Published on July 29, 2007
The Education Ministry found that more than 80,000 students at the third level of primary school could not read or understand Thai properly. The ministry worries that children will grow up with poor Thai.
"I'm not worried about slang, because it soon goes; the important
thing is Thai children using correct Thai grammar, communicating with each other in correct words and sentences," said the deputy education minister.
Association of Thai-Language Teachers president and Royal Institute member Kanchana Naksakul said most children could not afford decent books. She urged the government to reduce the tax on children's books.
"Children also do not use their brains to analyse, and there is a lack of writing and pronunciation skills," she said.
She added that the ministry could improve children's books with paper that was easy on the eyes, larger type and more pictures. She insisted that teachers and parents must play an important role in helping children to learn and use correct Thai vocabulary.
Professor Kasem Wattanachai, a privy councillor, suggested two- to three-year-olds start with cartoon books about morals and said schools had to persuade students to read and discuss books other than their textbooks. National competitions could improve reading and understanding in Thai, he said.
"Most students do not know how to link new and old knowledge, and that's why the thoughts never connect in their brains. Reading could considerably improve their knowledge and skills," Kasem said.