Thai students scored poorly in maths, reading and science in the latest worldwide Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ratings.
Education Minister Permpoon Chidchob on Wednesday blamed their poor performance partly on the Covid-19 pandemic, and promised to improve their results.
In the latest PISA assessment by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Thai students aged 15 years were scored at 394 scores in maths last year (down from 419 in the 2018 assessment), 409 in science (down from 426) and 379 in reading (down from 393).
The assessment covered 81 countries and Thai students ranked 58th for maths and science and 64th for reading.
Move Forward Party list MP Parit Wacharasindhu said the performance of the Thai education system had declined over the past 10-20 years and the assessment results should arouse awareness that Thai education was at a critical level.
Mr Permpoon said the covid pandemic was partly to blame. He said it had affected student examinations. All countries faced education challenges during the Covid-19 period.
“Thailand is not the only country seeing lower ratings. It happened to all countries compared with assessments in 2018,” the minister said.
He promised to solve the problem and to take responsibility if Thai students’ skills had not improved during the next PISA assessment, not due until 2025.
The minister did admit Thai students lacked analytical skills, especially when reading long passages, and said they should do more open-ended questions, in place of multiple choice questions in tests.