Experts call for plan to help pupils

Experts call for plan to help pupils

Teachers spray a disinfectant agent inside a classroom at Ban Bang Kapi School in Bangkok on Thursday ahead of the re-opening of 437 schools under the supervision of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration next week. Photo by SOMCHAI POOMLARD
Teachers spray a disinfectant agent inside a classroom at Ban Bang Kapi School in Bangkok on Thursday ahead of the re-opening of 437 schools under the supervision of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration next week. Photo by SOMCHAI POOMLARD

Urgent measures are needed to help students in provinces under maximum Covid-19 controls catch up on their studies, academics say.

Sompong Jitradub, a lecturer with Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Education, urged the government to come up with a plan to help these students.

"Since the Covid-19 outbreak, schools in Thailand have been forced to stop providing in-person education for about 90 days, or about 40%, of the academic year. As a result, the quality of education for many students has deteriorated," he said.

Mr Sompong said a recent study found spending long periods out of school can cut students' maths knowledge by half and their literacy by almost a third. "Education inequalities between poor and well-off students were already an issue in Thailand, even before the pandemic," he said.

"If we do nothing to reverse the learning losses during the pandemic, the gap will be even wider, which may lead to a cycle of poverty that repeats over multiple generations."

EEF education economist Pumsaran Tongliemnak said many countries are now concerned about the long-term impact of lost teaching time caused by Covid-19.

"Many countries already have a plan, so Thailand should have one as well. We might not be able to see the impact of school closures now, but we now know that it could cost us in the future," he said.

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Vocabulary

  • closure (noun): the shutting down of a school, factory or other business or service - การปิด
  • deteriorated: became worse - ทรุดโทรม, เสื่อมโทรม, เลวลง, ชำรุด
  • impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ
  • inequality: a situation in which people are not equal because some groups have more opportunities, power, money etc than others - ความไม่เสมอภาค
  • literacy (noun): the ability to read and write - ความสามารถในการอ่านและเขียน
  • poverty: the condition of being extremely poor - ความจน
  • reverse (verb): to change and stop going in one direction and go in the other - เปลี่ยนแปลง
  • urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
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