Out: Tablets. In: Smart classrooms

The One Tablet per Child programme, a brainchild of Pheu Thai party, will likely be replaced by the smart schoolroom scheme.

Related agencies agreed on Monday to channel the remaining 7-billion baht budget of the scrapped project to the smart classroom scheme proposed by the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec). The junta will make the final decision.

Each smart classroom will have tablets for students and teachers, notebooks, an electronic board and charging stations.

WiFi connectivity will be provided at every school by the Information Communication and Technology Ministry.

For the purpose, schools will be divided into three groups by size — small, medium-sized and large.

They will receive 20, 40 and 50 tablets per smart classroom respectively.

The costs of the smart classrooms are 300,000, 400,000 and 600,000 baht respectively.

The remaining budget can finance the smart classrooms for 20,000 schools. Of them, 15,000 schools are under the supervision of Obec.

"The new tablet (for classroom use only) will have higher specifications and standards, with a market price of 12,000 baht," said Obec's deputy secretary-general Kamol Rodklai.

"If we order in bulk, the price could go down to 8,500 baht each. Importantly, its capabilities would not be inferior to those of Apple Inc's iPad or Samsung's," he said.

Mr Kamol admitted two big obstacles of  the previous scheme were content and teachers' training.

Therefore, a committee on e-content development was formed to develop learning applications.

New content will be created by brainstorming among experts and organising an e-content contest.

Within three months, all e-content and learning apps must be available for all students from Prathom 1 to Mathayom 6 as students of all grades are allowed to use the smart classroom.

Tablet suppliers will be required to train teachers and give after-sale services.

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