By The Nation
The new quiz is being designed to be relevant to the Thailand 4.0 era and to be conveniently used by teachers and public health officials nationwide so that children with lower IQ scores could be swiftly provided with aid.
This June, a Prathom 1 students nationwide will have their IQ tested, with results released in August, said department director general Dr Boonreung Traireungworawat.
The agency is aiming to raise IQ scores for Thailand’s Grade 1 students to 100 points and beyond, in line with their international peers, said Boonreung. In 2016, IQ testing of 23,641 Prathom 1 pupils nationwide found an average score of 98.23 points, a slight increase from the 94.58 score from the previous testing in 2011.
An estimated 37.61 per cent of Prathom 1 students or about 300,000 children had the IQ scores below the mean of 90 points - beyond the 25 per cent or less recommended by the World Health Organisation, Boonreung said.
Among the low-IQ scorers, 5.8 per cent obtained scores under 70 points. Being seen as having an intellectual disability, they need immediate aid, he said.
The new IQ testing quiz for those aged 2-15 was developed from the old version that had been in use since 2003, said Dr Mathurada Suwannapho, director of Bangkok-based Rajanukul Institute (a well-known hospital for multidisciplinary services for individuals with intellectual disabilities).
The quiz, to be tested over a limited time period, will explore five aspects of intellectual ability: analysis and understanding interrelationships of things; spatial cognition based on visual information and muscle and movement expression; memory processing from seeing and hearing; recognising and understanding meanings and reasons in language, learning, environmental observation and problem solving based on experience; and differentiating and classifying things.
Quiz development is now at the stage of determining the national norms of the 14 age-based groups among Thai children aged 2-15. Each group will have 5,460 subjects, she said. The study will take three years, running from this year until 2020 and the quiz is expected to be ready for all Thai children that year.
Mathurada also recommended that parents consider adopting techniques that could help boost their children’s Intelligence Quotient in the first three years of life. They include teaching kids to express their imagination via picture books and story books, getting them to point out things while strolling with their parent, getting them to think about interrelationships between things by cooking simple meals together, and exercising their hand-eye coordination by touching and picking up things.