Thailand’s old school vs new school battle

Move forward, remove double standards, improve the quality of life are all synonymous with the new school ways. But if that is the desired direction, then why are the old school ways still so strong and why are they still being used by the people that want to move forward is a difficult question to answer.

Very simply put, the old school ways act as an anchor that keeps Thailand from moving forward. People get jobs because of who they know and not from their abilities. But that also brings into account some other issues like the education system that does not offer a significant number of people with adequate abilities anyway so it may just be a wash, so why not help a friend. Without adequate skills Thailand could never hope to achieve the new school ways. The education fuel lacks adequate octane to get over the mountain, and the vehicle will stall and roll back to the old school side of the mountain.

In a way handing out jobs for favors reduced if not completely eliminated the need for a quality school system. It was not what you know it was who you know that will land the desired job. That also contributed to the double standard if not being the root cause of double standards. So even with the government now starting to screen present employees to weed out any unqualified people is being met with significant resistance. This is because it pushes the influential people into a corner and could do damage to their face. It ultimately will come back to who pulled the strings to get the unqualified people hired.

All of this digs deeply into the web of what Thailand is. Politics, education, lack of ability to make hard decisive choices that will step on a few toes all are signature Thai behavior. To make any of these changes most certainly could reduce the intensity of the smiling Thailand is noted for.

So as you are starting to see the soil and climate in Thailand will not yet support the new school ways. So every attempt will result in the failure until the prerequisite issues are addressed and met. Unfortunately that could take a generation to happen as that is how long it will take to get the Thais up to speed with a proper education.

It is that same reason many companies bypass Thailand as a place to set up shop. The lack of skilled Thais up to western standards and the need to employ 4 Thais to get 1 work permit for a non Thai simply dilutes a company too much to be competitive in the global market. Couple that with a good chunk of the Internet being blocked, and you can see why India is doing so well as an out source country.

The common Thai behavior to avoid or delay things that are difficult is also rooted in the double standard and may have some cultural roots. Thailand is too laid back to have what it takes to make the hard choices that will no doubt leave at least 1 person or country unhappy. To forgive and forget has no place in the competitive world. Tough decisions must be made, and until they are, the unfortunate truth is the new school ways have little hope of becoming much more than a seedling. The only Thai that showed he had what it takes to make the hard choices is non other than Thaksin Shinawatra, but unfortunately there are complications with him.

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