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Thai govt warned against cutting humanities at universities amid IT employability campaign

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Govt warned against cutting humanities at universities amid IT employability campaign

By CHULARAT SAENGPASSA 
THE NATION 

 

A PROMINENT educator yesterday cautioned the government against going ahead with a plan to cut support for lecturers engaged in fields seen as failing to respond to the country’s labour market.

 

Assistant Professor Athapol Anunthavorasakul, who teaches at the Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education, said such a plan apparently focused on short-term gains but failed to take into account long-term investment in social development. 

 

“Do not forget that although graduates from some academic fields may not have readymade jobs awaiting them, their knowledge can be applied in various other jobs,” he said. 

 

Athapol said at first glance, philosophy and literature might not seem to have any market value. 

 

“But at a deeper level, such knowledge is crucial when society needs logical answers and debates,” he said. 

 

He pointed out that philosophy studies trained students in rational and analytical thinking.

 

He also argued that literature studies constituted cultural capital. 

 

“Look at the financial value that the famous Harry Potter books generated,” he said. 

 

Athapol was speaking in response to reports that Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha had instructed the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to control academic fields that produced unemployed graduates and failed to respond to the labour market’s needs. 

 

The instruction was issued reportedly after the NESDB presented a plan to develop human resources in the country’s higher-education sector or university lecturers between 2018 and 2037. 

 

Athapol emphasised that the government could not just abandon the fields it believed did not respond to market demands. 

 

“Universities have the duty to create and accumulate wisdom and intellectual knowledge. They are not designed to only produce labour,” he said. 

 

Deputy Education Minister Dr Udom Kachintorn said the government did not plan to abandon the social sciences, but it had to prioritise the IT field for the time being.

 

“This is because we still lack adequate human resources in IT,” he explained.

 

However, he said the government could not force universities to focus just on IT fields. “But we will allocate funds to universities that actively respond to national goals first,” he said. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30337172

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-01-26

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He had a pretty good argument running and then he said

1 hour ago, webfact said:

“Look at the financial value that the famous Harry Potter books generated,”

If this is his best example of the value of great literature, perhaps the humanities department should be folded up.

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I know that government funding has been cut for students to take certain English exam courses at universities in Bangkok, ah marching backwards through the anals Of time


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Can't have classes that promote thought and debate now can we. 

Of course the university can have the topics of their own  choosing, but funding will be cut if they do. 

That's about the essence of freedom in Thailand. 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

He pointed out that philosophy studies trained students in rational and analytical thinking.

Never seen any evidence of this anywhere at any time in Thailand

Edited by Orton Rd
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Doesn't matter what they study. Their certificates of education, including IT, are practically worthless anyway. As someone else said they get a 50% pass mark and qualify just for turning up and handing in their paper. 

The PM is at the ASEAN meeting at present and while there organising import IT specialists from India.

So much for quality Thai education.

 

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Doesn't matter what they study. Their certificates of education, including IT, are practically worthless anyway. As someone else said they get a 50% pass mark and qualify just for turning up and handing in their paper. 
The PM is at the ASEAN meeting at present and while there organising import IT specialists from India.
So much for quality Thai education.
 

Do I read this right?
He’s at an ASEAN meeting and touting for business from outside of ASEAN?
That’s logical!!!!


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39 minutes ago, DILLIGAD said:


Do I read this right?
He’s at an ASEAN meeting and touting for business from outside of ASEAN?
That’s logical!!!!


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He is attending an ASEAN - India Summit meeting in New Dehli.

I doubt that it would be ethical* for Thailand to steal skilled labour from fellow ASEAN member countries. But maybe there are plenty to spare in India.

 * I know ethics don't apply in Thailand or to the military junta but it would be diplomatically risky for him to do that.

Edited by Cadbury
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BANGKOK 19 August 2018 00:01
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