National Education Act of B.E.2542 (1999)
National Education Act : An Education Reform Act for Further Development of the Thai People
National Education Act of B.E. 2542 (1999)
Chapter 1 General Provisions: Objectives and Principles
Chapter 2 Educational Rights and Duties
Chapter 3 Educational System
Chapter 4 National Education Guidelines
Chapter 5 Educational Administration and Management
Part 1 Educational Administration and Management by the State
Part 2 Educational Administration and Management by Local Administration Organizations
Part 3 Educational Administration and Management by the Private Sector
Chapter 6 Educational Standards and Quality Assurance
Chapter 7 Teachers, Faculty Staff and Educational Personnel
Chapter 8 Resources and Investment for Education
Chapter 9 Technologies for Education
Next Steps : Reform of Education in Thailand
National Education Act
An Education Reform Act for Future
Development of the Thai People
The economic, political, cultural and social crisis has caused all concerned to realize the expediency for the reform of Thai education. The urgently needed reform will undoubtedly redeem the country from the downward spiral, so that Thailand will arise in the immediate future as a nation of wealth, stability and dignity, capable of competing with others in this age of globalization.
Enjoying the status of a central body in charge of formulating policy and plan for national education, the Office of the National Education Commission (ONEC), Prime Minister's Office, has made efforts to bring about genuine and effective education reform. Initial measures were therefore taken to conduct documentary research on successful experiences of 12 countries as well as an analysis of provisions on education included in the constitutions of different countries. The ONEC also prepared essential legal provisions on education for consideration of the Constitution Drafting Council with the result that the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand of 1997 has had the privilege of having unprecedented provisions on education.
From August 1997, in co-operation with scholars, academics and those responsible for education, the ONEC drafted the National Education Bill in accord with the requirement of section 81 of the Constitution stipulating that "...there shall be a national education law ..."
The drafting of the National Education Act was made on a number of significant bases, notably:
1. Basis of academic information
With most gratifying collaboration of academics, researchers, faculty staff and legal specialists, the ONEC conducted a detailed research on 42 major issues on education. It also played and instrumental role in synthesizing concepts and research results including relevant information from various sources, in particular documentary research based on sources available within the country and abroad.
2. Scrutiny by scholars
At all drafting stages, the Bill was considered, examined, amended and scrutinized by specialists on education, and experts in economic, social and legal affairs, the first step being the scrutiny by the Educational Legislation Drafting Committee under the chairmanship of Professor Dr.Sippanondha Ketudat, Chairman of the National Economic and Social Development Board. The Bill was subsequently submitted to the National Education Commission, Council of Ministers, Juridical Council, House of Representatives and Senate respectively. The House of Representatives established a 45-member Extraordinary Committee under the chairmanship of Mr.Abhisit Vejjajiva, Minister to the Prime Minister's Office. Having been approved by the House Extraordinary Committee, the Bill was accordingly transmitted to the Senate, which appointed a 30-member panel of its own, under the chairmanship of Professor Dr.Kasem Suwanagul, to scrutinize the Bill. It was gratifying to note that members of all committees and panels devoted so much time and efforts to ensure that the Bill benefited from their vision, wisdom and knowledge to the fullest extent possible.
3. Participation of all stakeholders
Meetings, seminars and public hearings were organized on a continuous basis for the benefit of government offices, educational institutions, private sector and general public both in Bangkok and in the provinces. A total of 254,318 persons participated in these activities. At the House Committee stage, a total of 8 public hearings in all regions were conducted in order to listen to opinions of 38,942 persons-both individuals and representatives of various organizations.
4. Public relations
Services of a variety of media – radio, television, newspapers and publications – were availed of in order to disseminate information on the Bill to teachers, educational administrators, parents, students and general public.
5. Public polls
The ONEC, in collaboration with the Suan Disit and ABAC Polls, sounded public opinions on major issues on education in order to arrive at conclusions and consensus. During the polls, conducted between January 1997 and October 1998, a total of 105,376 persons provided their views and relevant recommendations. In other words, the public was given maximal opportunities to voice its opinion; in fact almost to the same extent as those given for the drafting of the Constitution itself.
On July 1, 1999, the Bill received the final approval of the House of Representatives. Altogether a period of one year and 11 months was devoted to its drafting. On August 14 of the same year, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej graciously granted His Royal assent for the promulgation of the National Education Act of B.E. 2542 (1999), which was subsequently published on August 19, 1999 in the Government Gazette.
National Education Act of B.E. 2542 (1999)
BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ REX
Enacted on the 14th Day of August B.E. 2542;
Being the 54th Year of the Present Reign.
Phrabat Somdet Phra Paramintharamaha Bhumibol Adulyadej is graciously pleased to proclaim that the promulgation of a National Education Act is deemed necessary.
This Act includes certain provisions having implications on restriction of a person's rights and liberties. Sections 29 and 50 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand authorize such restriction by virtue of the provisions of specific laws.
His Majesty, therefore, granted His Royal assent for the promulgation of the National Education Act in accord with the recommendation and consent of the National Assembly as follows :
This Act shall be called the "National Education Act of B.E.2542"
This Act shall be in force as of the day after its promulgation in the Government Gazette.
All existing statutory provisions, rules, regulations, codes of practice, announcements, and orders relating to those promulgated in this Act or contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions in this
Act shall be annulled and henceforth replaced by those in this Act.
In this Act,
"Education" means the learning process for personal and social development
through imparting of knowledge; practice; training; transmission of culture;
enhancement of academic progress; building a body of knowledge by creating
a learning environment and learning society and the availability of factors
conducive to continuous lifelong learning.
"Basic education" means education provided before the level of higher education.
"Lifelong education" means education resulting from integration of
formal, non-formal and informal education so as to create ability for continuous
lifelong development of quality of life.
"Educational institutions" means early childhood development institutions,
schools, learning centres, colleges, institutes, universities, educational
agencies or other state or private bodies with powers and duties or aims
of providing education.
"Basic education institutions" means institutions providing basic education.
"Educational standards" means specifications of educational characteristics,
quality desired and standards required of all educational institutions.
They serve as means for equivalency for purposes of enhancement and monitoring,
checking, evaluation and quality assurance in the field of education.
"Internal quality assurance" means assessment and monitoring of the
educational quality and standards of the institutions from within. Such
assessment and monitoring are carried out by personnel of the institutions
concerned or by parent bodies with jurisdiction over these institutions.
"External quality assurance" means assessment and monitoring of the
educational quality and standards of the institutions from outside. Such
assessment and monitoring are carried out by the Office for National Education
Standards and Quality Assessment or by persons or external agencies certified
by the Office. Such measures ensure the quality desired and further development
of educational quality and standards of these institutions.
"Instructors" means teachers and faculty staff of educational institutions at different levels.
"Teachers" means professional personnel with major responsibilities
for learning and teaching and encouragement of learning among learners
through various methods in both state and private educational institutions.
"Faculty staff" means personnel with major responsibilities for teaching
and research in state and private educational institutions at degree level.
"Educational institution administrators" means professional personnel
responsible for administering each state and private educational institution.
"Educational administrators" means professional personnel responsible
for educational administration outside educational institutions. Their
responsibilities cover the level of educational service area and above.
"Educational personnel" means educational institution administrators,
educational administrators as well as supporting personnel providing services
or whose responsibilities relate to teaching-learning process, supervision,
and educational administration in the different institutions.
"Ministry" means the Ministry of Education, Religion and Culture.
"Minister" means the Minister who shall oversee the application of this Act.
The Minister of Education, Religion and Culture shall oversee
the application of this Act and shall be authorized to formulate ministerial
rules, regulations and announcements related to its application.
Following their proclamation in the Government Gazette, the ministerial
rules, regulations, and announcements shall enter into force.
Objectives and Principles
Education shall aim at the full development of the Thai
people in all aspects: physical and mental health; intellect; knowledge;
morality; integrity; and desirable way of life so as to be able to live
happily with other people.
The learning process shall aim at inculcating sound awareness
of politics; democratic system of government under a constitutional monarchy;
ability to protect and promote their rights, responsibilities, freedom,
respect of the rule of law, equality, and human dignity; pride in Thai
identity; ability to protect public and national interests; promotion of
religion, art, national culture, sports, local wisdom, Thai wisdom and
universal knowledge; inculcating ability to preserve natural resources
and the environment; ability to earn a living; self-reliance; creativity;
acquiring thirst for knowledge and capability of self-learning on a continuous basis.
Educational provision shall be based on the following principles:
(1) Lifelong education for all;
(2) All segments of society participating in the provision of education;
(3) Continuous development of the bodies of knowledge and learning processes.
In organizing the system, structure, and process of education,
the following principles shall be observed:
(1) Unity in policy and diversity in implementation;
(2) Decentralization of authority to educational service areas, educational
institutions and local administration organizations;
(3) Setting of educational standards and implementing system of quality
assurance for all levels and all types of education;
(4) Raising the professional standards of teachers, faculty staff
and educational personnel, who shall be developed on a continuous basis;
(5) Mobilization of resources from different sources for provision of education;
(6) Partnerships with individuals, families, communities, community
organizations, local administration organizations, private persons, private
organizations, professional bodies, religious institutions, enterprises,
and other social institutions.
Educational Rights and Duties
In the provision of education, all individuals shall have
equal rights and opportunities to receive basic education provided by the
State for the duration of at least 12 years. Such education, provided on
a nationwide basis, shall be of quality and free of charge.
Persons with physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, social, communication
and learning deficiencies; those with physical disabilities; or the cripples;
or those unable to support themselves; or those destitute or disadvantaged;
shall have the rights and opportunities to receive basic education specially provided.
Education for the disabled in the second paragraph shall be provided
free of charge at birth or at first diagnosis. These persons shall have
the right to access the facilities, media, services and other forms of
educational aid in conformity with the criteria and procedures stipulated
in the ministerial regulations.
Education for specially gifted persons shall be provided in appropriate
forms in accord with their competencies.
Parents or guardians shall arrange for their children
or those under their care to receive compulsory education as provided by
section 17 and as provided by relevant laws, as well as further education
according to the families' capabilities.
Other than the State, private persons and local administration
organizations, individuals, families, community organizations, private
organizations, professional bodies, religious institutions, enterprises
and other social institutions shall have the right to provide basic education
as prescribed in the ministerial regulations.
Parents or guardians shall be entitled to the following benefits:
(1) State support for knowledge and competencies in bringing up and
providing education for their children or those under their care;
(2) State grants for the provision of basic education by the families
for the children or those under their care as provided by the law;
(3) Tax rebates or exemptions for educational expenditures as provided by the law.
Individuals, families, communities, community organizations,
private organizations, professional bodies, enterprises and other social
institutions, which support or provide basic education, shall be entitled
to the following benefits as appropriate:
(1) State support for knowledge and competencies in bringing up those
under their care;
(2) State support for the provision of basic education as provided by the law;
(3) Tax rebates or exemptions for educational expenditures as provided by the law.
There shall be three types of education: formal, non-formal, and informal.
(1) Formal education shall specify the aims, methods, curricula,
duration, assessment, and evaluation conditional to its completion.
(2) Non-formal education shall have flexibility in determining the
aims, modalities, management procedures, duration, assessment and evaluation
conditional to its completion. The contents and curricula for non-formal
education shall be appropriate, respond to the requirements, and meet the
needs of individual groups of learners.
(3) Informal education shall enable learners to learn by themselves
according to their interests, potentialities, readiness and opportunities
available from persons, society, environment, media, or other sources of knowledge.
Educational institutions are authorized to provide any one or all
of the three types of education.
Credits accumulated by learners shall be transferable within the
same type or between different types of education, regardless whether the
credits have been accumulated from the same or from different educational
institutions, including learning from non-formal or informal education,
vocational training, or from work experience.
Formal education is divided into two levels: basic education
and higher education.
Basic education is that provided for the 12 years before higher education.
Differentiation of the levels and types of basic education shall be as
prescribed in the ministerial regulations.
Higher education is divided into two levels: lower-than-degree level
and degree level.
Differentiation or equivalence of the various levels of non-formal
or informal education shall be as stipulated in the ministerial regulations.
Compulsory education shall be for nine years, requiring
children aged seven to enrol in basic education institutions until the
age of 16 with the exception of those who have already completed grade
9. Criteria and methods of calculating children's age shall be as stipulated
in the ministerial regulations.
Early childhood and basic education shall be provided
in the following institutions:
(1) Early childhood development institutions, namely: child care
centres; child development centres; pre-school child development centres
of religious institutions; initial care centres for disabled children or
those with special needs, or early childhood development centres under
(2) Schools, namely: state schools, private schools, and those under
jurisdiction of Buddhist, or other religious institutions.
(3) Learning centres, namely: those organized by non-formal education
agencies, individuals, families, communities, community organizations,
local administration organizations, private organizations, professional
bodies,religious institutions, enterprises, hospitals, medical institutions,
welfare institutes, and other social institutions.
Higher education shall be provided in universities, institutes,
colleges or those under other names in accord with the laws on higher education
institutions, those on the establishment of such institutions and other
Vocational education and occupational training shall be
provided in educational institutions belonging to the State or the private
sector, enterprises, or those organized through co-operation of educational
institutions and enterprises, in accord with the Vocational Education Act
and relevant laws.
Ministries, bureaus, departments, state enterprises, and
other state agencies shall be authorized to provide specialized education
in accord with their needs and expertise, bearing in mind the national
education policy and standard. The criteria, methods, and conditions as
stipulated in the ministerial regulations shall be observed.
National Education Guidelines
Education shall be based on the principle that all learners
are capable of learning and self-development, and are regarded as being
most important. The teaching-learning process shall aim at enabling the
learners to develop themselves at their own pace and to the best of their potentiality.
Education through formal, non-formal, and informal approaches
shall give emphases to knowledge, morality, learning process, and integration
of the following, depending on the appropriateness of each level of education:
(1) Knowledge about oneself and the relationship between oneself
and society, namely: family, community, nation, and world community; as
well as knowledge about the historical development of the Thai society
and matters relating to politics and democratic system of government under
a constitutional monarchy;
(2) Scientific and technological knowledge and skills, as well as
knowledge, understanding and experience in management, conservation, and
utilization of natural resources and the environment in a balanced and
(3) Knowledge about religion, art, culture, sports, Thai wisdom,
and the application of wisdom;
(4) Knowledge and skills in mathematics and languages, with emphasis
on proper use of the Thai language;
(5) Knowledge and skills in pursuing one's career and capability
of leading a happy life.
In organizing the learning process, educational institutions
and agencies concerned shall:
(1) provide substance and arrange activities in line with the learners'
interests and aptitudes, bearing in mind individual differences;
(2) provide training in thinking process, management, how to face
various situations and application of knowledge for obviating and solving problems;
(3) organize activities for learners to draw from authentic experience;
drill in practical work for complete mastery; enable learners to think
critically and acquire reading habit and continuous thirst for knowledge;
(4) achieve, in all subjects, a balanced integration of subject matter,
integrity, values, and desirable attributes;
(5) enable instructors to create the ambiance, environment, instructional
media and facilities for learners to learn and be all-round persons, able
to benefit from research as part of the learning process. In so doing,
both learners and teachers may learn together from different types of teaching-learning
media and other sources of knowledge;
(6) enable individuals to learn at all times and in all places. Co-operation
with parents, guardians, and all parties concerned in the community shall
be sought to develop jointly the learners in accord with their potentiality.
The State shall promote the running and establishment,
in sufficient number and with efficient functioning, of all types of lifelong
learning sources, namely : public libraries, museums, art galleries, zoological
gardens, public parks, botanical gardens, science and technology parks,
sport and recreation centres, data bases, and other sources of learning.
Educational institutions shall assess learners' performance
through observation of their development; personal conduct; learning behaviour;
participation in activities and results of the tests accompanying the teaching-learning
process commensurate with the different levels and types of education.
Educational institutions shall use a variety of methods for providing
opportunities for further education and shall also take into consideration
results of the assessment of the learners' performance referred to in the
The Basic Education Commission shall prescribe core curricula
for basic education for purposes of preserving Thai identity, good citizenship,
desirable way of life, livelihood, as well as for further education.
In accord with the objectives in the first paragraph, basic education
institutions shall be responsible for prescribing curricular substance
relating to needs of the community and the society, local wisdom and attributes
of desirable members of the family, community, society, and nation.
Curricula at all levels of education and those for the
persons referred to in the second, third, and fourth paragraphs
of section 10 shall be diversified and commensurate with each level, with
the aim of improving the quality of life suitable for each individual's
age and potentiality.
The substance of the curricula, both academic and professional, shall
aim at human development with desirable balance regarding knowledge, critical
thinking, capability, virtue and social responsibility.
Apart from the characteristics referred to in the first and
second paragraphs, higher education curricula shall emphasize academic
development, with priority given to higher professions and research for
development of the bodies of knowledge and society.
Educational institutions in co-operation with individuals,
families, communities, community organizations, local administration organizations,
private persons, private organizations, professional bodies, religious
institutions, enterprises and other social institutions shall contribute
to strengthening the communities by encouraging learning in the communities
themselves. Thus the communities will be capable of providing education
and training; searching for knowledge, data and information; and able to
benefit from local wisdom and other sources of learning for community development
in keeping with their requirements and needs; and identification of ways
of promoting exchanges of development experience among communities.
Educational institutions shall develop effective learning
processes. In so doing, they shall also encourage instructors to carry
out research for developing suitable learning for learners at different
levels of education.
Educational Administration and Management
Educational Administration and Management by the State
The Ministry shall have the powers and duties for overseeing
all levels and all types of education, religion, art and culture; formulation
of education policies, plans and standards; mobilization of resources for
education, religion, art and culture; as well as monitoring and evaluation
of results in the fields of education, religion, art, and culture.
The Ministry shall have four main pillars in the form
of groups of individuals called a "council" or a "commission" as the case
may be. These are: National Council for Education, Religion and Culture;
Commission for Basic Education; Commission for Higher Education; and Commission
for Religion and Culture. They shall be responsible for providing views
or advice to the Minister or the Council of Ministers and shall have other
powers and duties as provided by the law.
The National Council for Education, Religion and Culture
shall be responsible for proposing national education policies, plans and
standards; policies and plans for religious, artistic and cultural affairs;
mobilization of resources; evaluation of provision of education; assessment
of management of religious, artistic and cultural affairs; as well as scrutinizing
various laws and ministerial regulations as stipulated in this Act.
The National Council for Education, Religion and Culture shall be
comprised of the Minister as Chairman; ex officio members from the various
agencies concerned; representatives of private, local administration, professional
organizations; and scholars whose total number shall not be less than that
of all other categories combined.
The secretariat of the National Council for Education, Religion and
Culture shall be a legal entity with its secretary-general serving as member
The number of members of the National Council, their qualifications,
criteria, nomination procedure, selection method, term and termination
of office shall be as prescribed by the law.
The Commission for Basic Education shall be responsible
for proposing policies, development plans, standards and core curricula
for basic education in line with the National Scheme for Education, Religion,
Art and Culture; mobilization of resources; monitoring; inspection; and
evaluation of the provision of basic education.
The Commission for Higher Education shall be responsible for proposing
policies, development plans and standards for higher education in line
with the National Scheme of Education, Religion, Art and Culture; mobilization
of resources; monitoring; inspection; and evaluation of the provision of
higher education, taking into consideration academic freedom and excellence
of degree-level institutions in accord with the laws on the establishment
of such institutions and other relevant laws.
The Commission on Religion and Culture shall be responsible for proposing
policies and development plans for religion, art and culture in accord
with the National Scheme for Education, Religion, Art and Culture; mobilization
of resources; monitoring; inspection; and evaluation of work in the fields
of religion, art and culture.
The Commissions referred to in section 33 shall
be comprised of: ex officio members from various agencies concerned; representatives
of private, local administration, professional organizations; and scholars
whose total number shall not be less than that of all other categories combined.
The number of members of the Commissions, their qualifications, criteria,
nomination procedure, method of selecting chairpersons and members, term
and termination of office of each Commission shall be as provided by the
law with due consideration to different functions under the responsibilities
of each Commission.
The secretariats of the Commissions referred to in section 33 shall
be legal entities and the secretary-general of each commission shall serve
as member and secretary of the Commission.
The state educational institutions providing education
at the degree level shall be legal entities and enjoy the status of government
or state-supervised agencies with the exception of those providing specialized
education referred to in section 21.
The above institutions shall enjoy autonomy; be able to develop their
own system of administration and management; have flexibility, academic
freedom and be under supervision of the councils of the institutions in
accord with the foundation acts of the respective institutions.
The administration and management of basic education and
higher education at lower-than-degree level shall be based on the educational
service areas, taking into consideration the number of educational institutions
and the number of population as the main criteria as well as other appropriate conditions.
The Minister, on the advice of the National Council for Education,
Religion and Culture, shall be authorized to announce designation of educational
service areas in the Government Gazette.
In each educational service area, there shall be an Area
Committee for Education, Religion and Culture and its Office. The Area
Committee and its Office shall have the powers and duties for overseeing
educational institutions at the basic and lower-than-degree levels; establishment,
dissolution, amalgamation or discontinuance of educational institutions;
promotion and support for private educational institutions in the educational
service area; promotion and support for local administration organizations
so as to be able to provide education in accord with the educational policies
and standards; promotion and support for education provided by individuals,
families, community organizations, private organizations, professional
bodies, religious institutions, enterprises and other social institutions
offering a variety of training; including overseeing the units responsible
for religious, artistic and cultural affairs in the area.
The Area Committee for Education, Religion and Culture shall be comprised
of representatives of community, private, and local administration organizations;
teacher associations; educational administrator associations; parent-teacher
associations; religious leaders; and scholars in education, religion, art and culture.
The number of the committee members, their qualifications, criteria,
nomination procedure, selection of the chairperson and members, term and
termination of office shall be as stipulated in the ministerial regulations.
The director of the Office for Education, Religion and Culture of
the educational service area shall serve as member and secretary of the
Committee for Education, Religion and Culture of the area.
The Ministry shall decentralize powers in educational
administration and management regarding academic matters, budget, personnel
and general affairs administration directly to the Committees and Offices
for Education, Religion and Culture of the educational service areas and
the educational institutions in the areas.
Criteria and procedure for the decentralization shall be as stipulated
in the ministerial regulations.
In each institution providing basic education and that
at lower-than-degree level, there shall be a board supervising and supporting
the management of the institution. The board shall be comprised of representatives
of parents; those of teachers, community and local administration organizations,
alumni of the institution and scholars.
The number of board members, their qualifications, criteria, nomination
procedure, selection of chairperson and members of the board, term and
termination of office shall be as stipulated in the ministerial regulations.
The director of the educational institution shall serve as member
and secretary of its board.
Provisions in this section shall not be applicable to the educational
institutions referred to in section 18 (1) and (3).
Educational Administration and Management by Local Administration Organizations
Local administration organizations shall have the right
to provide education at any or all levels of education in accord with readiness,
suitability and requirements of the local areas.
The Ministry shall prescribe the criteria and procedure
for assessing the readiness of the local administration organizations to
provide education. The Ministry shall be responsible for co-ordination
and promotion of the local administration organizations' capability to
provide education in line with the policies and standards required. It
shall also advise on the budgetary allocations for education provided by
local administration organizations.
Educational Administration and Management by the Private Sector
The administration and management of education by the
private sector shall enjoy independence with the State being responsible
for overseeing, monitoring, and assessing educational quality and standards.
Private educational institutions shall follow the same rules for assessment
of educational quality and standards as those for state educational institutions.
Private education institutions referred to in section
18 (2) shall be legal entities and shall establish their own boards comprising
private education administrators; authorized persons; representatives of
parents; those of community organizations; those of teachers and alumni;
The number of board members, their qualifications, criteria, nomination
procedure, selection of chairperson and members, term and termination of
office shall be as stipulated in the ministerial regulations.
Private education institutions shall be authorized to
provide education at all levels and of all types as stipulated by the law.
Clear-cut policies and measures shall be defined by the State regarding
participation of the private sector in the provision of education.
In formulating policies and implementing plans of education provided
by the State, educational service areas or local administration organizations,
due consideration shall be given to effects on provision of private education.
The Minister or the Area Committees for Education, Religion, and Culture
or the local administration organizations shall accordingly take into account
views of the private sector and the public.
Private institutions providing education at degree level shall be
allowed to function with freedom, develop their own system of administration
and management, flexibility, and academic freedom and shall be under supervision
of their own council in accord with the Act on Private Higher Education Institutions.
The State shall provide support in terms of grants, tax
rebates or exemptions and other benefits to private education institutions
as appropriate. It shall also provide academic support to private education
institutions to reach the standards required and attain self-reliance.
Educational Standards and Quality Assurance
There shall be a system of educational quality assurance
to ensure improvement of educational quality and standards at all levels.
Such a system shall be comprised of both internal and external quality assurance.
The system, criteria, and methods for quality assurance shall be
as stipulated in the ministerial regulations.
Parent organizations with jurisdiction over educational
institutions and the institutions themselves shall establish a quality
assurance system in the institutions. Internal quality assurance shall
be regarded as part of educational administration which must be a continuous
process. This requires preparation of annual reports to be submitted to
parent organizations, agencies concerned and made available to the public
for purposes of improving the educational quality and standards and external
An Office for National Education Standards and Quality
Assessment shall be established as a public organization, responsible for
development of criteria and methods of external evaluation, conducting
evaluation of educational achievements in order to assess the quality of
institutions, bearing in mind the objectives and principles and guidelines
for each level of education as stipulated in this Act.
All educational institutions shall receive external quality evaluation
at least once every five years since the last exercise and the results
of the evaluation shall be submitted to the relevant agencies and made
available to the general public.
The educational institutions shall lend co-operation in
preparation of documents and evidence providing relevant information on
institutions. They shall also arrange for their personnel, institutions'
boards, including parents and those associated with the institutions to
provide additional information considered relevant to their functioning,
on the request of the Office for National Education Standards and Quality
Assessment, or persons, or external agencies certified by the Office and
entrusted with the task of conducting external evaluation of these institutions.
In cases where the results of the external evaluation
show that an educational institution has not reached the standards required,
the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment shall
submit to the parent organizations recommendations on corrective measures
for that institution to improve its functioning within a specific period
of time. In cases where corrective measures are not implemented, the Office
for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment shall submit reports
to the Commission for Basic Education or the Commission for Higher Education
so as to take the necessary remedial action.
Teachers, Faculty Staff and Educational Personnel
The Ministry shall promote development of a system for
teachers and educational personnel, including production and further refinement
of this category of personnel, so that teaching will be further enhanced
and become a highly respected profession. The Ministry shall, in this regard,
take a supervisory and co-ordinating role so that the institutions responsible
for production and development of teachers, faculty staff, and educational
personnel shall be ready and capable of preparing new staff and continuously
developing in-service personnel.
Sufficient funds shall be allocated by the State for the budget required
and for establishing the Fund for Development of Teachers, Faculty Staff
and Educational Personnel.
There shall be an Organization for Teachers, Educational
Institution Administrators, and Educational Administrators. The Organization
shall enjoy the status of an independent body administered by a professional
council under supervision of the Ministry. The Organization shall have
the powers and duties for setting professional standards; issuing and withdrawal
of licenses; overseeing maintenance of professional standards and ethics;
and development of the profession of teachers, educational institution
administrators, and educational administrators.
Teachers, administrators of educational institutions, educational
administrators and other educational personnel of both the state and private
sectors shall have professional licenses as provided by the law.
In establishing the Organization for Teachers, Educational Institution
Administrators and Educational Administrators and other educational personnel,
determination of qualifications required, criteria and procedure for issuing
and withdrawal of licenses shall be as stipulated by the law.
The provision in the second paragraph shall not apply
to educational personnel providing informal education, educational institutions
referred to in section 18 (3), administrators at the educational levels
above education service areas, and specialized educational resource persons.
The provisions in this section shall not apply to the faculty staff,
educational institution administrators and educational administrators for
higher education at the degree level.
There shall be a central organization responsible for
administering personnel affairs of teachers. All teachers and educational
personnel of agencies at both state educational institution level and educational
service area level shall enjoy the status of civil servants under jurisdiction
of the Teacher Civil Service Organization. The personnel affairs administration
shall be based on the principle of decentralization to educational service
areas and educational institutions as stipulated by the law.
There shall be a law on salaries, remuneration, welfare
and other benefits allowing teachers and educational personnel sufficient
incomes commensurate with their social status and profession.
A Fund for Promotion and Development of Teachers, Faculty Staff and
Educational Personnel shall be established to be used as grants for innovations,
outstanding achievements and rewards in honour of teachers, faculty staff,
and teaching personnel as stipulated in the ministerial regulations.
The production and development of faculty staff and educational
personnel; development of professional standards and ethics; and personnel
administration for civil servants or officials in degree-level educational
institutions enjoying legal entities shall be as provided by the foundation
laws of the respective institutions or other relevant laws.
Educational agencies shall mobilize human resources in
the community to participate in educational provision by contributing their
experience, knowledge, expertise and local wisdom for educational benefits.
Contributions from those who promote and support educational provision
shall be duly recognized.
Resources and Investment for Education
There shall be mobilization of resources and investment
in terms of budgetary allocation, financial support and properties from
the State; local administration organizations; individuals; families; communities;
community organizations; private persons; private organizations; professional
bodies; religious institutions; enterprises; other social institutions;
and foreign countries, for use in the provision of education as follows:
(1) The State and local administration organizations capable of providing
education shall mobilize resources for education. In so doing, they shall
be authorized to levy educational taxes as appropriate, in accord with
provisions in the law.
(2) As providers and partners in educational provision, individuals;
families; communities; local administration organizations; private persons;
private organizations; professional bodies; religious institutions enterprises;
and other social institutions shall mobilize resources for education, donate
properties and other resources to educational institutions and share educational
expenditures as appropriate and necessary.
The State and local administration organizations shall encourage
and provide incentives for mobilization of these resources by promoting,
providing support and applying tax rebate or tax exemption measures as
appropriate and necessary, in accord with provisions in the law.
State educational institutions which are legal entities
shall be empowered to take charge of, oversee, maintain, utilize and earn
interest from their properties, both state land as provided by the State
Land Act and other properties; earn income from their services; and charge
tuition fees not contrary to or inconsistent with their policies, objectives,
and main missions.
Immovable properties of state educational institutions which are
legal entities acquired through donation or purchase or in exchange for
their income shall not be regarded as state land, and the institutions
shall have the right of ownership.
Income and interest of educational institutions which are legal entities;
interest from the state land; indemnities from violation of study leave;
and those from violation of contracts for purchasing properties or hiring
of work using budgetary allocations shall not be income to be submitted
to the Ministry of Finance as stipulated by the Treasury Reserve Act and
the Budgetary Procedure Act.
Income and interest of educational institutions which are not legal
entities, interest from state land, indemnities from violation of study
leave, and those from violation of contracts for purchasing properties
or hiring of work using budgetary allocations shall be utilized by educational
institutions in their educational provision as stipulated by the rules
of the Ministry of Finance.
The State shall be responsible for the following:
(1) Distribution of general subsidies for per head expenditure commensurate
with the needs of those receiving compulsory and basic education provided
by the State and the private sector. These grants shall be distributed
on an equal basis.
(2) Distribution of grants in terms of loans for those from low-income
families, as appropriate and necessary.
(3) Distribution of budgetary allocations and other special educational
resources suitable and in line with the requirements for educational provision
for each group of persons with special needs referred to in the second,
third and fourth paragraphs of section 10. In so doing, consideration shall
be given to equality of educational opportunity and justice in accord with
the criteria and procedures stipulated in the ministerial regulations.
(4) Distribution of budgetary allocations for operating and capital
costs of educational institutions in accord with the policies, the National
Education Development Plan and the missions of the respective institutions,
which shall be allowed freedom in utilization of the allocations and educational
resources. In so doing, consideration shall be given to quality and equality
of educational opportunity.
(5) Distribution of budgetary allocations as general subsidies for
state degree-level institutions which are legal entities and are state-supervised
or public organizations.
(6) Distribution of low-interest loans to private educational institutions
for eventual self-reliance.
(7) Establishment of the State and Private Education Development Fund.
The State shall distribute subsidies for education provided
by individuals, families, communities, community organizations, private
organizations, professional bodies, religious institutions, enterprises
and other social institutions as appropriate and necessary.
There shall be a system for auditing, following-up and
evaluation, by internal units and state agencies responsible for external
auditing, of efficiency and effectiveness in utilization of educational
budgetary allocations in line with the Principles of Education, National
Educational Guidelines and the educational quality and standards required.
The criteria and procedures for the auditing, following-up, and evaluation
as prescribed in the ministerial regulations shall be observed.
Technologies for Education
The State shall distribute frequencies, signal transmission
devices, and other infrastructure necessary for radio broadcasting, television,
telecommunication radio and other media of communication for use in provision
of formal, non-formal and informal education and enhancement of religious,
artistic, and cultural affairs as necessary.
The State shall promote and support the production and
refinement of textbooks, reference books, academic books, publications,
materials, and other technologies for education through acceleration of
production capacity; provision of financial subsidy for production and incentives
for producers; and development of educational technologies. In so doing,
fair competition shall be ensured.
Steps shall be taken for personnel development for both
producers and users of technologies for education so that they shall have
the knowledge , capabilities, and skills required for the production and
utilization of appropriate, high-quality, and efficient technologies.
Learners shall have the right to develop their capabilities
for utilization of educational technologies as soon as feasible so that
they shall have sufficient knowledge and skills in using these technologies
for acquiring knowledge themselves on a continuous lifelong basis.
The State shall promote research and development; production
and refinement of technologies for education; as well as following-up,
checking and evaluating their use to ensure cost-effective and appropriate application
to the learning processes of the Thai people.
Financial resources shall be mobilized for the establishment
of the Technology for Education Development Fund. These resources shall
include state subsidies, concession fees and profits from enterprises relating
to mass media and information and communication technologies from all sectors
concerned, namely, state sector, private sector, and other public organizations.
Special tariffs shall be charged for the application of these technologies
for human and social development.
The criteria and procedures for distribution of the Fund for the
production, research and development of technologies for education shall
be as prescribed in the ministerial regulations.
The State shall establish a central unit responsible for
proposing policies, plans, promotion and co-ordination of research, development
and utilization of technologies for education, including matters relating
to evaluation of the quality and efficiency of the production and application
of the technologies for education.
All legislations, rules, regulations, statutes, announcements
and orders pertaining to education, religion, art and culture applicable
on the enactment date of this Act shall continue to be in force until the
necessary amendments in line with this Act have been made, which shall
not exceed five years after the enactment date.
The ministries, bureaus, departments, educational agencies,
and institutions in existence on the enactment date of this Act shall enjoy
the same status and shall have the same powers and duties until the educational
administration and management as provided by this Act have been in place,
which shall not exceed three years after the enactment date of this Act.
At the initial stage, the provisions in the first paragraph
of section 10 and section 17 shall not apply until the necessary actions
in line with these provisions have been taken, which shall not exceed five
years after the promulgation date of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Within one year of the enactment date of this Act, the ministerial
regulations referred to in the second and fourth paragraphs
of section 16 shall be in force.
Within six years of the enactment date of this Act, the Ministry
shall have completed the first round of external evaluation of all educational
At the initial stage, provisions in Chapter 5: Educational
Administration and Management and Chapter 7: Teachers, Faculty Staff and
Educational Personnel shall not apply until the necessary actions in line
with these provisions have been taken. These actions include amendment
of the Teachers' Act of 1945 and Teacher Civil Service Act of 1980, which
shall not exceed three years after the enactment date of this Act.
At the initial stage pending the establishment
of the Ministry, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education, and the
Minister of University Affairs shall oversee the application of this Act;
and shall have the powers to issue ministerial rules, regulations and announcements
as provided by this Act, as related to their respective powers and duties.
Necessary actions shall be required regarding provisions in Chapter
5 of this Act relating to educational administration. Before the necessary
actions are completed, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of University
Affairs and the National Education Commission shall act as the Ministry
of Education, Religion and Culture as provided by this Act, each carrying
out the tasks in their respective responsibilities.
An Education Reform Office shall be established as an
ad hoc public organization by virtue of a royal decree as provided by the
Public Organizations Act. Taking public views into consideration, the Office shall:
(1) propose the structures, organs and division of responsibilities
as provided in Chapter 5 of this Act;
(2) propose systems of teachers, faculty staff, and educational personnel
as provided in Chapter 7 of this Act;
(3) propose mobilization of educational resources and investment
as provided in Chapter 8 of this Act;
(4) submit proposals to the Council of Ministers regarding the necessary
bills for actions required in (1), (2) and (3);
(5) submit to the Council of Ministers proposals regarding amendments
to legislations, rules, regulations, statutes and orders in force to meet
the requirements in (1), (2) and (3) in accord with this Act;
(6) carry out other functions as provided by the Public Organizations Act.
There shall be established a nine-member Executive Committee
of the Education Reform Office, comprised of a chairperson and members,
appointed by the Council of Ministers from among those with knowledge,
capability, experience and expertise in educational administration; state
affairs administration; personnel administration; budgetary, monetary,
and financial systems; public laws; and educational laws. The Executive
Committee shall include not less than three scholars who are neither civil
servants nor officials of state agencies.
The Executive Committee shall be authorized to appoint scholars as
its advisers and appoint sub-committees to carry out the tasks it has assigned.
The Secretary-General of the Education Reform Office shall serve
as member and secretary of the Executive Committee, which shall supervise
the Secretary-General in the administration of the Office.
The Executive Committee and the Secretary-General shall have a single
term of office of three years, at the end of which their tenures shall
be terminated and the Education Reform Office shall be dissolved.
There shall be established a fifteen-member Nominations
Committee for the Executive Committee of the Education Reform Office. The
Nominations Committee shall propose twice the number of the chairperson
and members of the Executive Committee from among those qualified for submission
to the Council of Ministers for appointment. The Nominations Committee
(1) Five representatives of the agencies concerned, namely: Permanent
Secretary for Education, Permanent Secretary for University Affairs, Secretary-General
of the Council of State, Secretary-General of the National Education Commission
and Director of the Budget Bureau.
(2) Two members elected among rectors of state or private higher
education institutions which are legal entities; three members elected
among deans of faculties of pedagogy, educational science, or education
of both state and private universities offering master's degree courses
in pedagogy, education science or education. The three members shall include
at least a dean of the faculty of pedagogy, education science, or education
of a state university.
(3) Five members elected among representatives of academic or professional
associations in the field of education which are legal entities.
The Nominations Committee shall elect one of its members as chairman
and another as secretary of the Committee.
The Prime Minister shall oversee the enactment of the
royal decree establishing the Education Reform Office and shall have the
powers to oversee the functioning of the Office as provided by the Public
Other than the provisions in this Act, the royal decree establishing
the Education Reform Office shall include at least the following:
(1) Composition, powers and duties and term of office of the Executive
Committee referred to in sections 75 and 76.
(2) Composition, powers and duties of the Nominations Committee,
criteria, nomination procedure and proposal for appointment of the Executive
Committee referred to in section 77.
(3) Qualifications and restrictions including termination of office
of the Executive Committee, the Secretary-General and staff.
(4) Capital fund, income, budget, and properties.
(5) Personnel administration, welfare, and other benefits.
(6) Supervision, inspection, and evaluation of achievements.
(8) Other provisions necessary for the smooth and efficient functioning of the Office.
Next Steps : Reform of Education in Thailand
The National Education Act serves as master legislation
on education of the country, leading to significant education reform, the
major tasks of which are :
1. Learning reform
which will follow the guideline and spirit of
the provisions in the Act by attaching
highest importance to learners.
The ONEC has conducted research and development on learner-centred teaching-learning
process, allowing learners to develop at their own pace and in accord with
their potential. Steps have been taken to identify model teachers who have
accordingly been given their due honour and support. Results of the pilot
projects implemented have also been disseminated for nationwide multiplication
in the future.
2. Reform of educational administrative structure
Steps will be taken to adjust organizational structures in accord with provisions in
the chapter on Educational Administration and Management; develop the teaching
profession through reorganizing the systems for teachers, faculty staff
and educational personnel; and reorganize the systems for efficient utilization
of resources and investment for education. In this connection an Education
Reform Office will be established and charged with the responsibilities
of making proposals, including those on the drafting of necessary legislations
for implementation of the above-mentioned activities.
3. Legal measures
As stipulated in the Act, a total of 32 legislations
and regulations needs preparation and/or amendment, with the following
10 requiring immediate action, namely :
1. Royal Decree on Establishment of the Education Reform Office;
2. Royal Decree on Establishment of Office of National Education Standards
and Quality Assessment;
3. Ministerial Regulations on Education for the Disabled;
4. Ministerial Regulations on the Rights to Provide Basic Education;
5. Ministerial Regulations on Differentiation of Levels and Types of Basic
6. Ministerial Regulations on Differentiation of Levels or Equivalency
of Non-formal or Informal Education;
7. Ministerial Regulations on Criteria and Methods of Calculating Children's
Age for Compulsory Education;
8. Ministerial Regulations on Criteria and Conditions for Provision of
9. Nine-year Compulsory Education Act; and
10. Vocational Education Act.
Furthermore, the National Education Commission at its
meeting on May 26, 1999 authorized establishment of the following 3 sub-commissions
for implementation of the reform, namely :
1. Learning Reform Sub-Commission under chairmanship of Professor Emeritus
2. Sub-Commission on Reform of Educational Administrative System, Personnel
and Investment for Education under chairmanship of Professor Dr.Vichit
3. Sub-Commission on Strategic Planning for Education Reform under chairmanship
of Professor Dr.Sippanondha Ketudat.
In carrying out the reform along the line stipulated by
National Education Act, it is incumbent upon all Thai people to undertake
these tasks and responsibilities to ensure that all Thais receive continuous
lifelong education of quality and are capable of learning and self development
to their fullest potential.
The vision of the bright future of Thailand would never
be realized unless all Thai people immediately join efforts in reforming
education, and aim at further development of the Thai people and Thai society.
All Thai people are therefore invited to co-operate in
carrying out education reform for the benefit of future generations, who
will thus become valuable human resources for national development. These
efforts will undoubtedly allow Thailand to stand in the international community
as a developed nation endowed with honour, dignity, peace and pride in
the Thai identity cherished by all.
Adviser on Translation
Dr.Gerald W. Fry
Director, International Studies
Professor of Political Science
University of Oregon
Adviser to the Office of the National