ICT for Education in Thailand Mr.Sathien Usaha The Bureau of Information and Communication Technology Ministry of Education, Thailand In the modern world, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays an important role in our lives and infiltrates every segment of the society . Integration of ICT in education is an effective alternative for efficient teaching and learning at school levels. It is not surprising that ICT has increasingly been powerful force in educational development. Realising the important capacity of ICT for education in enhancing the competitiveness of Thailand and its people in a knowledge-based economy and society, several actions have been taken by the Royal Thai Government. Introduction In academic year 2007, The Ministry of Education was responsible for 36,288 schools consisting of 13,730,409 students and 627,501 teachers . The information about using ICT in schools and relevant areas is as follows: Ratio of student to computer in schools Student to Computer Ratio % of Schools Not greater than 20 students 55.3 21-40 students 24.8 41-60 students 8.0 61-80 students 3.2 81-100 students 1.2 Greater than 100 students 7.5 From the table : It shows the Percentage of Schools Classified by Student to Computer Ratio. The majority of schools was not greater than 20 students per computer Access to internet in schools Total: 25000 34,262 sites 20000 19769 19769 Dial Line 15000 11915 Leased Line 10000 Satellite 6338 5000 1054 1267 2578 0 41 1019 2003 2004 2005- Present 2 From the table : The total number of Institutions that can access internet by type of services is 34,262 schools. From the year 2005 to present only leased lines and satellites have been installed at institutions. The Current ICT Situation in Thailand At present, the population of Thailand is 67 million. The current data of the ICT utilization is as follows: Total of households in Thailand -16.9 million : - Households with TV and VDO 95.7% - Households with Radio and tape 91.1% - Households with telephone 87.7% - Households with computer and internet 50.7% - Households with fax 10.7% Total number of people ( from 67 million) using cell phone and digital device: • Population (6 years up) using cell phone 78.2% • Population (6 years up) using computer and internet 61.4% • Population (6 years up) using mp3, mp4 or personal multimedia player 33.2% • Population (6 years up) using digital camera 29.9% Total number of Student user (6-24 years old) 16 million : • Percentage of student using of computer and internet 82.7% - searching through explorer 17.8 % - writing webpage 4.16% • Percentage of student using internet at school 39.0% - using internet every day 31.2% - using internet for education 29.9% Student’s behavior • 66.1% of youth (10-17 years) playing computer game • 87.8% of youth (10-17 years) watching TV and VDO as hobby. • 28.4% of youth (10-17 years) listeingn radio and tape as hobby. • 65.2% of youth (10-17 years) reading book or newspaper as hobby. • 11.2% of youth (10-17 years) talking on phone more than 30 minutes per day The Ministry of Education’s ICT Master Plan The Ministry of Education’s ICT Master plan sets forward a bold and ambitious portfolio of activities and Investments between 2007-2011. The Master plan seeks to support Thailand’s learning society aspirations by enabling learners, teachers, administrators and all Thai citizens to experience the benefits of ICT’s. The Master plan is based around three key strands for ICT enabled transformations in education covering: 1. Quality of learning: increased access to new learning resources for formal , non-formal and informal education will be underpinned by instructional materials and teaching approaches aimed at developing thinking, communication, problem-solving, creativity and other skills to support Thailand’s knowledge economy aspirations. 3 2. Educational management: ICT enabled improvements in educational management and administration will be accompanied by innovations in the monitoring and evaluation of learning as well as new opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing between students and teachers within educational institutions as well as with their local, national and international peer groups. 3. Quality of ICT graduates: The development of a large number of ICT specialists to international standards will simulate innovations in education and related to support Thailand’s learning society. The Ministry of Education has set a development plan to support the following objectives: A substantial majority of educational institutes will increase their access and speed to the internet; Several hundred e-learning resources will be developed and distributed to teachers; Quality standards for ICT-based systems will be used in formal and non-formal education; ICT led management information and communications in all institutions; All graduate students from educational institutions will have a good standard of ICT knowledge and literacy; Develop ICT capacity to support Thailand’s economic growth; Front office services in all education organizations will be electronic; The general public will acquire new knowledge through ICT. The Ministry of Education has set the following targets to be achieved by 2011: Distance learning will reach all areas in the country from local Educational Service Areas to local sub-districts via educational services; 80 percent of education organizations will manage their offices through ICT’s; All levels of education will utilise ICT’s in managing teaching and learning; More than 80 percent of the general public will have good ICT knowledge; More than 80 percent of graduates at all levels will gain appropriate ICT knowledge and at least 50 percent of ICT graduates will meet recognised international standards; Science and Technology graduates will be 50% of all graduates; 90 percent of people in remote areas will receive ICT enabled knowledge and information; 70 percent of people in working ages will use ICT’s to support their professional development. ICT Infrastructure The objectives of The Ministry of Education Network (MOENet) was the national education network and was developed in order to connect the various existing networks together, assure coverage at the school level and ensure that internet is equally accessible for all students. MOENet Infrastructure Development Plan is as follows: - Expand the network coverage all higher educational Institutions - Connect Higher Education Network to 79 Distribution Nodes - Connect Distribution Nodes to 36,650 K12 and Vocational Institutions MOENet network installation composes of ADSL Modem, Leased Line, Satellite and Wireless. 4 Stage of ICT integration With regard to the adoption of ICT in education, when looking at the overall situation, it has been estimated that Thailand is currently in the second level or the phase of “Applying” as rated by the level of UNESCO ICT integration . Some reasons to support this estimation are as follows: - Thailand has the Educational ICT Master Plan (2007-2011) to guide ICT policies of the Ministry of Education . - ICT was accepted as the part of Career and Technology course and taught in every level of education. - Most of schools in Thailand are already have their own computer labs, as well as the hardware, software and training with the support of budget from the ministry and community. However, when considered the stages of ICT Integration by level of education and school location, it seems that the higher education institutions gains much availability of ICT, and have employed ICT tools in many courses. This scenario is also applied to the case of primary and secondary schools in urban areas. Thus, these groups of consideration should be rated in level 3 or “Infusion” as rated by the level of UNESCO ICT integration . Number of existing ICT equipments in school The average amount of ICT equipment used in each school has been reported that about 14 computers are used in teaching, learning and administration. A number of subordinate tools are televisions (10 per each school), sound recorder and VDO / VCD / DVD player(3 per each school), and digital cameras (1 per each school) respectively. For VDO cameras, it has the minimal average of about 1 VDO cameras shared among 3 schools. 5 ICT for management of the school administrators Most school administrators have been trained in the use of ICT, especially computer basic skills; thus, they normally have the medium level of computer literacy. This group of people has paid an important role of ICT utilization in schools due to the fact that they are those who receive the policy from the Ministry of Education in ICT use to reform the way of teaching and learning in school. From the school survey, it shows that the majority use of computers is in education (79%), and the rest of total use (21%) is focused on management purposes ranging from document, human resource, and registration to financial management. To provide computers for schools, some (27%) have been allocated from the budget of the ministry; others have been received from donation of parents and community (52%), as well as other sources (21%). For the use of computer labs, about 80% of total schools have their own computer lab for teaching and learning – the percentage of schools having 1, 2 and 3 or more computer labs are 59%, 11% and 10% respectively. From school administrators’ perspective, benefits from the use of computers in schools include the increase in ability to perform individual work with less duration, search for new knowledge and be up-to-date, and provide quality education from basic to higher levels. The use of ICT for teachers Ministry of Education has endorsed significant amount of budget for training all teachers to have basic knowledge in computer skills and internet use. Moreover, the MOE has been working with Ministry of ICT, and private sectors in term of personnel development, for instance Partners in Learning is the project from Microsoft Thailand who donates operating software for all PCs and learning grants for improving teachers to use ICT effectively as a result of their professional and personal development. And e – learning will be an important method for training them. Intel Teach to the Future is the program to equip teachers with pedagogical use of ICT in classrooms in a way that the lesson must enhance students’ higher efficiency and thinking skills. Besides, The Institute of the Promotion of Science and Math Teaching is planning a number of programs to introduce and produce web based education for teachers and students. The MOE also has a number of projects with international organizations to integrate ICT into classroom activities, for instance Japan International Cooperation Agency has launched ITEd project to equip 3000 teachers in the country with idea of ICT integration in classroom activities. UNESCO and UNICEF also help teachers and educational institutes in rural areas in the country to get into ICT use paradigm. World Bank and NGO also have numbers of programs to introduce ICT in the school level. This seems to be a number of organizations involved in ICT use for education in Thailand. From the survey, 78% of teachers use a computer to search for new knowledge from Internet and support teaching and learning activities. When looking into each subject, it has been found that teachers normally percept the web as a search tool for 26% in Mathematics, 30% in Thai language, 26% in Foreign languages, 34% in Science, 26% in Social studies Religion and Culture, 33% in Career and Technology, 16% in Health and Physical Education, and 18% in Art and Music. In order to develop electronic media for teaching the subject matter taught, most teachers prefer to produce CAI as an instructional tool (17%), together with other types of media which are e-Learning (8%), VDO/VCD/DVD (8%), Website (8%), e-Book (7%), Courseware (3%) and e- Library (1%). 6 Student use of ICT in classroom Currently, most schools have adopted ICT tools to facilitate teaching and learning in many subjects. It has been found that 90.66% of students tend to use a computer at school, and 91.34% are required to learn basic computer skills. Besides, for some schools, students have a chance to take the course of computer office programs. From the survey, there are approximately 86 %, 84 %, 59 % and 55% of students in those schools taking Computer Graphic, Word processing Program, Spreadsheets Program, and Presentation Program respectively; 57 % of students also learn about Internet usage. However, when the students were asked to do self-evaluation for their computer literacy, surprisingly, they rated themselves only “Fair” or “Poor”. When we asked students about problems regarding to the use of ICT in schools, it seemed that the most common obstacle for them is the lack of enough computers used in schools. In addition, students also reported other problems, including the inadequate usage time schools schedule for computer-based instruction, a lack of teachers who graduated in ICT, a lack of focus on applying ICT into teaching and learning, and the high cost of computer equipment. From the survey, the students felt the use of ICT in education offer several benefits. They thought ICT made learning more interesting and brings enjoyment as well as entertainment. Besides, ICT could help them explore new knowledge much faster. Therefore, most of the students were satisfied and encouraged use of ICT in learning activities of the school. ICT learning programs in schools For the school curriculum, a computer course is offered as an elective course in primary education and as a required course in secondary education. The subjects that the schools offer normally include: Word processing Program (76% of total schools offer this subject choice) Presentation Program (53% of total schools offer this subject choice) Internet (51% of total schools offer this subject choice) Spreadsheets Program (51% of total schools offer this subject choice) Computer Graphic (33% of total schools offer this subject choice) Webpage design (22% of total schools offer this subject choice) Database Programming (16% of total schools offer this subject choice) Computer Language (10% of total schools offer this subject choice) Others (4% of total schools offer this subject choice) Percentage of school using ICT for instruction. When looking into each subject, it has been found that the teacher using ICT in teaching for, 65% in Science, 60% in Social studies Religion and Culture, 59% in Career and Technology,55% in Foreign languages, 54% in Thai language, 50% in Mathematics, 44% in Health and Physical Education, and 43% in Art and Music. Electronic learning media is another type of media that schools purchase and encourage their teaching staffs to produce so as to support learning environment. From the survey, it has been found that 71% of schools have such media for teaching and learning. For more details, these media include CAI, e-Library, e-Book and Courseware which are used by 45%, 17%, 16% and 15% of total schools respectively. Problems and obstacles in integrating ICT in education 1. ICT devices used in teaching and learning are not adequate, and are currently in conditions that have not been fully utilized because of defective performance and obsoleteness. 2. Schools lack software to support teaching/learning, and management. 3. Schools (35% of total) lack teachers who graduated in ICT. 7 4. Teachers are still reluctant to adopt of ICT into their teaching practice. 5. Financial support from national budget, parents and communities is still relatively low. 6. The internet network runs at a low speed, and schools have to confront with a lack of equipment and software to prevent viruses. 7. There are not enough teacher training programs to guide how to integrate ICT into teaching/learning process. 8. ICT for students with disabilities have not been sufficiently developed and supported. Challenging Projects on Integrating ICT in Education The Distance Learning Foundation The Distance Learning Foundation (The Wang Klaikangwon School, Hua Hin Model: Distance Education via Satellite Broadcast and Flexible Learning) : With an initial fund of 50 million baht granted by His Majesty the King, the DLF was established. In cooperation with the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), the TOT Corporation Public Company Limited, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and international organisations under the aegis of the United Nations, the DLF presently broadcasts educational TV programmes via satellite through 14 channels. Among these, 12 channels are devoted for the direct teaching programmes at basic education level. Normal classroom-setups with students present are used in studios to ensure that students in remote schools realise that they access to the study programmes that are of the same quality/ standards and have the same teachers as those in Wang Klaikangwon School, His Majesty the King’s private school in Hua Hin, which serves as the parent school. The other two channels are the international channel broadcast in foreign languages and the community/tertiary education channel. The Ku-band satellite pattern covers China (Kunming), Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. All these neighbors received the Royal Granting of distance learning equipment from His Majesty the King. Interactive E-learning Interactive E-learning is a new form of distance learning. It is another alternative to enhance education in Thailand in order to achieve the following objectives: 1. Solve the shortage of specialist teachers in science, mathematics and English. 2. Develop electronic lessons as a medium for teaching distance-learning with quality and standards to cover the curriculum required by Ministry of Education. 3. Create equal education opportunity and bridge the gap between students in urban and rural. The project has started since 2008 in schools that lack teachers in science, mathematics and English. Process Implementation 1. Specialist teachers prepare effective teaching and learning materials. 2. Such teachers provide live tele-teaching via satellite to the destination schools. 3. In case the students or teachers in those schools have any questions or concerns, they can submit the questions. Then after verified by experts, the answers will be broadcasted to the destination schools. The outcome expected from this project is the solution for Thailand education according to the shortage of teachers both in terms of quantity and quality. In addition, we also hope the project will support students to access advanced and efficient instruction media, and become another step to advance the equal education throughout the country, and compare Thai education system against international benchmarks in the near future. 8 R radio Network Vocational Education Commission has taken part in the development project under the Royal Initiative of H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to launch R-radio Network so as to broadcast a radio program of education and professional development in order to promote professional development of local communities and disadvantaged group in remote areas that have less opportunity of receiving education and extend the distribution of academic knowledge to the general public. The R-radio project has started its operation in 23 network radio stations nationwide since 2007. The target groups are local communities and disadvantaged group in remote areas, general public and vocational students. Objectives 1. Respectfully inform royal duties and projects. 2. Promote professional development to local communities and disadvantaged group in remote areas. 3. Publish the assorted kinds of knowledge ranging from economy, society, ICT, and professional development to local wisdom, national culture and entertainment which can be beneficial for people. 4. Provide teaching and learning for vocational students. 5. Be the communicative channel that acts as a call center for notifying any emergency or accident, and link with other organizations. As a crucial factor in the transformation of Thai society into a knowledge-based society, effective integration of ICT in education can help improve the quality of teaching and learning as well as make lifelong education for all Thai people more promising. In this regard, continuous and concrete actions must be taken to deal with the priority tasks. These include development of materials and other technologies for education and bridging the digital divide between Thailand and other countries as well as between Thai people living in urban areas and those living in rural areas. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Reference ั กระทรวงศึกษาธิการ, รายงานผลการวิจยการประเมินผลการใช้เทคโนโลยีสารสนเทศและการสื่ อสารเพื่อ การศึกษาของกระทรวงศึกษาธิการ, สานักงานปลัดกระทรวงศึกษาธิการ, กรกฎาคม 2549 ั กระทรวงศึกษาธิการ, รายงานวิจยการใช้เทคโนโลยีสารสนเทศและการสื่ อสารต่อการปฎิรูปการเรี ยนรู ้, สานักงานปลัดกระทรวงศึกษาธิการ, ตุลาคม 2550. Ministry of Education, 2007 Education Statistic in Brief, Office of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education,Thailand, September 2008. Regional Guidelines on Teacher Development for Pedagogy-Technology Integration, UNESCO and Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development, 2005.
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