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Students raise concerns with govt

Jan 12. 2013
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By Chuleeporn Aramnet
The Nation

To mark Children's Day, some 200 Student Council representatives yesterday expressed issues of concern and possible solutions to Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana, while a Suan Dusit Poll revealed children's suggestions to the government to fight c


The council’s five-point letter included a call for implementation of an international curriculum, for small children to be taught basics so that their foundation was solid for the next level of education and for the use of various teaching materials, electronic textbooks, and tablet computers for all students. They also urged a spirit of public service from kindergarten level, with family participation, teaching and learning that emphasises analytical thinking and use of technology, teachers who graduated in the fields they teach, and special education covering vocational skills for special-needs children. They also recommended establishing an institute for special-needs children and the recruitment of more specialist teachers. Lastly, the council called for teaching and learning that focused on practice more than theory and for the curricula to be in line with that of other Asean countries.
Saying he would also forward the demands to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Phongthep said Thai children still had problems with English, hence he would ask the Basic Education Commission to improve teaching and learning so that children can learn to speak before reading and writing. He also wanted schools to host more English promotion activities such as a “Speak English” Day once a week. He urged the council to promote this along with the promotion of democracy in school. 
Mathayom 5 student Thida Muangkaew from the Northern School for the Blind also wanted the government to give more university seats to physically challenged students, as disabled people were also a part of society and could help develop the country. Mathayom 4 student Pannipa Maskhao from Yasothon Pittayakhom School wanted the government to develop teachers emphasising analytical skills and called for promotion of learning about Asean countries and languages.
A Suan Dusit Poll was conducted on 1,409 students from kindergarten, primary and secondary levels from January 5-11 for solutions to corruption/cheating and disunity.
About 80 per cent of kindergarteners said the solution to cheating was to tell friends/parents not to cheat, followed by alerting teachers/police about cheating (11.85 per cent) and punishing the cheats by jailing/sanction/suspending gold star (7.53 per cent). The primary kids (47.33 per cent) voted to tell themselves not to cheat despite having an opportunity, followed by not socialising with cheats (39.18 per cent) and warning cheats against wrongdoing (13.49 per cent). The secondary students voted for honest, praising good guys and acting against bad guys at 48.07 per cent, followed by alerting police to punish wrongdoers (32.60 per cent) and warning cheats about wrongdoings (19.33 per cent).
About 82 per cent of kindergarteners voted for everyone to love each other, 10.51 per cent want rational talks/no fighting and 7.01 want to be/play together. The primary students voted for talking calmly and rationally without violence at 49.10 per cent following telling others to love and unite at 35.46 per cent and being kind, discipline and obeying law at 15.44 per cent. The secondary students voted for talking the issue over and forgiving each other at 41.84 per cent followed by installing love and unity from family level at 40.31 per cent and working together without discrimination at 17.85 per cent.

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