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Topic Summary

Posted by: thaiga
« on: May 07, 2014, 01:20:08 PM »

Ministry targets flood of education degrees

The Education Ministry is seeking ways to resolve the problem of the massive oversupply of teaching graduates which is expected to reach up to 61,000 in the next 2015 academic year.

Caretaker Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng on Thursday said the current situation with excessive numbers of graduates who want to become teachers, especially in state-run schools, needs to be solved urgently as the supply of teachers has failed to match demand.

"Each year, about 20,000 teachers at state-run schools approach retirement, but more than 50,000 education degree graduates have left university over the past five years.

"The number of graduates with a major in education is expected to soar to 61,000 in the 2015 academic year," Mr Chaturon said.

He yesterday unveiled the ministry's proposed solutions to the problem after chairing a meeting on teacher supply and development at the Education Ministry.

Even though tens of thousands of state teachers reach retirement age every year, only a few thousand job vacancies at government schools are available for them, he said.

"People only know that about 20,000 teachers are going to retire every year, prompting large numbers of students to flood to study at universities' education faculties.

"This spurs many universities to launch education programmes to satisfy that need, resulting in greater supply than the real demand for teachers," he said.

Universities have recruited students without discussing the situation with others, causing a teacher unemployment problem, Mr Chaturon said.

"This reflects a failure of the teacher supply system. Now, physical education teachers make up the largest proportion of teachers in all fields even though there is no teacher shortage in this particular area," he said.

Mr Chaturon also said the reform committee on teacher supply and development has agreed to draft a nationwide strategy in this area, and establish a national committee to manage teacher supply and development across the country.

"This national committee will work to balance the country's demand and supply of teachers in terms of quantity and quality with 21st century skills, and determine exactly what fields are really lacking in manpower in the country's labour market," he said.

In the first step, Mr Chaturon said talks will be held with education faculties of all institutions to boost understanding and ask for cooperation as each university has the right and freedom to recruit students in various fields.

"Otherwise, another measure is that the level of the education budget provided by the state will be used to apply pressure on the universities.

"Personally, I believe the universities will cooperate in changing their student recruitment policies," he said.

Vocational education teachers have to be prepared and trained to train vocational graduates who will then play a significant role in strengthening the economy, Mr Chaturon said.

However, the government's caretaker status prohibited setting up a national committee so its structure and scope of work as well as the country's strategic plan for teacher supply would have to be prepared and proposed to the next government to implement, the caretaker education minister said. The present government lacked the power to make such decisions.  bangkokpost

Candidates for assistant teachers register to sit an examination at Horwang School in Bangkok on April 27, 2014. (Photo by Thanarak Khoonton)