Thai Education System
The basic education system in Thailand follows a 6-3-3 structure where 6-year primary, 3-year lower secondary, and 3- year upper education are compulsory. At the upper secondary level, schools are divided into 2 major tracks: general (academic), and vocational. At the end of upper secondary school, pupils sit for the Higher Secondary School Certificate (Mathayom Suksa 6).
The basic education curriculum has divided into 8 learning areas namely Thai language; Mathematics; Science; Social Studies, Religion and Culture; health and Physical Education; Arts; Occupations and technology; and Foreign Languages. The curriculum is aimed at inculcating among learners the 5 key competencies: Communication capacity; Thinking capacity; Problem-solving capacity; and Capacity for applying life skills.
At primary level (grade 1-6), learning time is allotted on annual basis, not exceeding 5 hours each day. Total learning time is not more than 1,000 hours for each year.
At lower secondary level (grade 7-9), learning time is allotted on semester basis, not exceeding 6 hours each day. Total learning time is not more than 1,200 hours for each year. The weight of a course is counted in credits that 40 hours per semester is equivalent to 1 credit.
At upper secondary level (grade 10-12), learning time is allotted on semester basis, not exceeding 6 hour each day. Total learning time is not less than 3,600 hours for a total of 3 years. The weight of a course is counted in credits that 40 hours per semester is equivalent to 1 credit.
Vocational and Technical Education
Formal vocational and technical education is conducted at three levels:
For upper and post-secondary levels, fields of study are undertaken as majors: Industry, Commerce/Business Administration, Arts, Home Economics, Agriculture, Fishery, Tourism and Hospitality, Textiles, ICT.
For Bachelor’s level, courses offered in technology or operation fields are Industry, ICT, Business Administration, Tourism and Hospitality, Arts, Home Economics, Agriculture, and Fishery.
Within the higher education system, the first professional qualification is that of the Bachelor’s degree which is obtained after four years of tertiary study. Five years of tertiary study are required for a Bachelor’s degree in the fields of Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Arts whereas six years of study are for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, and Pharmacy.
Advanced studies of at least one but generally two years, combined with thesis, lead to the award of a Master’s degree. A Doctorate is awarded in some fields and requires an additional 3-year study following a Master’s degree.
An advanced diploma or certificate may be obtained after one or two years of coursework. It is intended for students who already possess a degree or professional qualification.