By The Sunday Nation
“This will be a true education reform measure that can boost students’ O-NET scores visibly in five years,” Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said yesterday, adding that the idea would also be developed into a smartphone application in future.
He said the Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) had been instructed to create the E-Testing Bank.
Teerakiat was speaking as he and Samphan Phanphruk, director of the National Institute of Educational Testing Service (NIETS), along with Obec executives inspected an O-NET exam site at Bangkok’s Rachawinij (Elementary) School.
He praised NIETS for best preparing the exams so that students, each given a different exam paper version from those sitting next to them, could not cheat and said this could be a model for government recruitment exams.
This was also the first year that Prathom 6 pupils must take the 20-per-cent subjective essay test in Thai language, which is designed to assess if pupils can write answers and read for main ideas, Teerakiat said. He added that the ratio would rise to 30 per cent in future. This year, NIETS trained 2,000 teachers to check the essay test answer sheets, he added.
This O-NET test round was also the first time that the E-Testing system, implemented in a similar manner to a Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test, was conducted for Mathayom 3 level on a pilot basis.
A total of 648 students volunteered to do the exam at four centres – Burapha University, Naresuan University, Khon Kaen University and NIETS head office in Bangkok.
Samphan said the O-NET test for Prathom 6 level was held yesterday at 186 exam centres covering 4,182 exam sites and 807,087 applicants. The O-NET test for Mathayom 3 level was held yesterday and today at 227 exam centres covering 4,329 exam sites and 688,979 applicants. The O-NET test for Mathayom 6 level will be held on February 18 and 19 at 18 exam centres covering 405 exam sites and 394,343 applicants.
Samphan said that NIETS was willing to produce more subjective essay test papers for all subjects – provided it was given enough funding, time and manpower to produce questions and check answers.