University entrance exams help rich, hurt poor

University entrance exams help rich, hurt poor

Favouring rich children over poor, system of many university entrance exams that require extra expensive tutoring needs to change.

FLASHBACK: Parents and students protested in 2006 outside the National Institute of Educational Testing (NIET) against the O-Net college entrance exam results. The situation still remains high unpopular, as bureaucrats refuse to change. (Bangkok Post file photo)


Direct exams hurting poor, says Chaturon

Minister renews plea on uni selection tests


Lamphai Intathep

Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng has repeated his call for universities to cut the number of recruitment rounds held through direct admissions, to ensure fairness to poor students.

The frequent exams held by universities under the direct admission method give students from well-to-do families an edge over those who are financially worse off and are unable to pay for the cost of sitting the tests, he said.

Universities are allowed to directly recruit new students under the direct admission system.

The Council of University Presidents of Thailand has requested 27 member universities, however, to limit this enrolment method to no more than 50% of new students.

Mr Chaturon said he has other worries about the direct recruitment exams. Students have complained that many of the exam questions cover material other than that taught in class.

The most recent case involved students who sat an exam to enrol at Srinakharinwirot University.

They complained on social media that the exam paper did not cover the subjects they studied at school, and one multiple choice question did not provide a correct answer among the options.

Mr Chaturon said the case reflected a long-standing problem with the direct admission method.

He said the frequent examinations hosted by universities, often before the end of the Mathayom 6, to directly recruit students creates a financial burden for parents.

The fact that some questions fall outside the course material taught in class force many to attend tutorial schools, adding to their expenses.

Mr Chaturon said he had no power to stop the practice, but could only make suggestions.

He said universities should organise a central direct admission exam to ease the burden on families.

Thachaphon Meesomklin, a Mathayom 6 student at Horwang School, said direct admissions should not be eliminated but organised only during school breaks.

"My friends have to take the direct exams of many universities to make sure they will get a seat, which are expensive.

"The application fee for each exam is 600-1,500 baht and the cost does not include travel and accommodation expenses. One of my friends had to pay for a plane ticket to sit an exam in Khon Kaen," he said.

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  • admission: permission to enter a place - การเข้าชม การเข้างาน
  • admission system: the system for selecting students to a school or university - ระบบการรับเข้า
  • attend: to go to an event, such as a meeting, a show, a sports competition, etc. - เข้าร่วม (ในการประชุม, งานต่าง)
  • burden: a serious or difficult responsibility that you have to deal with - ภาระ
  • call (noun): a request, an order or a demand for somebody to do something or to go somewhere - ข้อเรียกร้อง
  • case: a particular situation or a situation of a particular type - กรณี, เหตุการณ์, สถานการณ์
  • complain: to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/something - บ่น, ร้องทุกข์
  • correct (adjective): right, done the right way, without any mistakes or errors - ถูกต้อง, ไม่มีผิดพลาด
  • direct (adjective): going straight to a place (not "going to other places first" which is "indirect") - ตรงไป, ไม่เบี่ยงเบน
  • edge: an advantage that makes someone or something more successful than other people or things - ข้อได้เปรียบ
  • eliminate: to get rid - ตัดทิ้ง, ลบทิ้ง, กำจัด
  • enrol: register, sign up - สมัคร
  • enrol: to put yourself onto the official list of members of a course or college - ลงทะเบียน
  • ensure: to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
  • expenses: money spent in doing a particular job, or for a particular purpose - ค่าใช้จ่าย
  • financial: involving money - เกี่ยวกับเงิน, ทางการเงิน
  • financially: involving money - ทางการเงิน
  • frequent: happening often - เกิดขึ้นบ่อย
  • host: to provide the space and other things necessary for a special event - ทำหน้าที่เป็นเจ้าภาพ, เป็นผู้จัดรายการ
  • involved (verb): taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง, มีบทบาท
  • long-standing: that has existed or lasted for a long time - นาน,ยาวนาน
  • material: information or ideas used in books, songs, etc - ข้อมูล, เนื้อหา, ใจความ, สาระ
  • minister: a member of the cabinet, the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี
  • option: choice - ตัวเลือก
  • recent: happening or starting a short time ago - เร็วๆ นี้
  • recruit: a person who has been persuaded to join a group - สมาชิกใหม่
  • recruit: to persuade someone to join a group, class, organisation, etc. - รับคนใหม่
  • recruitment: the process of finding people to work for a company or become a new member of an organisation - การสรรหาใหม่
  • reflect: to show - สะท้อน แสดงถึง
  • renew: to start something again - เริ่มใหม่
  • repeat: something that happens again, i.e., which is very similar to a previous happening - การกระทำซ้ำ
  • round: one of a series of events, activities, etc. - รอบ
  • school break: a period of time when school stops -
  • selection: choice; the process of choosing - การเลือก,การคัดเลือก
  • sit an exam: take an exam, take a test -
  • social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
  • university (noun): a school where students study for BA, MA, MS and PhD degrees and where research is done - มหาวิทยาลัย
  • well-to-do: wealthy - ที่มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย
  • worse off: to have less money than in the past, to be in a situation that is not as good as the past -
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