Education

International

January 07, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Thai Up

Thailand’s ambitious efforts to improve its education system have faced numerous political and cultural challenges in recent years, and now an episode involving the Royal Palace has added a new twist to the saga.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand’s immensely popular monarch, recently declined to sign an education bill that had been approved by the parliament. The bill aimed to shift decisionmaking authority over certain school personnel matters more to the local level.

In Thailand, legislation passed by the elected body goes to the monarch for approval, but the king almost always signs such measures. Indeed, while the king plays an important ceremonial role, he rarely weighs in directly on matters of policy.

Officials with the office of Thailand’s prime minister said the rejection was due to “technical” glitches in the bill’s wording, and that the administration would fix the problems and reintroduce the bill, government sources said.

Political opponents of the prime minister seized on what has been portrayed as an embarrassing gaffe for the government as an opportunity to criticize his administration.

Education policy has been a hot topic in Thailand since 1999, when lawmakers called for an overhaul of the school system. (“Turning Point,” Sept. 26, 2001.) Philip Hallinger, a former education professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and an expert on Thai education, said the shift in school policy has been controversial, given the scale of the changes.

“This is a major restructuring of power relations within a system in which those relations had been quite certain for some time,” said Mr. Hallinger, now the dean of a management school at a Bangkok university.

Jeff Archer

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Student Achievement Webinar Examining the Evidence: What We’re Learning From the Field About Implementing High-Dosage Tutoring Programs
Tutoring programs have become a leading strategy to address COVID-19 learning loss. What evidence-based principles can district and school leaders draw on to design, implement, measure, and improve high-quality tutoring programs? And what are districts

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)