The most recent education reform policy in Thailand officially began in 1999,when the National Education Act came into force. It was considered the most comprehensive reform in Thailand’s history. From 1999 to 2009,many governments and ministers of education assumed power. Their roles in implementing the education reform policy as stipulated in the National Education Act were significant. This research examines the roles of each government and each Minister of Education in implementing the education reform policy after the National Education Act came into force in 1999 to the end of the first decade of this policy. This research is qualitative and is undertaken by two main methods: document analysis and semi-structured interviewing. This research analyses the factors which influenced the implementation of the education reform policy based on the top-down approach to policy implementation analysis. The governments of Thailand within the timeframe of this research can be divided into three groups: (1) the Democrat Party from 1999 to the beginning of 2001 and from the end of 2008 to 2009; (2) the Thai Rak Thai Party and other political parties associated with Thaksin Shinawatra from 2001 to 2006 and in 2008; and (3) the government appointed by the military junta after the coup d’état on 19 September 2006. Based on the top-down approach to policy implementation analysis, there are five major factors which obstructed the implementation of the education reform policy from 1999-2009,namely: (1) the size of target groups involved and affected and the extent of change required by the policy; (2) the ambiguity of the National Education Act as the main framework of the education reform policy and other related regulations; (3) the lack of one main agency responsible for implementation of the education reform policy; (4) different levels of commitment and leadership of the governments; and (5) political instability in Thailand, especially from 2006-2009.
|Date of Award
|Robin Tennant-Wood (Supervisor) & Chris Sadleir (Supervisor)