Tag Archives: Thailand

Granskning av Thailands utbildningssystem publicerad

Som jag skrivit om i en tidigare bloggpost så deltog jag under våren 2015 i en granskning (review) av Thailands utbildningssystem som genomfördes gemensamt av OECD och UNESCO. Vi var fyra internationella experter med var sitt ansvarsområde. Mitt var att titta på Thailands it-satsningar. Nu har vår granskningsrapport äntligen publicerats.

thailand

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Conclusions

Thailand is an upper-middle income country with the determination to expand its economy even further. One key aspect of this effort is to prepare Thai students to live and work in a globalized economy by equipping them with the skills this demands. One of these is proficiency in information technology and communication. Participation in the ASEAN community can help develop the capacity of the education system to effectively use ICT in teaching and learning

Over the years Thailand has made significant investments in hardware, software, people-ware, and infrastructure. It has also developed and adopted a curriculum that provides for ICT to be taught as a subject in its own right, as well as in conjunction with other subject areas. However, the “achieved” curriculum has not corresponded with the “intended” curriculum. According to the ICILS 2013 study, Thai student proficiency in ICT is low and there is room for improvement. There are a number of reasons for this. Some of the most important issues are listed below:

  • There is need for stable, responsive, and countrywide ICT infrastructure.

An education system that seeks to prepare its students for today’s and tomorrow’s society and working life has to provide good access to the internet, with the information and communication opportunities and learning resources it offers. Students need to learn to harness the potential of the internet as well as work and live with its abundance of information and risks.

  • Teachers and students must have access to quality learning materials.

Improving the quality of education and increasing the use of ICT depends to a great extent on the availability of high quality digital learning materials.

  • Teachers need skills in order to use ICT and digital learning materials effectively.

Teacher confidence, skills, and attitudes in using ICT have an impact on student success and attitudes. Therefore, investments in teacher training, both pre-service and in-service training, are vital.

  • Mechanisms gathering, developing and disseminating information are needed to continually strengthen how Thai schools use ICT and facilitate student skills acquisition. A solid evidence base is essential for informed and effective management, and timely decision making.
  • Finally, a coherent policy and leadership for an overall strategic approach to ICT is needed. A recurrent theme for successful policy making is to have policies that are coherent. Insufficient coherence can result in a poor use of resources and conflicting goals between stakeholders.

In order to deal with these issues, it is recommended that Thailand:

  • Continue its investments in digital devices as well as in internet access for schools. In doing so, Thailand should make sure investments are well-balanced between devices and internet access, and that technical maintenance costs for schools are covered. Special consideration should be given to the risk of a digital divide between urban and rural areas.
  • Continue and intensify investments in producing digital learning materials for all school grades and all relevant subjects. Thailand should also increase and expand its work on OERs in basic education.
  • Develop and put in place in-service training to make teachers familiar with and confident in using ICT. Emphasis should be on how teachers can integrate ICT into pedagogy in ways that support the learning goals set out in the curriculum. ICT-enabled distance teacher training might be a good way to ensure that teachers in rural areas also have the opportunity to participate. Furthermore, provision should be made for pedagogical guidance and support, on-line and off-line, to assist teachers in their daily work.
  • A central system for a periodical (annual or biannual) gathering and publication of statistics is needed and should comprise data on infrastructure, equipment, training, and use of ICT. A central database system would reduce the workload of schools and facilitate communications between schools and government agencies, as well as across agencies. The system should be available for ministries and governmental organizations to use for planning and policy making purposes. The statistics should be complemented by in-depth evaluations to ensure better understanding of the core issues. Moreover, Thailand should continue its participation in international comparative studies regarding the use of ICT in education.

Building on the information gathered from the monitoring system and in-depth evaluations, Thailand should work out a coherent national strategy for ICT in education.  It should contain at least four parts: a shared vision of how ICT will be used in Thai basic education to improve student ICT proficiency and transversal skills within five years; an inventory of existing digital learning materials and a list of subject areas and grade levels that are under-supplied, together with a plan for how and when these gaps should be addressed, including the use of OERs; a map of teacher competencies and competence gaps and a description of the ICT infrastructure in terms of internet access and digital devices, with a particular attention to differences between regions and between urban and rural areas.

Thailands it-stödda undervisning alltför teknikfokuserad

Jag befinner mig sedan en dryg vecka i Thailand för att tillsamman med en grupp experter från OECD och UNESCO göra en utvärdering av det thailändska skolsystemet. Mitt ansvar är it-delen vilket kändes spännande innan jag åkte eftersom jag läst om deras ambitiösa ”One Tablet Per Child”-program som när det lanserades 2012 var det mest omfattande i världen. Kinesisk-tillverkade surfplattor skulle delas ut till alla skolbarn. Men efter militärkuppen 2014 stoppades programmet och jag är benägen att tro att det var ett klokt beslut. Efter att ha sett ett antal skolor och läst ett antal rapporter om hur ensidig denna satsning varit, liksom tidigare satsningar. Det handlar bara om att köpa plattor eller datorer, inte om att bygga ut nätverkstillgången eller att träna lärarna. Inte heller har det funnits pengar för underhåll eller support.

Den it-utbildning de ger eleverna handlar ofta dels om att hantera den vanligaste programvaran (Word) och dels om hur en dator ser ut inuti. Bilden nedan kommer från en liten skola långt ute på landsbygden, nära den burmesiska gränsen som anses som ett riskområde. Skolan drivs av gränspolisen. På väggen sitter en processor, ett ljudkort, ett bildkort, o.s.v. vilket låg- och mellanstadieeleverna ska lära sig utantill.

IMG_0565Det är tråkigt att se att trots så mycket erfarenhet som finns från andra länders misstag, så upprepas de – att man istället för att satsa på en balanserad uppbyggnad av det ekosystem som krävs av internetinfrastruktur, hårdvara, mjukvara, utbildning, ledarskap och politik, så blir det mest prestigeprojekt som gör liten nytta.

Thailand är ett medelinkomstland i världen med aspirationer på att kunna konkurrera med grannar som Malaysia och – om möjligt Singapore och Korea. Men just nu tappar man mark både ekonomiskt och i termer av prestationer inom utbildningssystemet. Här är inte platsen att föregripa vår kommande rapport men ett genomgående problem tycks vara bristen på kompetensutveckling för lärare – inom alla områden inklusive it. De har också ambitioner att förändra skolsystemet mot att ge eleverna mer framtidskompetenser (21st Century Skills). Det är intressant eftersom detta bl.a. brukar innefatta att kunna kritiskt ifrågasätta – något som både det relativt auktoritära skolsystemet (med lärare i uniform) och militärjuntan samtidigt finner svårsmält.