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Thailand more competitive in international education

Despite difficulties in reforming its public education system, Thailand has become more competitive in the field of international education because of the phenomenal growth in the number and quality of its international schools over the past quarter century, according to one education analyst.
 
One of Thailand’s aspirations with the launch of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015 is to become the center for international education in Southeast Asia, wrote educator Daniel Maxwell in an article on Siam Voices websites.  It is a goal that been nurtured and promoted by successive governments.
 
“It may seem somewhat ambitious for Thailand to strive towards dominating the international education sector in this region.  But, Thailand’s international education sector has experienced huge growth and the Kingdom has developed some world-class international institutions,” wrote Maxwell, an Education Management specialist originally from Great Britain and now based in Chiang Mai.  He was formerly head teacher at the Nantawan International School.
 
“Looking more closely at the situation it appears that Thailand’s ambitions are more realistic than they initially appear,’’ he concluded.
 
Thailand’s strengths include its sheer number of international schools and their continued growth, the variety of curricula available, the comparatively low costs and the introduction of hybrid schools by the Ministry of Education where Thai students are educated using an international curriculum in a local environment.
 
Other factors include Thailand’s strategic location at the center of ASEAN, and its livability, which appeals to expatriates.  “This livability attracts both international students and experienced educators.  A wealth of quality educators should enable international schools in Thailand to continue reaching high academic standards and, ultimately, it will be the quality of these international programs that decides Thailand’s fate as an international education hub,” Maxwell wrote.
 
He cautioned, however, that Thailand’s potential as the education hub of the region comes with both advantages and disadvantages to the Kingdom.  More Thai students attaining higher levels of knowledge and education through international curricula will benefit the country’s development.  But, unless this quality education becomes more widely available to people of lesser means, the gap between rich and poor will continue to grow and threaten social stability.
 
As a final note, Maxwell said that for Thailand to achieve its goal, it will have to stave off competition from other countries in the region that are also investing in international-level education.
 
See the original article at Thailand e-Focus.

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