Thailand is working to join hands with more of its neighbours in Asean to drive the region's educational improvement, starting with research sharing, a top education official told The Nation recently.
"Thailand and Malaysia will probably invite other countries, like Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore to provide collaboration in education [matters]," Anek Permvongseni, secretarygeneral of the Office of the Education Council said at the Fourth ThailandMalaysia joint educational research conference.
"In the future, we may work together to jointly create educational curricula or share instructional media to learn English and studying of math. So, when students look to further higher education, Malaysian students can study a programme in English in Thailand under the cocreated curricula," he said, adding that teaching and learning using technology for the future was also an issue of interest to the region.
"Next year, Thailand and Malaysia and the three other countries will probably share research in topics that all consider significant for sharing," Anek added.
He proposed that Singapore could be the model for lessons learned in teaching math and science for other countries.
Also, with its strength in English communication, Singapore could share its teaching and learning of the language with others.
Students' performances in science and math in most countries in Southeast Asia, except Singapore, were weak, he said.
Malaysia's Educational Planning and Research Division Deputy Director, Haji Zainal Aalam Hassan said at the conference: "If countries in Southeast Asia join in the conference, maybe Malaysia can share in this transforming education. Singapore is strong in PISA and TIMSS (the programme for international student assessment, and trends in international mathematics and science study) and would probably share with us if we invited them."
Also, Mohd Subri Mat Isa, director of Private Education Division in Malaysia agreed with the collaboration expansion.
"Probably, we should move on from here so that our neighbours can benefit from the collaboration of Malaysia and Thailand.
"Under the concept of Asean, probably we can think about expanding this to our friends, like Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. "So, they can learn from the collaboration what Malaysia and Thailand have done. Also, Thailand and Malaysia can learn from them in terms of classroom research.
"We won't know what our neighbouring countries, like Indonesia, Singapore or Brunei can offer in terms of their collaboration and benefits for everybody unless we come together," he said.
The conference is being held from July 26 in Chiang Mai under the theme "ResearchDriven Education Reforms: Raising the Quality of Teaching and Learning towards the International Standards."
It is presenting eight policy researches and 20 classroom researches offered by Thai and Malaysia presenters.
Attending are 150 Thai and Malaysian policy makers, practitioners and teachers.
The previous three conferences were alternately organised in Thailand and Malaysia.