Outlying schools in line for facelift

Source from : http://www.bangkokpost.com

The Education Ministry will kick off its "one tambon, one outstanding school" project this year with almost 2 billion baht for spending on upgrading schools in remote areas.

Chinnaworn: Striving for excellence

Education Minister Chinnaworn Boonyakiat said 182 schools across the country would be chosen to join the scheme this year and the ministry was preparing a budget of 1.9 billion baht to carry out a facelift of the schools.

The cabinet is expected to consider the budget next week.

Mr Chinnaworn unveiled the launch of the project during a meeting with the executives of 185 schools and the chairmen of more than 100 tambon administration organisations (TAOs).

The plan calls for schools joining the scheme to be given money to improve the landscape of their schools, repair or build school buildings, develop libraries and buy educational equipment, including computers and high-speed internet.

The ministry wants the educational zones and TAOs taking part in the scheme to jointly draft a memorandum of understanding.

The memo might require each local administration organisation to arrange school buses for students living in areas under its jurisdiction who want to study at an outstanding school in their tambon. The TAOs might be asked to assist the schools in other tasks such as taking care of sports and art centres, he said.

The ministry has assigned the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) to work out a plan for the schools joining the scheme. Teachers skilled in core subjects would be recruited and sent to the schools.

Mr Chinnaworn said there would also be a teacher exchange programme with the US.

The minister said he was interested in sending US teachers to schools under the one tambon, one outstanding school scheme.

Somkiart Chobpol, deputy chief at the Obec, said the scheme might force small schools to merge or close down when more students apply for seats at the outstanding schools.