The Education Ministry wants to increase the number of vocational students by 75,600 next year to serve industrial demands and economic growth.
Vocational students are learning by doring at Samut Prakan Vocational College.
Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng announced his policies to develop vocational education to be comparable to international standards and to increase the ratio of vocational to mainstream students to 51:49 by 2015.
The ratio of vocational to mainstream students stands at 36:64 now.
Chaiyapreuk Sereerak, secretary-general of the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (Ovec), said he hoped to increase the vocational component from 36 to 45 in the next academic year.
"That means Ovec has to encourage 75,600 more Mathayom 3 (Grade 9) graduates to further their studies in vocational institutions," he said.
Then, Ovec will increase the proportion of vocational students to accomplish its goal of 51:49 by the year 2015 to prepare the workforce for the Asean Economic Community.
First, Ovec will survey Mathayom 3 students on whether they intend to carry on with higher studies.
Then, guidance teachers will be trained to increase awareness of the importance of vocational education, and roadshows and open houses regarding vocational education held to persuade lower secondary students to study at vocational institutions.
Mr Chaiyapreuk added that more dual education ventures between Ovec and the private sector will be provided.
The purpose will be to nurture and produce quality vocational graduates to meet labour market demands as well as cater to the government's infrastructure investment plans, which need a skilled workforce.
The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) was another key player in the campaign to help increase the number of vocational students.
Apichart Jeerawuth, secretary-general of Obec, said school admission criteria will be tweaked next year to conform with the ministry's policies.
Currently, Obec's required classroom capacity is 40 students a room and the number could reach up to 50 students a room in prestigious and highly competitive schools.
"Obec is considering setting class limits so they cannot exceed 40 students a room," he said.
Extensions of classroom capacity will be considered on a case-by-case basis to ensure all students still have access to education.
In addition, Obec is likely to review its criteria which allow Mathayom 3 students with grade point averages higher than 2 to automatically continue their studies in Mathayom 4.
Under the change, the required grade may be set higher or students may no longer be allowed to move to the upper class automatically.
"Another way we increase the number of vocational students is to guarantee that every vocational graduate gets a job," Mr Apichart said.
"We have to encourage students and parents to think outside the box, which will of course take time."
Latest stories in this category:
- Abe defends Japan secrets law as poll ratings plunge
- Five dead as Indonesia train collides with fuel tanker
- North Korea accuses Kim Jong-Un's uncle of corruption
- US's Hagel talks drones, Afghan peace with Pakistan PM
- Philippines to seek more aid from Japan at summit
- Train hits fuel truck, 5 killed
- Clarke aims for Ashes and top ranking after Test win
- Environmentalists hail China's banquet ban on shark fin