This thesis concerns educational policy and management in Thailand, with specific
reference to the expansion of the existing 6-year primary education to 12-year basic
education. The study starts with an analysis of the past and present Thai education
systems, the politics surrounding them and reviews the existing educational
machinery set up to deal with the current compulsory six-year primary education.
Public and private participation in educational provision is examined.
This study develops a conceptual and practical framework for the design of
educational provision. It draws upon and extends the core concept of the
Contingency Approach originated by Rondinelli, Middleton, and Verspoor (1987;
1990) and it utilises both qualitative and quantitative methods in doing so. The data
are classified and transformed into requirements, capacity, feasibility and
implementation phases, taking account of environmental uncertainty which
subsequently determines the four possible alternatives available for the
implementation of a model for a 12-year basic education provision in the framework
of action plans.
The findings reveal that in the current economic crisis the present education reform
plan is not appropriate for extending the compulsory six-year primary education to a
compulsory twelve-year one. Four possible alternatives are then recommended for
further discussion depending on the policy of the government. It is suggested that the
most appropriate in the circumstances is the option that involves a transitional period
of 9-year compulsory education followed by 12-year compulsory education by 2017.
It is hoped that the conceptual and practical framework and the model may be useful
for developing countries which wish to expand their basic education provision.