Showing 1-10 of 15 results


    Rid English of rote-learning

    News, Editorial, Published on 08/06/2016

    » Education authorities are going to try again to bring up the standards of English proficiency. Two notable decisions have been announced in the past week. Government schools, beginning in November, will increase the amount of time teaching English to the youngest students by five times -- five hours a week instead of the current one hour. The Khurusapha Teachers Council decided that it must re-test every English teacher in the system, foreign and Thai, to make sure they are qualified in the language, and have the proper documentation.


    Malaysia right over Uighurs

    News, Editorial, Published on 15/10/2018

    » Malaysia has made a bold move in the continuing conundrum over the fate of refugees and illegal migrants. Last week, the Kuala Lumpur government spurned both the soft requests of Thailand and the harsh demands of China and sent 11 Chinese Uighur refugees to Turkey. The decision to free the 11 was unexpected. The new Malaysian government under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was caught between a diplomatic rock and humanitarian hard place and took the more popular way out.


    UN tramples its own ideals

    News, Editorial, Published on 16/10/2018

    » The UN General Assembly has once again openly mocked some of the major principles it purports to champion. It has elected several of the world's worst human rights violators as full members of its Human Rights Commission. In the process, it employed a questionable procedure in which there was no competition. Member countries of the UNGA were presented with 18 candidate-nations for 18 pending vacancies on the UNHRC. In the event, as usual in such UN processes, none of the candidates failed to gain a majority vote, so the 48-member UNHRC will at least have all its seats filled when it meets in Geneva next year.


    Religious abuse perils

    News, Editorial, Published on 15/08/2018

    » Friday is the third anniversary of the worst single terrorist attack in modern Thailand. The poorly investigated, badly prosecuted bombing of the Erawan shrine killed 20 people and injured more than 100. The hurried police work concluded it was the act of foreigners angry at the government's success against human trafficking. The "foreigners" turned out to be Chinese Uighurs, two of whom were arrested and are still undergoing trial. The only known Thai suspect is on bail and her trial is officially pending, unofficially unlikely.


    Budgetary etiquette

    News, Editorial, Published on 14/06/2018

    » The recent passing of the Prayut Chan-o-cha government's national budget for fiscal year 2019, with a 20% increase in national security spending, has attracted much public criticism -- as it should.


    Take shark fin off the menu for good

    News, Editorial, Published on 18/02/2018

    » Thailand once again is under the international spotlight. A global report has pinpointed Thailand as a country with high consumption of shark fin, which is popular in Chinese food and traditional medicine but which raise conservation concerns.


    No need for a rush on bans

    News, Editorial, Published on 15/01/2018

    » While most people agree with the statement that we live in a complicated world, a huge number argue for what they claim to be simple solutions. Nowhere is this more common than in addressing criminal, anti-social or harmful goods and behaviour. Some people favour strict laws that ban goods and behaviour. But bans almost never result in completely halting their target. In most cases, regulation beats bans hands down.


    Tackling road slaughter

    News, Editorial, Published on 06/12/2017

    » The government has prepared another public relations drive to address the holiday road slaughter, beginning Dec 21. This year's twist will be the slogan "777". It is meant to be read as seven-seven-seven, which simply means the New Year's campaign will last three weeks, rather than the "seven dangerous days" of the recent past. Authorities start from a weak point, since last year's safety campaign saw a 25% rise in holiday highway fatalities, to a record 478 -- more than 68 deaths a day.


    Education the key for drone owners

    News, Editorial, Published on 15/10/2017

    » On Wednesday, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) stepped in to regulate about 50,000 drones in Thailand that must be registered within 90 days before they can be airborne. With immediate effect, Thailand's territory has become a no-fly zone for all kinds of unregistered drones. Some may not like it, but the registration is necessary. In fact, the NBTC must do more beyond registering drones.


    A military extravagance

    News, Editorial, Published on 13/07/2017

    » As the end of its tenure draws closer, the government seems to have embarked on a buying spree. Its decision this week to procure eight T-50 jet trainers from South Korea at a cost of 8.8 billion baht indicates just where its priorities lie.

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