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close this bookPolicy Development and Implementation of Technical and Vocational Education for Economic Development in Asia and the Pacific - Conference Proceedings - UNESCO - UNEVOC Regional Conference (RMIT, 1997, 520 p.)
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentUNESCO UNEVOC Regional Conference 1996 - Steering Committee
View the documentResolutions
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View the documentUNESCO UNEVOC Regional Conference 1996 - Conference Delegates
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View the documentThailand: Development of Policies for the Provision of Quality TVE Programs
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View the documentTechnical Education for the Hi-Tech Era

Thailand: Development of Policies for the Provision of Quality TVE Programs

Presented to
UNESCO UNEVOC Regional Conference

November 96

By Booncha Moonpinit

Thailand: Characteristics of Economics and Manpower

During the past decade, even though, Thailand has faced with the problem of qualified manpower shortage parallel with the economic development, but the average of the economic growth rate is still maintained quite high at about 7-8 percent or more than 10 percent in some years. This rapid economic growth rate was due to her advantage in terms of abundant natural resources and available labour force, with rather low wages, the capital cost of products is relatively low, and the competition in the world's market is not so high. This enable Thailand to maintain the degree of economic growth at the same levels as before.

At present, the rich national resources of Thailand is much decreased because of not having proper measure of control, and the cheap labor force becomes more expensive, as a result of standard of living of Thai people is higher. Industries consume low capital cost that mainly use labour intensive have now moves the base of production from Thailand to neighbor countries where cheaper labour force available and more national resources than Thailand. This condition forced Thailand has to turn and direct to higher technology intensive industries for more value added which, of course, need higher skilled and knowledge manpower. However, producing qualified manpower to serve real needs of industries is still one big problem of Thai Government and all parties concerned since it takes much time, efforts and some proper investment. More importance, there must be qualified instructors who are able to cope with new technologies that are changing so quickly in the competitive world.

Due to rapid economic growth, manpower shortage is prevailed. It is noteworthing that vocational and technical instructors has turned over to industries because of higher paid and some other benefits, and there are also turn over among industries themselves. This make the existing problem of instructors shortage even more serious. Besides this, industry and service sectors have been developed so quickly and dramatically, according to the policy of import compensation and encouraging of export, so manpower need is diversified in a variety areas and levels including skilled, technicians, and engineers especially technologists or practical engineers. It leads to more serious problem of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to satisfy such diversified requirements.

By the result of manpower need survey in Eastern Seaboard Industrial Development Areas that can represent needs of manpower as a whole, it is found that 60 percent of labour force has not higher than six years of schooling (primary education). Only 20 percent of these numbers have lower secondary education, 15 percent have higher secondary, TVET and engineers. This happened due to a big shortage in number of work force becomes prior problem facing most of investors, this leads to quantity driven, not so much emphasizes on quality of pre-service training as a foundation of labour force ability. Most of small and medium industries will easily recruit manpower before and train them on only specific job after. This is the major cause of serious obstacle to develop industries in rapid changing and competitive worlds. By the survey mentioned above, only 15 percent have higher secondary, TVET (skilled and technician levels) and engineers. It is obvious that, if Thailand intends to keep the level of economic growth, not only producing sufficient manpower both in number and quality, but, upgrading of existing manpower is also serious needed.

Because of rapid growth of economic with huge demand of manpower, more and more students are interested in continuing their studies in TVET since it has been proved that they can get a good job with higher salaries after graduation. Thus the Department of Vocational Education now is forced to increase the number of enrollment under very limited resources, which will be effect to the quality of TVET.

Now and in the near future, Thailand has necessarily to increase the number of higher skill and knowledge manpower labour intensive industries with a higher labour cost must be continuously reduced and replaced by higher technology industry for more value added, which be able to compete with the world market. From the study in the same industrial area, it is also found that textile industry that naturally do not require high level of technology comparing with metal technology, electricity, electronics and petrochemistry etc. At present, textile industry requires more 22,000 staff, 72 percent out of this number do not require high skill and knowledge, when demand of next 2 years was considered, there is a fact that, more approximate 33,000 will be needed and only 44 percent do not require high skill and knowledge. It is indicated the necessity to develop the level and quality of TVET along with the increasing of number in TVET system.

Within the globalization world, information is widely and quickly spread because of the progress of information technology, that brings about worth and worse at the same time. Therefore TVET needs to develop quality of manpower in both vertical and horizontal, having opportunity and ability to increase and develop their potentialities in life long, and having four aspects of learning according to UNESCO guideline as follows:

1) Learning how to learn
2) Learning how to work
3) Learning how to rest
4) Learning how to live together

Quality in these areas are also a major duty of TVET along with increasing sufficient number and develop quality to meet requirement of labour market at the present time and in the future.

In order to solve the problem and develop various aspects of TVET to be in line with present and future situation. Ministry of Education has initiated Educational Reformation, aimed to reform in 4 areas:

1) Educational institution,
2) Staff,
3) Curriculum and Learning Process, and,
4) Administrative and Management System

This aims to establishing excellence of Education including TVET in the year 2007. In addition, it is set forth that in the year 2020, there is development of Thai visions required in terms of Thai as a country, Thai society, Thai people, Thai economics and administration of Thailand. Therefore, the TVET has to be planned for those relevant objectives as described in the 8th Plan of TVET Development (1997-2001) as presented in the following.

Thailand: Policies and Measures for Provision of Quality TVET Programmes

Policy 1: Encourage more cooperations between all organisations concerned, especially private sectors and communities in sharing the responsibilities in all procedures of TVET implementation. Also encourage to establish the coordination at the national level to increase the effectiveness of TVET in public as well as private institutions.


1.1 Cordially invite organisations concerned, private sectors and communities to revise and develop curriculum, teaching-learning process, evaluation and to improve the quality of cooperative TVET system.

1.2 Encourage the private sectors and communities to cooperate, share responsibilities and invest in TVET and to participate more in monitoring of educational management.

1.3 Accelerate the completion of National Education Act to be used as a tool to promote the cooperation between private sectors and the public institutions concerned. Also be prepared to work effectively according to the Act.

1.4 Enhance collaboration among educational institutions, public and private organisations to plan for the establishment of TVET institutions, student enrollment, institutional and personnel development.

Policy 2: Accelerate to solve the problems of instructor shortage, to improve the quality of TVET instructors and personnel for more efficiency and effectiveness of producing sufficient skilled manpower to be in accordance with the labour market demand.


2.1 Make a detailed plan for sufficient number of TVET instructors and personnel needed within this 5-year plan. The plan should conform to the extension of TVET opportunity and to satisfy the manpower demand at present and in the future.

2.2 Produce more qualified instructors by planning together and cooperating with teacher training institutions.

2.3 Build up motivation for the intelligents to study and to enter the career of teaching. Also motivate the existing teachers to retain in the career by providing better welfare, more facilities, better environment and convenience to perform the assigned tasks.

2.4 Improve those institutions that produce and train instructors to be qualified enough in every aspect. This is necessary to set up a certain indicator of instructor qualification.

2.5 Improve curriculum and the process of producing instructors to obtain instructors with virtues and morals together with the analytical and creative ability.

2.6 Encourage the systematic continuous development of instructors by providing normal training in every two years and provide appropriate type of development in any occasion to broaden their visions and experience to keep up with various rapid changes. The emphasis of the training will be on the supplement capacity and competency as specified rather than time consumed, to build up of consciousness in being a good teacher. The instructors should be aware that the self-development is a part of their duties.

2.7 Accelerate the development of administrators at all levels including supporting personnel. The development should be continuous with the same guidelines operated for instructors.

2.8 Make it a rule that any achievement from training can be referred to promotion scheme. Also encourage all teachers to do research and development to improve their teaching and learning process.

2.9 Build up the ability to apply information and educational technology in teaching and learning and in facilitating teachers and educational staff to better perform their tasks.

2.10 Encourage teachers and instructors to develop their lesson plan and instruction sheet together with supplement documents for classroom lecture and workshop or laboratory training, including text and reference books. Also encourage teachers and instructors for having direct experiences in industries through various appropriate means continuously.

2.11 Cooperate with in-country and international institutions and organisations to upgrade the quality of teachers and instructors. Promote the Staff Development Institute (SDI) to be an efficient source providing training and development programs for TVET instructors from neighbour countries.

2.12 Allow teachers to teach in more than one institutions which may or may not be under the supervision of the Ministry of Education by the permission of administrators for more experiences with extra pay. For those new teachers, experiences can be taken into account to determine their salaries.

2.13 Determine qualifications and allow the local wisdom, qualified personnel from various sources in community and in industry including those retired teachers to teach in institutions with suitable compensation.

Policy 3: Frequently improve the curriculum to facilitate the development of TVET.


3.1 In order to develop the students' traits required by the objectives stated in the 8th TVET Development Plan, and, the Educational Reform of the Ministry of Education, the curriculum development is done in accordance with the analysis of those students' traits that are relevant to the manpower need.

3.2 Analyse and develop new curriculum for new fields of training in order to respond the demand of manpower both at present and in the future.

3.3 Develop flexible and variety of curriculum to serve all demand of individuals and working market and develop forms and processes of implementing curriculum, so that the use of curriculum can be done effectively.

3.4 Advocate the evaluation on curriculum systematically and continuously including frequently improve them to suit the changes.

3.5 Develop the curriculum for the Thai and other important languages particularly English teaching by concentrating on efficiency of communications.

Policy 4: To develop learning & teaching processes, including facility, land & building, equipment, machines, teaching materials and teaching aids, as well as the measurements and evaluations to enhance the quality of TVET.


4.1 To employ educational and information technologies to increase the efficiency of learning & teaching, as well as to promote the production of text and reference books including modern teaching aids.

4.2 To develop libraries and educational resource centres as well as to establish learning network in order to facilitate self-study and development, and to create learning society.

4.3 To set up the basic standard of land, buildings, facilities, tools and machines, teaching and learning materials, with the aim of firstly upgrading the inferior colleges.

4.4 To set up and assess the basic (minimum) standard of TVET in all 3 domains, particularly skills for improvement.

4.5 To promote “student centred” in learning and teaching, development and encourage students to have more critical thinking and enable them to solve problems scientifically, as well as to cultivate required work-habit of the students.

4.6 To provide students systematically direct experience learning, especially from the training both within and outside the colleges.

4.7 To establish pleasant atmospheres of learning within institutions.

4.8 To promote the development and maintenance of equipment, machines, learning and teaching materials systemically and continuously by setting up responsible agencies and having involving instructors and students to take part in maintenance responsibilities.

4.9 To cooperate with the institutions/organizations both within and outside the country, to develop teaching & learning processes, materials, equipment and teaching aids, with the aim to developing specified colleges to have sufficient potentiality in providing TVET for students from neighbour countries.

4.10 To promote and encourage student clubs or organisation and alumni-associations to organize creative activities together.

4.11 To improve the student enrollment system in accordance with learning objectives, and to focus on the use of accumulation of success rather than only entrance examination.

Policy 5: Promote the development of health, hygienes, sports, religions, arts, culture, Thai identity, and the conservation of natural resources and environment


5.1 To integrate activities of health and sports in ordinary learning & teaching processes, and perform some as other extra curricula activities.

5.2 To use the student club or organisation as the centre for creating moral values and the realization of Thai identity, being proud of their own professional career training.

5.3 To provide activities that promote the conservation of religious, arts and culture, natural resources, and environment; and to have the integration of these in normal learning and teaching processes.

5.4 To determine clear concrete indicators for the development of all domains in order to be easy and reliable for the evaluation.

Policy 6: To promote science and technology education to be foundation in conducting TVET in order to produce manpower to meet the need of the industry.


6.1 To improve the teaching of science and mathematics in order to be more efficient.

6.2 To promote and support the contest for the Science Innovation Project.

6.3 To develop some proper colleges as centres of scientific and technological development both for local and neighbour countries, as well as to cooperate the development with organizations/institutions both inside and outside the country.

6.4 To promote/encourage the application of science and technology in learning and teaching, including invention based on Science and Technology.

Policy 7: To promote democracy through TVET.


7.1 To provide students with actual knowledge of democracy.

7.2 To encourage students to apply the knowledge of democracy in their daily life, especially by using of students club activity.

7.3 To promote and participate the election activities in every level.

7.4 To determine the indicators to identify the progress of democracy in learning process as well as to conduct evaluation continuously.

7.5 To create democratic atmosphere to be an example model of the students, and let them spend their lives into such atmosphere.

Policy 8: Develop TVET system.


8.1 Promote TVET institutes to increase their capabilities in personnel, budget and management administration.

8.2 Establish an administration information network system and a complete information base provision, including an application of information technology to increase efficiencies of administration, management and instruction.

8.3 Decentralize an authority in personnel, budget and management, planning and administration to TVET institutes. Encourage parents and community leaders to take their roles in administrative board of institutes for the purpose of development and solutions to existing problems to suit local needs. Establish advisor board committee comprising external concerned personnel in every field of training.

8.4 Encourage local wisdoms to share their experiences of TVET management and training in institution.

8.5 Increase the tuition fees in higher investment field of training and having higher rate of return after getting jobs. Provide scholarships for the poor or disadvantage students and promote entrepreneurships and income earning during their studies.

8.6 Adjust and issue the regulations facilitating an effective decentralization.

8.7 Improve operational handbooks for institutional administrators and educational officers to be used as effective instruments to do better on their responsible tasks.

8.8 Improve both internal and external supervision systems of TVET institutes in order to monitor, evaluate and report according to established measures, and standards so as to obtain effective quality development, including cooperatively work with the supervisors from other organisation supervising and monitoring academic affairs in all institutes.

8.9 Cooperatively work with in country and foreign organizations in developing administration and management systems in all levels.

8.10 Organize small but effective organizations based on the reengineering guidelines as well as apply the principles of increasing productivity and principles of being excellence to all levels of organizations.

8.11 Develop and prioritise guidance services to facilitate register guidelines and for better success of students.

8.12 Support provincial and regional TVET Board as well as institutes in running their performances effectively for completion of decentralization.

8.13 Try every efforts to gain more budget by various means for TVET management to respond required quantity and quality from the government, and the public by request from government budget, donation, tuition fee, overseas contribution, including in country or foreign loans according to necessity

Policy 9: Promote research and development for monitoring and evaluation of plans, projects and activities according to measures and standard specified for improvement


9.1 Conduct training programs for personnel concerned to gain knowledge, skill and experience in research and development of effective monitoring and evaluation.

9.2 Allocate more budget for promoting research and evaluation.

9.3 Promote more performances in research and evaluation focus on solving existing problems and developing current work.

9.4 Exchange research results with both in country and foreign organizations and establish research network system within TVET institutes to prevent duplicate performances.

9.5 Develop continuous and relevant monitoring evaluating and reporting systems in institution, division and department levels so that to gain the results of implementation which will be useful for modification, changing or supporting of plan, programme and project in right time and direction.

Policy 10: Improve public relations to gain right and certain understanding


10.1 Encourage instructors and students to be proud of their careers and ready to develop themselves and their institutes so as to create better image for public.

10.2 Publicize institutes by exposing public to observe actual teaching/learning activities building and training facilities which are important factors for developing students e.g. workshop, laboratories, libraries, canteen, etc.

10.3 Establish certain measures to preserve and develop institutes with participation of students for healthy image to public which lead to their proud and positive attitudes towards institutes.

10.4 Continuously expose standardized and initiative inventions, performances of students to the public frequently by various proper medias.

The 11th, the last policy concerns mostly in increasing and distributing opportunity to attend TVET of the people, particularly in rural areas, disadvantage people, cripple and women. But there are some measures discussed on TVET quality development as follow:

Policy: Extend and provide equal opportunity for TVET especially for the poor in the rural areas to be able to respond manpower demand at present and in the future as well.


1 Prepare a school mapping to be in accordance with the reformation of the schools and educational institutions under the supervision of the Ministry of Education by:

* Analysing the needs of manpower locally and nationally required and analyse the need of the people to have opportunity to be educated and trained in TVET system and sharing responsibility between private and public TVET institutions especially the feeder that the Department of Vocational Education has to take part.

* Determining the appropriate size of each institution, the duration of each institution should be at the highest potentiality to receive students and formulating a complete master plan of every institution.

* Determining the number of institutions to be established within the TVET development plan including the suitability of location taking into consideration by focusing on the extension of opportunity for the people in rural areas to join TVET. This includes the establishment in the special development areas.

2 Continuously study of the manpower demand to be able to adjust the plan for producing and developing in accordance with the labour market demand.

3 Provide opportunity for the disadvantages especially the poors in rural areas, the disabled and women so that they have more opportunities for TVET by:

* Enlarging the number of students in each institutions.
* Establishing new institutions.
* Providing scholarship and loan for TVET to increase their opportunities.

4 Provide proper training to upgrade workers in industry including agriculture, emphasis on update knowledge and technology. Also encourage the awareness of environmental and natural resource reservation along with the economic development.

5 Upgrade the quality of those primary and secondary instructors teaching in basic skill of trades.

6 Develop the management of TVET in various forms of cooperative TVET such as dual vocational education and training system, distance learning, transferred or accumulated credits and working experiences, etc. So that it will be able to respond various demands of the people who would like to join TVET programmes.

7 Formulate the plan for producing and developing manpower to satisfy the demand pull and supply push.

8 Utilise the information and educational technology including setting up of learning network for enlarging opportunity of the people to be in TVET system.