Education Ministry to Draft New Laws for 15 Years of Free Education

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The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) ordered the Education Ministry yesterday to draft a new law that would ensure Thai children received 15 years of free education. The NCPO wants the law to go into effect within the next six months.

Dapong Ratanasuwan, Education Minister, said he will draft a new law and amend current related laws accordingly. The goal is to ensure that the 15-year education program would stay in effect when future governments step in.

The NCPO says it discussed and amended the order’s details, so the order does not violate the charter.

The 15-year education scheme was first passed by the Cabinet in 2009, but has always been implemented on an annual basis. The new order will boost the public’s confidence that the free education would continue.

The Office of Basic Education Commission has also been ordered to analyze schooling expenses to determine which ones were unnecessary for parents to pay, including field trips.

Chinnaworn Boonyakiat, the former Education Minister, said he would like to see the government and the NCPO focus on education quality and the country’s ability to compete with other Asean countries.

Mr. Chinnaworn said those who hold bachelor’s degrees should have virtues and good English skills. Teachers should have a high professional standard, and educational institutions should offer a quality education that’s on par with other Asean countries.

With the Cabinet’s approval, the Education Ministry will seek funding for textbooks, tuition, school uniforms, learning equipment and enriching activities for students.

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