Nataphol talks up new 'Deep' platform
The Education Ministry on Monday unveiled its Digital Education Excellence Platform (Deep) under the Thailand Education Eco-System (TE2S) initiative which aims to allow the ministry to harness data from students and teachers in order to elevate teaching, learning and human capital standards nationwide.
At the grand opening of the "Education Digital Disruption" event to introduce Deep to the general public at Wat Rajabopit School, Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan said the platform is a critical stepping stone toward equality in education. This digital platform will transform a Thai education system that is relatively fixed, into one that is flexible and versatile, he claimed.
"Students will now have access to a diverse set of curriculums or modules that are provided on Deep, which opens endless opportunities for them to acquire additional knowledge in their unique areas of interest.
"The platform addresses issues concerning asymmetrical information which were expressed by students, teachers and the administrative body. Consequently, we will have a labour market that answers the private sector's demands. It is important to reiterate that Deep promotes a culture of life-long learning, with hopes that everyone can and will 're-skill' or 'up-skill' themselves," said Mr Nataphol.
Mr Nataphol said Deep allows the private sector to become content creators on the platform, which will generate a plethora of learning material.
"In the initial stage, additional resources from public and private efforts on Deep will solely aim at building the English and digital literacy of Thai students, teachers and school administrators.
"Many globally recognised companies have partnered with the Ministry of Education to upload highly-effective learning contents such as Google, Microsoft, Cambridge Assessment English, Pearson, the British Council, IC3, ICDL, Arkki and over 40 Rajabhat universities," he said.
Varavij Kambhu Na Ayudhaya, an adviser to the minister of education, said Deep will replace 50% of information that is collected via physical documents.
"Converting information to Big Data paves the way for the ministry to access information used for policy adjustments and identifying underlying problems in the system in an uninterrupted manner, compared to relying on physical records which may take days to find.
"Deep has three primary integrated management systems; Classroom Management, School Management and Office Management. These management systems will allow the ministry to effectively monitor the use of school budgets, the use of school resources and the enforcement of school policies. From the students' use-case, a one-stop registration process grants them access to a multitude of resources that will facilitate their learning experience," he said.
Speaking at the same event, Somkiat Tangkitvanich, president of the Thailand Development Research Institute, said Deep uses a "Single Sign-on" which is very efficient and effective. Once students complete the registration process and are verified, they have immediate access to other platforms that are widely used for work or skill-building provided by both Google and Microsoft.
"Future developmental goals for Deep extend well beyond the confines of being a content provider, they aim to 'change' the way we teach and learn while promoting a culture of life-long learning. Education beyond school borders will train students to become critical thinkers and teachers to see themselves as facilitators," he said.
Libing Wang, a senior programme specialist in higher education with Unesco Bangkok, said the initiative is a "milestone and key infrastructure that is very timely and essential for the continuity of learning during the Covid-19 pandemic".