By Peter J. Foley, Ed.D. editor-in-chief
SCLThailand found the newly appointed minister of education’ s remarks refreshing at the recent “first digital town meeting”. The meeting was reported on in the Nation newspaper’s January 5, 2017 edition.
For years now the editors of SCLThailand have been deeply concerned and written about the sorry state of education in many rural areas. Therefore, we were gratified when Dr. Teerakiat said his top priority is to help rural schools “whose standards are so bad that they need to be put into ‘intensive care units immediately’.
The new minister of education stated that out of 30,000 primary and high schools , about 3,000 fall into this category of needing “urgent and real help”. SCLThailand has for many years also deplored the widening gap between rural areas and the much richer urban areas. Again we were happy to hear Dr. Teerakiat state that help to the poorest of the poor rural schools could plant seeds for further education reform.
We urge Dr. Teerakiat to engage universities and colleges and NGOs, such as Teach for Thailand, to send qualified volunteer teachers to the 3,000 rural schools most in need.