep Thepkanjana. He has vowed to allow Thai schoolchildren to let their hair down — literally — and has proposed a raft of education changes to reduce what he says is an emphasis on rote memorization and to promote critical thinking. “We do not want all students in one prototype, especially a prototype that makes them follow orders,” he said in an interview. “We don’t want them to photocopy knowledge into their brains. We want them to be individuals, within reason.” He has proposed less homework and fewer hours in the classroom, and a curriculum that would focus on the essentials of language, math and science. In the age of Wikipedia, he said, there is no sense in memorizing the names and lengths of obscure rivers in Africa, as he had been required to do as a student. A former judge who was trained as a lawyer at George Washington University, Mr. Phongthep said that encouraging students to form opinions and debate would be good for democracy in a country that has had numerous stumbles on its eight-decade journey out of absolute monarchy. “If students cannot voice their opinions in class, how can they exercise their freedom of expression in society?” he said (Source).

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