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Offline Johnnie F.

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Locally run schools get mixed grades
« on: August 25, 2010, 05:11:06 AM »

Locally run schools get mixed grades

Many schools run by tambon and provincial administration organisations are finding themselves in an unsual situation: The administrators and teachers they employ are qualified enough but the performance of the students they turn out has been shown to be unsatisfactory.

The Education Council yesterday released the findings of an assessment it conducted into the quality of education at 779 out of 1,590 schools under the supervision of local administration organisations.

The study rated the overall quality of the school administrators and teachers as "excellent". However, many of the students in schools run by local bodies from kindergarten to the secondary level almost failed their assessments in key areas such as analytical and cognitive skills, said Pichit Ritchamroon, a lecturer at Rajabhat Phra Nakhon University who conducted the study.

"Only 60 to 70 percent of schools run by provincial administration organisations are able to improve the analytical and creative skills of their students, while only 29 percent of those run by tambon administration organisations (TAOs), and 20 percent of those run by Pattaya Municipality have students with [satisfactory] analytical skills," Mr Pichit said.

He said the study also found that most schools had a satisfactory teacher to-student ratio. The main problem for schools under the management of the smallest TAOs was a shortage of teachers.

Only 57% of the TAO-run schools surveyed employed teachers who taught subjects in which they specialise.

He said the findings reflect a positive change in the transfer of public schools to the management of local bodies over the past five years.

About 400 schools that were taken over by local bodies received enough funding to develop their human resources, procure teaching equipment and improve the working conditions of teaching staff.

However, some schools, particularly those run by TAOs, had paid little attention to improving the quality of education they were offering, choosing instead to focus on constructing buildings.

Some local bodies in Nakhon Ratchasima and Chaiyaphum faced budget constraints because they took over more schools than they were able to run effectively.

Usa Supiyaphan, director of Thetsaban Wat Phor school in Chon Buri, said local bodies were organising too many compulsory extracurricular activities, which detracted from core learning goals.

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