Thai primary schools start teaching coding to kids

In accordance to Thailand 4.0 Policy, Thailand’s efforts to create a tech-savvy society will begin early, as some primary schools will teach coding to students in the first through third grades, the Minister of Education said last week.

“We want coding to be taught at as many schools as possible because coding is now a necessary skill for the 21st century,” said Kalaya Sophonpanich, the Deputy Minister of Education who is overseeing the project.

The Thai public has taken to computers, social media, and mobile technologies with a passion. Coding and programming, however, require a higher level of knowledge and skills that is not yet as widespread among Thailand’s young people as in some more developed countries.

The government is intent, however, on building a digital economy as part of its 20-year national strategy to raise Thailand’s development to a more advanced level. Teaching primary school students coding would create a strong foundation for the country’s future competitiveness.

Kalaya said that she recognized that not all Thai primary schools are ready to take part in the program. Some may lack the resources at present, so only those that are prepared would join in the first phase.

To start, about 1,000 primary school teachers nationwide will be trained at the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPTST) in September to turn them into “master trainers.”

Those master trainers will then be dispatched among the 30,000 primary schools nationwide to train other teachers along with students.

Kalaya said that if the initial phase is successful, the program would be expanded to cover middle schools and high schools.

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