It has become a cliche to say that Thailand's education system needs an overhaul. From the coloured political divide and industrial upgrading to broader economic competitiveness, it is said that education is the root cause of the country's political and socio-economic ills. This is not untrue. Symptomatic of these education woes and defects are the confusion and contradictions among bureaucrats and administrators over the timetable for the next school year. Thai kids are not only being taught poorly but they are not even sure when to go to school again after the summer recess.
Thai education has now been conflated with the Asean Economic Community (AEC), with uncertain and undesirable outcomes. This instructive tale of unclear policy, poor administration, and faddish and superficial regionalisation and globalisation by way of the AEC reveals how Thai ways can be shoddy and workable all at the same time, poorly conceived and formulated but characteristically adept in solving problems as they arise.
In other words, Thais are poor long-term strategic planners but good practical short-term problem solvers. This is why things generally don't work right the first time around here but they eventually work, with second-best and third-best results, because people are clever and resilient in fixing problems as they go along.