Waves of both good and bad news have swept through the Thai education world this month alone. These realities reflect not only the inequitable structure of our national education policy but also the lack of attention authorities have paid to the field.
First the bad news. The latest survey by the Mental Health Department reveals that the average intelligence quotient (IQ) of Thai students aged six to 15 is 98.59, a little lower than the world's median average of 100. Children in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan have, on average, a higher IQ.
Frankly speaking, this simply means that Thai students are of lower intellectual capability at best, and even less capable than their peers in those countries at worst.
By region, students in the Northeast had the lowest average scores, with 95.99. In the South, students did a bit better, scoring 96.85. On average, Northern students' scores were 100.11 while students in the Central region achieved 101.29. Students in Bangkok averaged 104.5.
Of 72,780 Thai students surveyed, 6.5 per cent qualified as having intellectual disabilities, because their IQs were lower than 70.
The second piece of bad news came on Monday, when 200 students rallied in front of the Faculty of Mass Communication at the prestigious Chiang Mai University, demanding that the faculty's dean step down following her alleged poor management. Not long before that, a similar protest occurred at the same university's Faculty of Education, resulting in the removal of its faculty dean.
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