SHORTLY AFTER assuming office as education minister in December’s Cabinet reshuffle, Teerakiat Jareonsettasin introduced his first policy of helping schools in rural areas suffering quality problems get out of “intensive care”.
This ICU schools project will be carried out in parallel with the “magnetic schools” project, which encourages parents to send their children to good-quality – albeit not-so-large – schools near their homes and covers more than 15,000 small schools throughout the country.
The ultimate goal of the ICU schools project is to tackle the problem of educational inequality, according Teerakiat, who is a medical doctor and former deputy dean of Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Medicine. He had served as deputy education minister before his current appointment.
The school’s Grade 12 students also fared poorly in the Ordinary National Educational Test (O-Net). Its average score for Thai Language in the 2015 academic year was 41.38 per cent, compared to the national average of 49.36. In mathematics, the school’s average was only 20.42 per cent, compared to the national average of 36.59. In science, the school’s average was 28.95 per cent, while the national average was 33.40.