Adviser weighs pulling plug on tablet

The Pheu Thai-led "Tablet PC per Child" initiative, which aimed to distribute free tablet computers to schoolchildren could be scrapped.

Officials are in talks about replacing the policy with a new way of enhancing education.

Pawit Thongroj, an adviser to Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang, says he will suggest to the minister that the provision of tablets to students in Prathom and Mathayom 1 classes ends.

A "smart classroom" using technology to enhance teaching and learning in schools could be introduced instead, the adviser said.

The smart classroom would be equipped with about 30 tablet computers, a smart board, server and class-management software.

The smart classroom would make better use of the state's education budget and avoid procurement problems such as those encountered with the free-tablet policy, said Mr Pawit, one of the Pheu Thai Party's education policy experts.

Although students will not have their own personal device, they will be able to make use of what the smart classroom has to offer.

The smart classroom will enable teachers to monitor their students' use of technology and allay concerns about young students surfing age-inappropriate content.

Mr Pawit said tablet distribution had entered its second year and data on the scheme is being collected and analysed.

The tablet policy, which was introduced in 2012, delivered about 800,000 tablet computers to all Prathom 1 students. The second phase last year was extended to cover Mathayom 1 students.

The number of delivered tablets so far is 1.6 million units, worth over 4.6 billion baht.

Procurement of more tablets is currently in progress, even though many students have been waiting for their new tablets for more than a month.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 02/01/2014 at 03:07 PM
Smart seems to become the word of choice for PT ideas and projects now. Wonder what they will call their next election winner policy. Smart Rice? Or even better, Credits for Smart Voters?
Discussion 2 : 02/01/2014 at 10:01 AM
Our grade 4 nephew from Isan used to be top of his class in his amphoe but spends a lot of time playing games on his school tablet now. When asked to read a little story recently he became all sheepish and bashful and said he can't remember how to read very well. School tablet scheme: FAIL. Review immediately.
Discussion 3 : 02/01/2014 at 09:38 AM
Tablets cannot be anything more than teaching tools. Certainly, they cannot replace (good) teachers who are passionated in their profession.
Discussion 4 : 02/01/2014 at 09:16 AM
Another PT promise bites the dust and you want to entrust this party with trillions of baht for proposed infrastructure? They have not fulfilled any promise they ever made. Think before you vote.
Discussion 5 : 02/01/2014 at 09:16 AM
Education policies seems to last 12-24 months before it is replaced with a much better policy that needs more money for purchase of new equipment.
Discussion 6 : 02/01/2014 at 09:08 AM
Good idea! Shame it came 2 years too late!
Discussion 7 : 02/01/2014 at 09:00 AM
How many policies or schemes does the PTP need to scrap? Perhaps they are better off at scrapping themselves. Another failed scheme many have been saying from the beginning.
Discussion 8 : 02/01/2014 at 07:26 AM
One smart classroom when each class is on average 45 to 50 students and up to 11 classes per year group, that means the students would get to use it maybe once a week! Thats not helpful. At least half the classrooms should be smart. The cost is small compared to the amount the schools pay out for teachers trips, directors special needs, and the extras families pay to the schools.
Discussion 9 : 02/01/2014 at 07:04 AM
Sounds a good idea. Students need to interact in the lessons and follow the teachers lesson. This is much better than each student staring into a tablet. Tablets should be owned by the school and only be given out to students for completing a piece of work. On completion of the task they should be returned to the teaching pool for reuse.

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