EEF Seminar Proposes "Winning Schools" Policy to Thai Government
Dr. Nanthaporn Janchalia Seributra, CEO of Starfish Education, participated in a panel seminar titled “How Schools Must Adapt When COVID-19 Disrupts Education” that was held by the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) on January 28th, 2021.
The panel discussed research indicating that closing schools for a total of four months has led to a significant learning decline for students in Thailand. Economic damage from the resulting learning gap is estimated at $9 billion of GDP.
Therefore, the panel proposed that the Thai government should issue a “Winning Schools” policy to repair educational damage from COVID-19. Some of the policy’s aspects include expanding internet connectivity to rural areas, collaboration with the private sector to reduce the learning gap, setting up physical and mental health programs for students, providing free breakfast to students living in poverty, and a community volunteer program for helping with home tutoring.
“We should look for opportunities from this crisis. Content being used during this ‘New Normal’ period should have a renewed focus on competency-based courses, and include evaluation that cannot be assessed in a traditional way, but instead assessed according to real conditions in order to result in development. Evaluations that solely measure test results, or a ‘pass or fail’ mentality, should not be used. Another important matter is parental cooperation and community-based learning. Additionally, there is consensus that we need to hurry to reduce the learning gap during this time period, by using techniques such as a special project for volunteers to tutor for children in local areas. Also, when students begin to return to class, a Team Teaching policy should be used to supplement children’s learning with what was lacking during the study stoppage, so that children aren’t delayed in graduating to the next year’s level”, said Dr. Seributra.
The panel was also attended by Dr. Sompong Jitradap, EEF Advisory Board member, Dr. Bhumisan Thongliamnak, an economics expert from the Equitable Education Research Institute, Dr. Adisak Palitporngarnpim, head of the Project to Expand and Develop Assistance to Early Childhood and Informal Early Childhood in Bangkok, Dr. Thanyawit Wichienphan, Director of the Innovation Research and Development Department of Sripatum University, Chonburi Campus, and Dr. Supachok Piyasan, Director of Huai Rai Samakhi School in Chiang Rai.
A Thai language summary of the seminar can be found here.