Stop Indoctrinating Kids With Backward Ways of Thinking

Stop Indoctrinating Kids With Backward Ways of Thinking


Tests for Thai students that unintentionally expose a backward way of thinking are nothing new. You can laugh them off as pathetic, embarrassing and archaic aspects of the Thai education system but, IMHO, they should be taken more seriously. They should not be part of the Thai education system whatsoever, especially in 2021.

The most recent example of such a test irks me so much. Enough to justify this article, at least. A Facebook user by the name of Raynita Ray Lakkasorn shared an online test that her Pratom 1 nibling sat through. It contains the following questions.

Which of the following people has dressed inappropriately for their sex?

a) Kay (girl) wears sneakers.

b) Oom (girl) wears a T-shirt.

c) Aek (boy) wears a skirt.

The "correct" answer is C but implying that for girls to wear T-shirts or sneakers could be possibly objectionable is troubling and Taliban-esque, to say the least.

Which of the following qualities is of a man?

a) Like to play soccer.

b) Like to wear a skirt.

c) Like to be mild-mannered.

So Scottish men who wear kilts aren't men?! And what's wrong with men being mild-mannered?

What word should a man end his sentence with?

a) ka

b) jaa

c) krub

There are many particles in the Thai language to end a sentence with, depending on who you're talking to and the context. Sure a man can use krub to be polite and formal but he can use ka and jaa when he wants to indicate casualness and closeness to the person he speaks to, too.

Which of the following qualities isn't of a woman?

a) fragile b) mild-mannered c) sturdy

Yes, let's perpetuate the damsel in distress view on women.

Who of the following people behaves properly according to their sex?

a) Noo Dee (girl) likes to cook with her mother.

b) Ryu (boy) likes to put his sister's makeup on his face.

c) Bow (girl) likes to play-fight with boys.

Yes, the only rightful place for women is in the kitchen. How progressive!

For a student to gain scores and be considered a good student, they have to adopt a strict view on roles and behaviours based on the gender binary, hopefully on the paper only. They aren't encouraged to think for themselves and embrace the diversity of people that they experience in real life. Catch them young and corrupt their young minds, seems to be the name of the game here.

How these questions are worded in Thai also doesn't imply that what the students actually think is the correct answer (or that there's no answer) matters. There isn't " you think..." in any of the questions as if these rigid views on how people should behave based on their biological sex are facts and there's only one way to behave "properly".

Those who create or approve these horrible questions are unfortunately educators of our children. If this is really their repressive view on the world, they are the ones who need to be educated first. We can't let outdated views that don't work in today's society be passed on to the next generation.

The saddest thing about these questions is that we know what the "correct" answers are to score marks but, at the same time, we cringe so hard at how wrong they are.

Pornchai Sereemongkonpol

Guru section Editor

Guru section Editor

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