By Wannapa Khaopa
THAILAND - In a bid to move forward the coming second education reform, the Education Ministry is stepping up efforts to create partnerships with private agencies to share in this improvement in education.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Education initiatives in foreign countries will be adopted and adapted for implementation in Thailand.
The Office of the National Education Council (ONEC) is studying these foreign initiatives and will propose suitable guidelines for their implementation to the education reform policy committee, chaired by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Suthasri Wongsamarn, ONEC's deputy secretary-general told The Nation, "ONEC will also gather information about PPP involvement in education, comparing local PPPs with foreign ones in order to merge their good points to form proposals for this country," said Suthasri.
As the committee's chairman, the premier will later consider and decide whether to implement these ONEC proposals in the education reform policy or to adjust them before implementation.
Suthasri said an interesting proposal was accrediting English language and computer tutorial schools for student study in public schools.
She said best practices of local PPPs in education, found during the information-gathering project, would be promoted as good examples for other educational related organisations as well.
According to a study of World Bank (WB) on the role and impact of PPPs in education, PPPs can facilitate service delivery, lead to additional financing, expand equitable access and improve learning outcomes.
The PPPs' initiatives in five countries - the US, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Colombia and South Korea were presented by WB to representatives from both public and private organisations at a joint ONEC and WB meeting last Thursday at the Amari Watergate Bangkok Hotel.
The meeting provided discussion sessions for public authorities and private organisations to share ideas on how to promote PPPs in Thailand.
"Many countries have implemented PPPs in education, but we chose these five countries because they have PPP aspects possible for adaptation and implementation in Thailand," Suthasri said.
"Previously, the ONEC studied how to use PPPs in Thailand's education system and found that a voucher system could help the Education Ministry spend its budget effectively. A formula funding system was an approach to fund students depending on the real educational cost of each.
Apart from these systems, ONEC has also proposed other systems, like charter schools and sub-contracting to the ministry.
However, the ministry hasn't seriously pushed the findings into practice," she added.
Fonte: The Nation/Asia News Network - 28/06/10