History studies get revamp
Subject changes to boost 'national pride'
The Education Ministry is planning to modify the history curriculum in schools to strengthen learning amid recent moves by youth groups against the kingdom's highest institution.
The newly revamped history subject will reportedly be separate from the social studies curriculum already being taught in schools across the country to make learning more prominent and interesting.
Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong said the ministry will hold a press conference on Wednesday to explain a new history curriculum that has been modified to help develop critical thinking skills apart from highlighting the kingdom's historical timeline.
The curriculum will undergo a trial phase in 349 schools before it is implemented across the country, she said. Technology will be applied in the process to make learning about history more attractive, she said.
Ms Treenuch said there are many aspects of history aside from the nation's wars including culture and communication. Students can develop their critical thinking through the subject, not just memorise a textbook for the sake of passing exams, she said.
Amporn Pinasa, secretary-general of the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec), said the ministry will kick off the implementation of the subject amid the coronavirus pandemic, adding the office will open access to a database called "History Learning Innovation Warehouse" and develop a virtual reality and augmented reality experience of historical events to enhance the learning experience for students.
Students are encouraged to study history in a broader context to understand it and apply lessons in the present and future, she said.
Currently, history is taught in social studies, which also includes social science, Buddhism, citizenship, geography, history and economics.
The youth movement that escalated last year has sparked criticism about the quality of history studies.
The youth are demanding monarchy reform but their manners and statements have offended the older generation and royalists who call on the authorities to teach students how the nation was established and the contributions of their ancestors and the monarchy.
Some academics have asked international schools in Thailand to teach Thai history, noting some of these schools do not have the subject even though half of their students are Thai.
Aside from history, citizenry is another subject being requested by conservative groups to be taught in schools to help encourage students to learn about their duties and responsibilities and bring about reconciliation and unity in the country.