Education system is important all over the world. It concerns the future of a country by educating children who will become a country's future. The issue of whether Thailand should revise its educational system has been a very big topic. We think that Thai education system is good, but it isn't. Thai education system should be reformed. This report will be mentioning about the problems that Thai education system are facing, which is the rote learning.
Rote learning is a learning technique which focuses on memorization. The major practice involved in rote learning is learning by repetition by which students commit information to memory in a highly structured way. The idea is that one will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the material the more one repeats it. Rote methods are routinely used when quick memorization is required. (Emma, 2012)
Teaching by rote is an old-fashioned and ineffective way of teaching. It relies on learners remembering and reciting lists of information. What is not taught in rote learning is the full well rounded understanding of the subject. That is why you should say no to rote learning at any level.
Mainstream education in Thailand is mostly done by teaching from the front and rote learning. Teachers give lessons and information to students by chalkboards while the pupils listen passively and occasionally take notes. Reformations are planned to change the country's education system.
After brainstorming and sharing our experience, the production team can list the causes of the rote learning of Thailand as follow. Firstly, students lack of critical thinking skills, because of Thai students memorize everything in the books, and don't find the true knowledge by themselves. Most knowledge was traditionally transmitted orally and not in writing. Secondly, education in Thailand is based on the textbook because Thai teacher will not find other lessons that are not in the textbook to teach. They follow all of the text in the books. If the state publishes textbooks for students are late, the education method will be carried out in the same delay. The third is teachers give lessons and information to students by chalkboards while the pupils listen passively and occasionally take notes. The curriculum is blamed that it aimed only to teach students to listen, speak and write and know about Thai literature. It failed to make students loving the language and knowing enough to create their own work. Half of our old primary and secondary school students failed their Thai language test. Thai language knowledge of primary and secondary school students has been declining. We think there is nothing wrong with the aims of the curriculum (teaching listening, speaking, writing and literature). It must be the way it is being taught is not working. Making students love the language is a teacher's job. Changing the curriculum without changing the teachers or training them better won't help at all. I think a lot of Thai students are in danger of an over teaching of this educational method. If an education is mainly based on learning by using memory more than understanding (which is what rote learning is), graduates might turn out to be well-educated parrots rather than proficient scholars capable of creative and critical thinking. Not only children are bad at learning English, they aren't good at Thai neither. It is very important for Thai students to master their mother tongue before leaning second language. I have to agree that putting more focus on reading and writing and introducing more enjoyable learning activities could enhance the students' interest in learning.
As mentioned above, we found the solutions to solve the rote learning of Thailand. At first, the Ministry of Education should push teachers to make sure the students learn critical thinking and problem solving skills. We see a serious need to develop the teachers' quality, which should raise the quality of instruction as well as students' learning. The training has to be given to teachers to ensure their solid knowledge of what they teach. Teachers should explore effective teaching methods and materials they have never tried before. With the teachers' more willing to think "outside the box", students are likely to have more fun at school. Classroom should not be just the learning place. Teachers can extend teaching space from classrooms to the other places such as museums, local markets or even paddy fields. There is knowledge everywhere. Going outside must teach students to search for the truth by themselves from various dimensions of truth, from various contexts where the truths are situated. Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, teachers could re-design their classroom setting and teaching methods in line with their students' pace of learning.
However, the problems can be fixed but it has to take a long time. If we all change our own learning behaviors from now on, it's not too long to develop the Thai learning styles.
Finally, if Thailand wants to be part of the global community of scholars and innovators, sending its sons and daughters to foreign centers of study and research, in other words study and work abroad, Thai policy-makers will have to realize soon that swift and efficient action has to be taken, better sooner than later.
Studying at a foreign university or working for an international company requires a fair amount of creativity, critical and inventive thinking, original ideas and the capability of having and expressing one's personal opinions. If Thai education doesn't prepare students for these challenges, Thailand will never become the centre of anything in the world, and it will forever remain a backbencher in the eyes of the international community.