Inspiration Is Fleeting- Grab It When You See It
Learning is like rowing upstream, not to advance is to drop back. – Chinese Proverb
Over the past few years Thailand has gone through a lot of highs and lows but one thing has remained constant, and that is the constant lagging behind in the field of education. In the September of 2016 at a seminar by Quality Learning Foundation and the Embassy of Finland, much useful and worrying information was provided to Thailand’s education academia. Thailand lags behind in the field of education. Case in point, Asian giant, China is looking to improve the standard of education by setting up English corners in classrooms to offer an environment that enhances English learning, another Asian giant, India, already lists English as one of its two national languages. If we compare Thailand to a nation of similar stature, Singapore, a nation which was often seen as in the same vein as Thailand has zoomed past in terms of education, not only in English but overall, as the small yet powerful country now has 2 universities listed in the top 100 institutes in the world.
The uniting factor between the three countries listed above? Consistency. Asst Prof Sa-ngiam Torut, a lecturer at Silpakorn Univeristy echoes this sentiment and said, “The consistency is all there – something that Thailand is lacking”. It is not only consistency though, but also the lack of inspiration amongst students themselves, Education Minister in 2016 Dapong Rattanasuwan admitted there are problems with the Thai Education system, which seems to be unable to inspire students as findings uncovered during a weekly program called “Thailand Moves Forward” showed that the performances of Thai students in Math, Science and English are below standards when compared to neighboring countries and that students lack critical thinking skills and discipline.
The good news, however, is that Thailand is working on changing the current trend before it gets too late, on April 21st, 2017 the current education minister of the country has pledged to make upcoming educational reforms relevant to students all across the country. The burning question, however, remains, is a change in the education going to inspire students to learn again?
One such institute that seems to have it all figured out lies in the heart of Bangkok. Bangkok School of Management is an institute dedicated to inspiring excellence, to inspire learning- this is not the typical management school where everything revolves around the almighty dollar, this is an institute that actually cares to make sure that when the students leave the institute they actually have some substance and have learnt something they did not know before they joined. Bangkok School of Management was established in 1997 and has always aimed to be different, the professors are actually active professionals in their field and offer real-world solutions for real-world problems, they are more than just book knowledge and scholars’ holding a stack of Ph.D.’s and research papers. Options at Bangkok School of Management are plentiful, with Adult Pathway courses for working individuals to Bachelor courses for younger students, flexible timings, open-minded professors make for a better learning environment, which in turn is inspiring, as students don’t have to confine to strict regulations like other institutes but are free to express individuality without the fear or chastising. The students, on the other hand, are not your typical students but budding entrepreneurs, 1 in 4 of graduates have started their own businesses, 1 in 7 of the current students at BSM have start-ups up and running.
Maybe the answer lies in the methodology of educating, maybe the newer generation just needs a bit of a change, not only in the education system, but the way of thinking and expressing ideas that the older methods do not encourage. Hopefully with the change in reforms there comes inspiration, for inspiration is fleeting; grab it when you see it.