Thailand’s weak education system a big drawback for development

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Thailand’s outdated and somewhat defunct education system is holding back a new generation from becoming productive and innovative, it turned out in the new Human Capital Index issued by the World Bank and released on October 11.

Thailand scored 0.6 of possible 1 and is placed 65th among the 157 world countries and territories. The Human Capital Index measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18, given the risks of poor health and education that prevail in the country where the child lives.

Thailand is also outperformed by three fellow ASEAN nations: Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia – largely due to weaknesses in the country’s education system. The index measures productivity of the next generation of workers relative to the benchmark of complete education and full health.  Topping the index is Singapore, which scored 0.88. Coming second and third are South Korea and Japan. Hong Kong is ranked 4th while Finland sits in 5th spot.

“Thai children can expect to complete 12.4 years of school by age 18. However, when years of schooling are adjusted for quality of learning, this is only equivalent to 8.6 years, a learning gap of 3.8 years,” the World Bank calculated.

The index has used five indicators: the probability of survival to age five, a child’s expected years of schooling, harmonised test scores as a measure of the quality of learning, adult survival rate (the fraction of 15-year-olds that will survive to age 60), and the proportion of children who are not stunted. 

Globally, 56 per cent of all children born today will grow up to be at best, half as productive as they could be; and 92 per cent will grow up to be, at best, 75 per cent as productive as they could be. The index shows that children born in Thailand today will be 60 per cent as productive when they grow up as they could have been if they had enjoyed a complete education and full health.

“This is below the average for East Asia and Pacific region,” the World Bank noted. 

“Thailand needs to put greater emphasis on learning to further equip a child born today with the skills and knowledge to be a productive citizen of the future,” said Mara K Warwick, World Bank country director for Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. “However,

“The government of Thailand recognises this and is working with the World Bank to improve the efficiency of education expenditure in order to boost quality and reduce the inequity in educational resource allocation,” she added.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand’s outdated and somewhat defunct education system is holding back a new generation from becoming productive and innovative, it turned out in the new Human Capital Index issued by the World Bank and released on October 11.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand’s outdated and somewhat defunct education system is holding back a new generation from becoming productive and innovative, it turned out in the new Human Capital Index issued by the World Bank and released on October 11.

Thailand scored 0.6 of possible 1 and is placed 65th among the 157 world countries and territories. The Human Capital Index measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18, given the risks of poor health and education that prevail in the country where the child lives.

Thailand is also outperformed by three fellow ASEAN nations: Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia – largely due to weaknesses in the country’s education system. The index measures productivity of the next generation of workers relative to the benchmark of complete education and full health.  Topping the index is Singapore, which scored 0.88. Coming second and third are South Korea and Japan. Hong Kong is ranked 4th while Finland sits in 5th spot.

“Thai children can expect to complete 12.4 years of school by age 18. However, when years of schooling are adjusted for quality of learning, this is only equivalent to 8.6 years, a learning gap of 3.8 years,” the World Bank calculated.

The index has used five indicators: the probability of survival to age five, a child’s expected years of schooling, harmonised test scores as a measure of the quality of learning, adult survival rate (the fraction of 15-year-olds that will survive to age 60), and the proportion of children who are not stunted. 

Globally, 56 per cent of all children born today will grow up to be at best, half as productive as they could be; and 92 per cent will grow up to be, at best, 75 per cent as productive as they could be. The index shows that children born in Thailand today will be 60 per cent as productive when they grow up as they could have been if they had enjoyed a complete education and full health.

“This is below the average for East Asia and Pacific region,” the World Bank noted. 

“Thailand needs to put greater emphasis on learning to further equip a child born today with the skills and knowledge to be a productive citizen of the future,” said Mara K Warwick, World Bank country director for Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. “However,

“The government of Thailand recognises this and is working with the World Bank to improve the efficiency of education expenditure in order to boost quality and reduce the inequity in educational resource allocation,” she added.

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