Next year, some Thai students will be getting more than new tablets. They will be trying out a whole new curriculum. The Education Ministry’s work on reforming the national school curriculum is almost finished, Pawit Thongroj, an adviser to the Minister says.
The curriculum overhaul has been a priority for Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana and was moved ahead by the curriculum reform committee chaired by Mr Pawit.
He said the reform included reviewing the best education practices from several countries, including Finland.
“The curriculum overhaul is now about 80% complete,” Mr Pawit said. “The overhaul focuses on more appropriatecontent based on students’ age and brain development.”
Initially, only about 3,000 schools, or 10% of the nationwide total will be involved. The new curriculum will beimplemented at the start of the 2014 academic year for Prathom 1, Prathom 4, Mathayom 1 and Mathayom 4 classes. Content for Prathom 1 and 2 students (Grades 1 and 2) will mainly focus on three subjects – maths, Thai and English – while older students will study more subjects in more detail.
In addition, Mr Pawit said the new curriculum will encourage students to learn more outside the classroom by themselves, beyond what they learn from their teachers. In Finland, teachers spend more time focused on research-based learning for their students, he said. Beginning at the kindergarten level, students are encouraged to come up with their own questions as a way to search for the answers.