Surin Pitsuwan, former Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, has expressed his concerns over Thailand’s education system, saying it has “not been very effective” despite a large amount of money the government has put into the sector with little success so far.
Pitsuwan, himself a Thai national, said according to the National News Bureau of Thailand, that
“Thai people do not realise that the problem exists in the country’s education and those who do choose to ignore it as they think it is none of their business.”
He added that “nobody can confirm that Thailand is on the right path to improving its educational system. If the problem does not get fixed, it will be terrifying for the country as a whole.”
“There has been a large amount of budget put into the country’s education, only behind Germany, but the result is disappointing,” Pitsuwan said.
Those who are less educated would have less access to the funds of the education budget, causing the country to see continuous lack of improvement, communication and participation by the people, Pitsuwan criticised.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s new education minister Jaturon Chaisaeng said that the ministry has introduced new policies to further develop Thailand’s education quality and university rankings.
Pitsuwan, who has no official function in Thai politics, has been ASEAN Secretary-General from 2008 until January 1, 2013, encouraged all agencies “to prepare themselves in terms of education and technology to increase the quality of people before Thailand enters the ASEAN Community.”
After his ASEAN term, Pitsuwan took on a role in the new “Future Innovative Thailand Institute“, or FIT, set up by the Thai Democrat Party of which Pitsuwan is a member.
He also lectures regularly at universities in the US and Europe. It is expected that he will play a distinctive role in the next Thai elections in 2015. In January 2013, he said that he would be ready to take over the country’s education ministry “if given the chance.”