Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng has attacked the pathetic English-language courses taught in schools nationwide.
Poor teaching methods, he said, have turned out millions of students who are unable to speak the language. His points were valid, his criticisms well-meant, and he was on-topic because he was addressing 200 English teachers. But he once again shied away from both the problem and the solution.
The problem with the Thai education system is not that it turns out students who study English for 10 years but cannot speak it. The solution is not the lack of a central proficiency test. Both of these are symptoms of what is truly a national disease. The real problem is that the education system and Mr Chaturon's Ministry of Education are graduating students who are abysmally under-educated. And the solution is top-to-bottom reform _ ministry, bureaucracy, schools and teachers.