A panel has been set up to study the suitability of distributing tablet computers instead of notebook computers to students, according to a close aide to the education minister.
Siripong Angkhasakulkiat said Education Minister Permpoon Chidchob formed the panel to study the development of content and distribution of electronic devices.
He said the scheme will not be implemented next year due to insufficient funding but state agencies will start to develop content to suit children's needs.
The ministry plans to allocate funds for the procurement of hardware in 2025, he said. It is also comparing tablet and notebook computers to determine which is better, he said.
Both have advantages and disadvantages, he said, adding tablet computers are portable but have shorter lifespans, whereas notebook computers offer broader utility.
"We're studying the scheme. When considering utilisation and benefit against the cost, it is possible notebook computers will be distributed instead of tablet computers," he said.
"A company that is contracted to supply the hardware will also be required to take care of internet connections," he added.
He said the devices will be distributed to Mattthayom 4–6 students during a pilot phase costing 3–4 billion baht over five years. The minister will provide an update on the scheme when the study is completed, he said
The scheme, one of Pol Gen Permpoon's policies, aims to cut parents’ expenses and reduce disparities in educational opportunity.
However, experts have reservations about the programme, saying while the devices will provide a new educational resource, they cannot guarantee children will succeed if teachers and parents lack understanding of the learning process.