Thailand’s education system is pretty unique. You absolutely need to know fast facts about it if you’re planning on moving to Thailand with a schooler. Thailand’s education system has multiple tiers and systems so it’s best that you’re aware of them and your possible options. To know more about Thailand’s education system, you simply need to check out the following fast facts:
- Thailand has three different education sectors
The three different education sectors in Thailand are as follows:
- Government schooling (public school) – go by a curriculum mandated by the Thai government
- Private Schooling – undertakes a curriculum of their choice but still goes by mandated subjects that the Thai government requires
- International Schools – undertakes international curricula like the British Curriculum, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Assessment International Education, and Edexcel.
- Just like most countries, Thai public schools are run by the government.
The Thai government administers and manages its public schools. The country dedicates 12.06% of its government budget to education. Thailand has a literacy rate of 96%. About 54,416,947 Thais aged 15 years and above can read and write.
- Thailand also has numerous private schools.
Close to 3 million Thai students are enrolled in private schools. Private schools are different from private international schools. Private schools offer more affordable matriculation fees. Most private schools in Thailand are run by religious orders like Assumption College, Mater Dei School, and Sacred Heart Convent School.
- There are many international schools in Thailand.
Thailand is one of the top countries with the most number of international schools around the world. It is home to 175 international schools that are mostly located in Bangkok (118 international schools).
- Thai public schools are free for all.
Just like most other countries, public schooling is also free in Thailand. Thai citizens don’t need to pay for their child’s education if they will be enrolled in a public school. Thai public schools are big at giving tests and quizzes to assess the learning of Thai students. Students are regularly informed of their performance in class.
- Schooling is compulsory for nine years.
Thai law mandates that all students must undergo schooling for at least nine years. Parents and guardians can be penalized by law if they have children under their care that do not undergo schooling. After nine years of schooling, a student can choose to not undergo secondary schooling.
- Pre-school is optional.
No law requires Thai parents to have their children attend preschool. Pre-school is an optional choice for Thai parents. However, parents with full-time work and busy schedules and parents who want their child to start their education early on, opt to enroll their kids in preschool.
- Government schooling is divided into three levels.
The government offers three schooling levels to Thai students. Each level needs to be completed before a student gets to the next level. Nine years of study is compulsory. Six years of compulsory schooling is dedicated to Prathom 1 – 6, while the remaining three years are dedicated to Matthayom 1 – 3. Going to the third level of Thai’s schooling system, Matthayom 1 – 3) is entirely optional.
- Government Schooling: Prathom 1 – 6
Prathom 1 – 6 is the elementary level of Thailand’s schooling system. It lasts for at least seven hours from Monday to Friday. Students who finish this level will earn over 1,000 years of learning time per year. This level needs to be completed before a student is allowed to enroll in the next level.
- Government Schooling: Matthayom 1 – 3
This level is the secondary level of Thailand’s education system. It only consists of three years of schooling. This level is still compulsory and free for all Thai students. This completes the nine years of compulsory education in Thai.
- Government Schooling: Matthayom 4 – 6
This is the third level in Thailand’s education system. It is its upper secondary education level that is not compulsory. Students have the option to not pursue this level. A student can opt to finish a vocation course that runs for three years as an alternative to Matthayom 4 – 6.
- Public schools use Thai for instruction.
Public schools use Thai when instructing students. There are no dedicated English language courses in the country. This is why Thailand’s workforce has a reputation for having the world’s weakest English-language skills. Thailand ranks low when it comes to English proficiency.
- Private schools have two semesters.
Private schools require enrollment fees. None are run by the government and they follow a curriculum that gets completed through two semesters. Private schooling in Thailand happens from May to October and November to February. Most expats also consider enrolling their child in private schools as most also instruct using the English language.
- International schools have limited slots for local students.
International schools in Thailand have a mandate that requires the limiting of Thai enrollees. Thai international schools prioritize reaching an enrollment quota of enough international students. Most international schools cater to children of expats that now live and work in Thailand.
- Thailand had 175 international schools.
Thailand has around 3 to 4 million foreigners that are living and working in the country. This is why it is no wonder that it is one of the countries in the world with the most number of international schools. Most Thai international schools undertake the British Curriculum. More and more local Thai students are now also able to enroll in international schools.