11 July 2024

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) should be independent of the Ministry of Education in the management of primary education in Bangkok, said Prof. Dr. Somphong Chitradub, a board advisor of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF), at a panel discussion jointly held yesterday (Saturday) by the EEF and Thai PBS. 

Candidates running in the Bangkok gubernatorial election or their representatives also joined the discussion.

Dr. Somphong pointed out that the learning opportunities for children in Bangkok, which help to promote their development, have been constrained by various rules and regulations imposed by the Education Ministry.

As a special local administration entity, he suggested that the BMA break free from the Ministry of Education and designand run its own educational system.

Children, he said, should have free access to education, with children from poorer families being granted scholarships, to enable them to further their studies until they have completed their compulsory education.

Former Senator Rosana Tositrakul, one of the gubernatorial candidates, said that the city administration’s education system must be reformed, with cooperation from the private sector, to provide more access for children to learn about subjects which interest them, both inside and outside the classroom.

Thai Sang Thai party gubernatorial candidate, former Thai Rak Thai MP Sita Tiwari, said that all BMA run schools must be of the same high quality, so parents can be assured that their children can attend schools which are close to their homes.

The Equitable Education Fund (EEF) was established under the Equitable Education Act 2018. The objective is to provide financial support for children and youth who are in the greatest need, reduce educational inequality by forming partnerships with various groups and conducting systematic research to support and develop teachers’ effectiveness. The EEF is under the supervision of the prime minister and governed by a board of governors.