Critics slam assessments body

The Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (Public Organisation), or Onesqa, is holding back education, critics say.

The Onesqa conducts external quality assessments for all educational institutions every five years.

Critics say its evaluations do nothing to help the education system, cost too much money, and put unreasonable burdens on teachers.

Amornvit: Mechanism is needed for quality

“I have spoken to many people from the Council of University Presidents of Thailand, private universities, and , and we all agree the Onesqa’s assessments just place more burdens on us and obstruct efforts to develop education,” said Srinakharinwirot University rector Chalermchai Boonyaleepun. 

He called for change in a recent discussion on the National Council for Peace and Order's policy on education reform.

Prawit Erawan, dean of Mahasarakham University's education faculty, said the Onesqa must change its assessment procedures as a one-size-pattern of assessment cannot fit all institutions.

“For instance, the number of published academic works should be used as just one indicator for universities.

"The Onesqa should review its previous work and listen to others’ opinions, especially educational outlets which have been evaluated,” he said.

Amornvit Nakornthap, adviser to the Quality Learning Foundation, said if the Onesqa was abolished, another mechanism would be needed to ensure educational quality and standards.

“It is a mechanism to counterbalance universities and schools.

"Some outlets must accept they are contributing to a quality problem.

"Parents pay fees as they want a decent education for their children, don’t they? So, the voice of all stakeholders must be heeded,” he said.

Channarong Pornrungroj, director of the Onesqa, said some entity will be needed to ensure quality, especially with the number of university satellite campuses growing rapidly.

Suthasri Wongsamarn, permanent secretary for education, said Onesqa's evaluations were useful.

However, the office needs to change its assessment procedures so as not to place any more burdens on the country's educational institutes, she said.