A Synthesis of Studies in Vocational Education from 1993 to 1998
Faculty of Technical Education, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology North Bangkok, and Suggestions
for Vocational Education Reform in Thailand

Dr. Krismant Whattananarong
Associate Professor
Department of Technological Education
Faculty of Technical Education
King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology North Bangkok’
1518 Piboonsongkhram Rd., Bangsue, Bangkok 10800, Thailand
E-mail: krm@kmitnb.ac.th


The purpose of this study was to analyze theses and dissertations in vocational education completed by graduate students from the Faculty of Technical Education, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology North Bangkok, from the year 1993 to 1997, and to synthesize the outcomes in order to make suggestions for vocational education reform.  The contents of the research studies were divided into five areas.  There were 36 studies in the area of curricula and instruction, 45 studies in administration and management, 14 studies in social services, 169 studies in development of instructional media, and 39 studies in others which related to vocational education and training.  There were 303 studies used in this study.  They were analyzed by a method of qualitative analysis by the researcher.  The results revealed that in the area of curricula and instruction, most vocational teachers held a bachelor’s degree with over 5 years of teaching experience.  They had had no work experience related to their teaching subjects.  Effectiveness of curricula and teaching were rated at a good level.  However, the curricula were not flexible, lacked revision, were obsolete, and not fitted to the needs of employers.  The certificate-level graduates preferred further study to work.  The problem students were those who were unsatisfied with their field of study.  But they had no alternative.  In the area of administration and management, the administrators in different regions, age groups, and with different work experience stated different opinions, thoughts, and management patterns.  Vocational institutes under the Department of Vocational Education had no plan to gain income from other sources to support their education management.  Unknowledgeable personnel and lack of adequate and continued training in working procedures caused the crucial problems in administration and management.  In the area of social services, there were not many activities.  Vocational institutes provided some vocational training to gain income and for career development.   Most research studies were in the area of educational media development.  There were many usable media developed for vocational teaching and training in all levels and disciplines.  The instructional media employed value of a quality sufficient to provide learning achievement both higher than and equal to usual instruction.  For the others, the studies showed that employers preferred hiring employees who had high work ethics and good attitudes toward work over those who were high knowledgeable and skillful.  There was less cooperation between government vocational institutes and private sectors.  The teachers who had a degree in engineering quit their teaching job for a higher paid job.  Lack of funding was still cited as the major cause of problems.  The results of this analysis revealed the situation of vocational education in Thailand during the transitional period from a booming economy to a recession.  The results of most studies did not show the impact of economic recession on vocational education.  The vocational institutes under the Department of Vocational Education showed no sign of changing and adapting themselves to the changing socio-economic situation of the country and of the world.  For the suggestions of vocational reform in Thailand, the vocational education system should be designed to correlate with national products, the labor market, and the economy of the country in which it needs more cooperation from many sectors.  Vocational education institutes should show a higher sensitivity in adjusting themselves to the changing society.  They should be flexible to manage under a clear policy.  The curricula should focus on educating students to become good citizens, self-reliance, and to make them employable with international standard vocational qualifications.


Last updated: 30 January 2002   arrow.gif (1001 bytes)


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