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Chula lecturer gives PM’s Education appointees average grades

Jul 11. 2019
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By The Nation

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s choice of Cabinet members for educational affairs got only average grades from a prominent educator.

“Out of 10 points, I will give them 5.5,” Chulalongkorn University lecturer Sompong Jitradub said on Thursday of the new ministers in charge of the Education Ministry and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.

Prayut has named Phalang Pracharat Party deputy leader Nataphol Teepsuwan as education minister. Bhumjaithai Party deputy secretary-general Kanokwan Vilawan and Democrat Party deputy leader Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich are the deputy education ministers. Suvit Maesincee, a deputy leader of Phalang Pracharat Party, is the minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.

“They are acceptable because they have come from an election and represent various fields,” Sompong said.

He acknowledged Nataphol as a representative of the private sector, Kanokwan as the representative of the local sector, Kalaya as the representative of the science sector, and Suvit as the representative of the innovation sector.

Sompong said these Cabinet members have not been outstanding in terms of their educational policies so far.

“Their parties have had different educational policies. So, we don’t know in which direction they will take Thai education,” he said.

Sompong said he was worried that the country’s educational sector will be more focused on producing graduates for the labour market, further widening inequalities.

The Chula educator urged all the Cabinet members for educational affairs to work together so as to achieve synergy and improve Thai education.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Nathapol thanked Prayut for giving him the post of education minister.

“Entrusted by the prime minister, I will work to my fullest abilities. I will use all my experience in solving the country's educational problems and drive the Education Ministry’s policies,” he said.

The new education minister urged everyone, including parents and students, to join efforts towards improving education in the country.

“Let’s work together and move forward together,” Nataphol said.

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