How can Thai teachers adjust their teaching in the age of COVID-19?

COVID-19 impact on teaching in Thailand

Thai studentIt has been over a year and a half now since COVID-19 hit Thailand. In the early phases, there was a hope that delaying the beginning of the semester and optional online teaching would be an acceptable short-term solution. Now that the pandemic may be here for a prolonged period, it’s time many in the education sphere look for longer-term solutions for students, parents, and teachers. What is the best way to support teaching and learning while keeping in mind the well-being of everyone involved?

Kenan Foundation Asia has focused on this issue alongside teachers from disadvantaged areas. We have researched these areas’ issues and presented a range of potential solutions from Thai teachers and international teachers. We realize that student and adult well-being and mental health in the local context can impact quality teaching and learning. Thai students will need diverse solutions and strategies to cope with COVID-related education issues and overcome these challenges. Centralized policy alone may not suffice. The private sector will play an important role in collaborating with governmental organizations to find sustainable solutions.

How can Thai teachers adjust their teaching in the age of COVID-19? 1Alternative learning channels, beyond online learning 

Thailand’s Ministry of Education has offered a few learning channels to provide equitable access to learning: on-air, online, on-demand, on-hand, and on-site. For vulnerable groups, on-hand or learning through worksheets and textbooks seems the only viable option. In some areas, mailing worksheets every week has become too much of a burden for the heavily affected areas.

Related to that issue, Thai teachers have to seek a solution by inventing other channels such as using the radio, sending short video clips to students or parents via messaging apps (such as LINE), or storing quality teaching and learning resources in a USB flash drive and distributing to those without internet.

Dynamic Educational Change

With COVID, the first instinct for many teachers is reverting to rote memorization, which impacts students’ learning outcomes and social skills.

However, active learning approaches can optimize an online class to its fullest, such as Project-based Learning, Flipped Classroom, and Problem-based Learning. Teachers may be able to adapt quality teaching resources in place of producing video clips. This way, teachers would have more time to follow up with individual students and design learning activities to encourage critical thinking skills.

Flexible Learning Time

Revised school timetables have been applied in many countries to reduce the number of subjects each day or accommodate a short spurt of synchronous online learning. For example, problem-based math teaching may outline a well-chosen math problem in the morning, students solve the problem on their own during the day, then have a short online discussion in the afternoon or the next class to explore all possible answers.

Thai student

New measurement

Norway announced that all Grade 10 students could pass without a grade level examination. Similarly, the University of Alberta in Canada announced a switch from letter grades to pass-fail for all classes. Temporary exam cancellation and pass-fail assessment reduce the stress level for students, parents, and teachers while aligning with current needs.

Lifelong learning

Many teachers report their students’ low attendance and, in some cases, disappear from the school system either between school year or during the school year as families face situational poverty.

Therefore, remedial classes are needed for those who temporarily missed schools.

For those who miss school for a more extended period, encouragement and access to life-long education and penalty-free re-incorporation to the classroom are required to create a sustainable learning society.

Learn more about Kenan’s education programs: www.kenan-asia.org/21st-century-education

By Chalita Thanyakoop, General Education Manager, Kenan Foundation Asia

Kenan Asia

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