The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation says universities will open for the next term on 14th June 2021, even though it can’t be sure whether the COVID-19 outbreak will ease by then.
Duangrit Benjathikul Chairungruang, ministry spokesperson, said it has designated 14th June for the opening of the next semester.
Lessons are to be conducted online and on-site, depending on the COVID-19 situation at various locations where universities are located, Mr Chairungruang said.
A higher education commission is expected to set online education standards to maintain a consistent education quality across the board.
However, vaccination is a key factor in expediting on-site education, Mr Chairungruang said. If teachers and students are vaccinated before the next semester, the education sector and society as a whole will be safe, he said.
Students need to be vaccinated as they have many social activities and gatherings, Mr Chairungruang said.
Meanwhile, academics have voiced concern over young children watching online lessons starting at three years old.
Dr Pairoj Sainuam, of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, said surveys showed that parents are allowing children to get connected to the internet from the age of three, younger than in the past.
He said much of the online content which the children encounter does not fully enhance creative development.
Dr Sainuam said a survey among 945 primary and secondary school students found that many secondary school students spend 6-8 hours online, 61% of which on online education and the rest social and entertainment platforms.
The foundation will improve online media, according to the survey, and push children to develop literacy through quality sources.
Moreover, they will be trained to have the necessary skills, including creativity, critical thinking, information literacy and working skills, according to the survey.
Yubol Benjarongkij, Dean of Graduate School of Communication Arts and Management Innovation of National Institute of Development Administration, said 77% of parents allow their children to go online for one to three hours per day, 16% allow four to six hours, and 11% allow more than seven hours.
He said these are the main reasons why children these days develop a quick temper, myopia, and attention deficit disorder.