Author Topic: 'Pracharat School' plan gets bigger  (Read 1048 times)

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'Pracharat School' plan gets bigger
« on: September 17, 2018, 11:16:14 AM »

'Pracharat School' plan gets bigger

Another 1,300 small- and medium-sized schools and 21 new business enterprises have joined Phase 2 of the government's "Pracharat School" initiative in which private companies are invited to help fund and develop public schools under the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec).

Under the project, private companies work with school principals, teachers, local community leaders and students to develop and increase the competitiveness of students in public schools.

The first phase covered 3,351 schools to which 12 sponsors lent support. Private firms provided training-development programmes for schoolteachers on career-related skills and content for subjects such as science, engineering, mathematics and languages.

"The number of Pracharat schools now stands at over 4,600. However our long-term target is to have 7,424 throughout the country or one for each tambon," Education Minister Teerakriat Jareonsettasin said.

Dr Teerakiat, who also heads the Public Private Partnership for Education Public Sector Team, said countries achieving successful education reforms made use of support from the private sector.

"In some schools, the impact of this project may not manifest itself immediately and may take up to 10 years to show results, but if the public and private sectors keep working together we will see success in the future," he said.

Obec secretary-general Boonrak Yotpetch said the government also wants more schools under a public-private partnership scheme, a new initiative under the Pracharat School project.

Private and public partnership schools are bit different from Pracharat schools as they can operate more independently. Their managers can appoint school directors and teachers themselves, without needing to undergo complicated bureaucratic procedures. They can also manage their own budget. Their curricula can be adjusted to best reflect local context or global trends, depending on the policies of their executives.

"We now have about 80 participating schools. We hope to have at least 225 in the future," he said.