679 schools fail basic education test
At least 600 of more than 4,500 schools seeking to be included on a school standard enhancement programme provide poor education quality, according to the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec), which is introducing the scheme.
A total of 679 schools do not meet the standards, Obec secretary-general Karoon Sakulpradit said Tuesday.
They were among 4,518 schools nationwide screened by the agency for the so-called Intensive Care Unit (ICU) project which aims to help schools that need urgent quality development.
Of the 4,518 schools seeking to go through the programme, 679 have poor education quality, 2,490 lack school buildings or teaching materials due to insufficient budgets, 1,040 have teacher shortages, 103 have management problems, while the rest are experiencing various other issues.
The schools taking part in the ICU project are among 30,717 schools under Obec's supervision.
Of the schools looking to join the ICU scheme, 4,206 come under the responsibility of the Education Service Area Office, while the remaining 312 are supervised by the Secondary Educational Service Office.
Mr Karoon said a panel overseeing the project, chaired by education permanent secretary Chaipreuk Sereerak, would analyse conditions in each school and assess which ones need most help.
The panel of education experts can also propose more schools, which they feel require development, be included in the programme.
After the panel gathers the names of all schools to be included in the ICU project, it will submit the list to Mr Chaipreuk for consideration before its forwarded to Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin for approval, he said.
Schools damaged by floods in the South may also be included if they need extensive repairs and infrastructure improvements, according to Mr Karoon.
Obec says certain problems affecting some the schools seeking help could be addressed by local authorities.
Mr Karoon said funding to cover for maintenance costs of some flood-ravaged schools has already been disbursed.
He also said some schools under the ICU programme already receive an annual education improvement budget provided by Obec.
If these schools are admitted to the ICU scheme, the improvement fund they are allocated can be readily transferred for use under the ICU programme.