Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan has asked all school directors to be more flexible about the teaching process during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the ministry is considering several measures to ensure minimal disruption to students’ education.
Among the measures being considered by the ministry is allowing all students to move up a grade without having to go through final examinations, as the pandemic has made it very difficult for some schools to comply with the government’s standardised testing requirements.
“I’ve asked school directors to be as flexible as possible. Students should be allowed to study via the platforms they want,” he said.
“I’ve also talked to some students who said they prefer online learning, as it enables them to organise their time better, while allowing them to receive more direct input from their teachers.”
The plan was revealed after Mr Nataphol inspected Wat Rangbua and Wat Nuannoradit schools in Thon Buri district on the first day of the new school term, to ensure all guidelines on school reopenings stipulated by the Education Ministry were being followed.
“Based on my observations, [the schools] have done a good job of following our guidelines, as they now have the experience from last year,” Mr Nataphol said.
“However, I’ve asked them not to let their guard down, as the number of new infections is still high in some areas.”
According to the ministry’s guidelines, schools must space out desks and fit them with plastic dividers, install temperature checkpoints and implement social distancing in cafeterias. The number of students per class is also limited to 25.
Teachers must take their students’ temperatures every morning and log the readings on a health report. Anyone found to have a temperature equal to, or higher than 37.5C must be sent home immediately.
The ministry is also working to revamp the Basic Education Core Curriculum to focus more on developing the students’ analytical skills and career aspirations, Mr Nataphol added.
“The new core curriculum will be rolled out by 2022, and from then on, career development sessions will be held in kindergartens, primary and high schools,” he said, adding the sessions will help students adapt to the demands of the 21st century.