High school students who perform poorly in computer studies, maths and sciences now have new friends to share the pain _ their teachers.
Teachers in secondary schools have had to sit exams in these subjects for the first time, with alarming results,
Most teaching at the senior high school level failed the tests, the Office of the Basic Education Commission said.
''Even teachers fail, so how can we raise the quality of students?'' Education Minister Chinnaworn Boonyakiat said yesterday after being informed of the results by Obec.
An exam requirement says examinees who earn a mark of less than 59% are considered to have a low standard of knowledge.
Obec said up to 88% of 3,973 teachers who specialise in computer sciences failed the test. A high number of failing teachers was also found in biology (86% of 2,846), maths (84% of 5,498), physics (71% of 3,487), chemistry (64% of 3,088) and astronomy and earth sciences (63% of 529).
The only consolation came from teachers at the junior high level. They earned high marks. Obec said 58% of 14,816 teachers teaching maths were categorised in the grade A group with marks of more than 80%, while 54% of 13,385 teachers did very well in sciences.
Chinnaworn: Plan to upgrade teachers
''This is the first time the ministry tested teachers nationwide in a move to develop teachers under the Thai Khem Khaeng [Thai strength] scheme,'' Mr Chinnaworn said.
The ministry has set a budget of 1.4 billion baht under the Thai Khem Khaeng scheme to improve the academic standards of teachers.
Mr Chinnaworn said the ministry aimed to build two groups of teachers under the development plan. Teachers at the elementary and junior high levels could be trained to improve their skills in integrated teaching _ one teacher able to teach more than one subject _ while those at the senior high level would be trained to have stronger expertise in specific subjects.
The upgrade of teachers is part of the ministry's plan to increase students' abilities.
''All students at the basic education level must earn more than 50% of the O-Net [Ordinary National Education Test] by 2018,'' Mr Chinnaworn said.
O-Net tests the general knowledge of students in Prathom 3 and 6 and Mathayom 3 and 6.
Obec has announced information and computer technology and English exam results of school directors. About 95% of about 40,000 directors failed the tests, Mr Chinnaworn said.