Saying Thailand’s education system is very far below par is an understatement. It is the root cause of the political problems that have been plaguing Thailand for many years. But to say the Thai education system is the first domino in the line would be wrong. Thai political problems are both the end result and the cause, and that is the first domino in the line.
It has been the topic of debate by foreign teachers for many years. Passing students who don’t make the grade is more or less on par with the contentious Amnesty bill that brought out the masses to oppose it. Passing a student who did not make the grade is like letting a crime go unpunished. However in this case the students are not the criminals, it is the politicians who drafted the rules. Also lowering the passing standard to something below 50 where in the rest of the world anything below 60 earns a failing grade is itself a failing grade for the politicians who made the rule.
But when you look at the motives of the political crisis, it is all about stopping corrupt politicians from getting into office. The political arm of the PAD otherwise known as the Yellow Shirts looked to address this as well. The Pad called what they planned ‘New Politics’ in that they wanted to take people that were susceptible to vote buying out of the loop. Seeing that most of Thaksin supporters have minimal education and thus susceptible to vote buying, it amounted to taking their voting rights away. But the Thais that have made it to the last 2 years of High school see Thaksin for what he is. This is one way of taking Thaksin’s fuel away.
However the crisis today looks to do the same thing except by creating new laws that will stop carrier politicians who are corrupt. Unfortunately this is one of those things that looks good on paper, but when you try to make it work, other outcomes are more likely. Unless the root cause is fixed, the corrected situation will eventually revert back to being a problem. However if that is done in conjunction with fixing the education system being the root cause, in a decade or so the fix should be more or less self sustaining.
Unfortunately the fixes proposed only address the effect thus far, and not the cause, so at the very best it is some duct tape holding things together for now.
Perhaps the best thing to do is take the education system out of the hands of the Thai people all together. The British education system or any western education system is the best medicine, but it is also the most awful tasting medicine because it requires loss of face on the part of the Thai people. Eventually the Thais will have to react, because there is a limit as to just how low a passing grade can go and that is zero.