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Dr Virachai on Education Reform

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Editor’s note: The following is a portion of a speech by Dr Virachai Techavijit, founder and chairman of The Regent’s School. Because the purpose of the written document was to serve as detailed notes of an oral presentation, it has been edited only slightly for clarification and no attempt has been made to bring the document in line with the style guidelines of the Bangkok Post. Also, since the full text contains over 3,000 words, readers who wish to read the full text of the speech are invited to go to http://tinyurl.com/3x3jur9. 

"Only Happy Schools Produce Well Rounded Leaders"

A lecture on School Management Towards Quality

"The Direction of the Educational Reform in the 2nd Decade (2009-2018)"

by

Dr Virachai Techavijit, Founder and Chairman of The Regent's Schools

to the

Directors and Board of Monitoring, Inspecting, Evaluating and

Demonstrating

from 180 Local Education Areas at the Annual Conference 2010

Adriatic Palace, Bangkok Hotel

Problems of basic education quality

It is widely known in the media that the quality of both academic and moral knowledge in most students and graduates from basic educational institutions are currently low and they have hardly been developed or trained to be socially responsible members of society. The adverse effects of such low quality provision of school training is frequently seen in the media today, such as rival students from vocational colleges engaging in assault and murder. Those whose careers developed in almost every facet of society have had to rely on corruption for the survival of their career within both industrial and political arenas.

Dr Virachai Techavijit

Improving quality of direction

Before you can determine the direction and quality of basic education, the facilitators of learning should understand 'what the purpose of a school's basic function' is.

A general answer is: 'to prepare students to be able to study in higher or vocational education.'

The correct answer under a successful education reform is: It must not just cater for the development of intelligence and knowledge to allow for technical curiosity for further study at a higher level. The school also needs to create opportunities for students, found during the course of everyday events in schools that lead them to develop the social skills and virtues necessary to live happily and contribute to the wellbeing of the Thai society.

The 5 moral and social skills necessary to prepare students to become quality citizens of the country are as follows:

1) Courage 2) Generosity 3) Imagination 4) Principle 5) and Resolution.

The meanings of the five morals are:

1) Courage - meaning the teacher encourages students to dare to express themselves in various fields. As well as the courage to take the lead in situations and activities that teachers set up, aware of the students' own capabilities which students themselves may not realise they possess. That is, we must take advantage of what students hide inside and bring this to the fore. Teachers must be observant, being careful not to make other students feel down, envied or despised. Students in the group should receive admiration from their peers and teachers alike. By nature, children prefer to be within their comfort zone, more so for Thai children as the result of a more conservative and modest culture, Thai teachers themselves are naturally not pro active.

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