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Thai students found below global average


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By The Nation

Published on July 8, 2011

Thai children's average intelligence quotient (IQ) is just 98.59, a little lower than the world's median of 100, according to new research.

Of 72,780 Thai students surveyed recently, 6.5 per cent suffered intellectual disability because their IQs were lower than 70.

"Judging from global statistics, the percentage of children with below-70 IQ should not exceed two," Dr Apichai Mongkol of the Mental Health Department said yesterday.

He said the survey of Thai students was conducted using the Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM parallel version; updated 2003) in December and January.

"Given the size of the sample, this is the biggest IQ survey," he said.

By region, students in the Northeast had the lowest average scores, with 95.99. In the South, students did a bit better, scoring 96.85.

On average, Northern students' scores were 100.11 while students in the Central region achieved 101.29. Students in Bangkok had average scores of 104.5

"But Bangkok students do not demonstrate the highest average IQ scores [by province]," Apichai said. "Their average scores are just the fourth highest in the country".

By province, students in Nonthaburi were the brightest, scoring an average of 108.91. Next were students in Rayong with 107.52 and students in Lampang with 106.62.

The survey showed 14 other provinces had children with average IQ scores above 100. They were Chon Buri, Samut Sakhon, Trat, Pathum Thani, Phayao, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Sing Buri, Phuket, Samut Songkhram, Nakhon Sawan, Phrae and Chiang Mai.

Children in 20 other provinces had average IQ scores of 100.

In 38 provinces, the children's average scores were below 100. Seventeen Northeastern provinces were in this group but the lowest IQ scores were detected in the Southern province of Narathiwat (just 88.07).

Apichai said he believed insufficient iodine intake was the main cause of the below-average IQs of children in these provinces.

To promote higher IQs, he said parents should express their love for their children, provide them with nutritious food and allow them to interact with nature.

"Let children play without restrictions because that will boost their creativity," Apichai said. "Aside from that, parents should encourage their children to read, sing and play sports."

Chulalongkorn University lecturer Narongrit Asawaruangpipob said students in urban areas had higher IQs than those in rural zones. "The percentage of geniuses or those having IQ scores of above 130 is 3.4," he said. In Nonthaburi, 9.5 per cent of students surveyed had IQs of more than 130.

OMG. After I read it... I quite shock... Is this show the future of Thailand?

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The problem is, the report is written on paper... therefore very few Thai people will ever know about it.

If the somehow put it into a comic book, it may get wider coverage.

(Sorry, I'm on a downer against stupid Thais at the moment. There are at least 11.3 million of them who are stupider than sheep)

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The problem is, the report is written on paper... therefore very few Thai people will ever know about it.

I'm not sure if anyone if a damn about this issue... but it can drive some Thai teachers and prof. crazy. They said it's hard to believe.

From what I have seen today, Thai Generation Y, some of them can't even read, write Thai language correctly. Their English aren't good and some of them can't even speak English. Matchmatic aren't good. Can't be the risk takers.

If the somehow put it into a comic book, it may get wider coverage.

Put it in Thai soap, or sit-com work well. People don't like to read.

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(Sorry, I'm on a downer against stupid Thais at the moment. There are at least 11.3 million of them who are stupider than sheep)

comparing ppl who voted for Thaksin ... sorry i mean Yingluck to sheep is a tad unfair !!!

on sheep !!!!

Edited by CiaranM
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I've heard averages of the Thai IQ being anywhere from 80 - 92...never have I heard it getting anywhere near 98. After living here for close to a decade, I'd have to say this study is flawed. Either numbers were changed so as not to lose face, or students were given help (allowed to cheat).

No offense to the Thais on this one, but rare is it that I meet a Thai that can easily add 48 + 52 without looking up to the sky for a few seconds, start counting on their fingers, look up to the sky again, etc...and that is the simple stuff...13 + 19 is harder for some reason! Thais are not taught to learn, they are taught to memorize and pass tests.

Wikipedia puts Thais' IQ's around 91, which I still find a bit generous.

And what's this crap about insufficient iodine being the source of the problem? Someone needs to check Apichai's IQ, start this exam over using a 3rd party watchdog, and THEN begin to re-construct the education system here. I've worked with the Thai MOE for a few years, and taught in a "good" bi-lingual school in Nonthaburi. Unfortunately the main reason why I have to leave Thailand is because I would never subject Jasmine to this system.

Don't hate me for being honest.

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To promote higher IQs, he said parents should express their love for their children, provide them with nutritious food and allow them to interact with nature.

"Let children play without restrictions because that will boost their creativity," Apichai said. "Aside from that, parents should encourage their children to read, sing and play sports."

Apichai's IQ seems to hover a tad below 70 if he actually believes anything he just said :-)

But this is just like every other report regarding Thailand where Thailand has to stand up to world standards. You get some government minister who gives some completely retarded solution and then it all gets swept under the rug. Thai's only read 2 books per year compared to 40 per year in Vietnam? "We need to encourage young people to read more." Then do nothing to facilitate that and act shocked a few years later when they do another study and find the numbers haven't improved.

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I still think that the "IQ" has NOTHING to do with real capabilities. Fact is that in Thailand, you are more educated to replicate things than to get knowledge you can apply to different situations. Sad enough! But stating that Thai average IQ is 81 compared to 110 of Singaporean students is crazy. Thai youngsters are as smart and capable as Singaporean ones, the thing why they cannot apply this is the school system (I know because my lovely wife is a teacher and I helped evaluating scores).

In Thailand, I think, education is thought by being able to replicate issues.

In Europe, education is thought to be the ability of applying issues to a cause

Difficult enough, and I see that Thai education is not what would be possible.

Edited by kaunitz
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I've heard averages of the Thai IQ being anywhere from 80 - 92...never have I heard it getting anywhere near 98. After living here for close to a decade, I'd have to say this study is flawed. Either numbers were changed so as not to lose face, or students were given help (allowed to cheat).

Yep, I've also read about this and I can say that this is completely untrue. It is not about the level of intelligence, it is about the level of being able to do and see things by "yourself". Thing is that in Thai educational system, emphasis is not on how to implement knowledge on given problems but just on replicating given examples. As I was and am helping my wife out on her written exam evaluations at the end of a semester, I have to admit that I am very, very disappointed. But my wife (well, she's the teacher and knows what's going on) often tells me "ok, don't take this so serious, let it go". It is not in her mind but she knows that this is the opinion of those having the "big picture" about education. More, I don't want to say :(

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Yep, I've also read about this and I can say that this is completely untrue. It is not about the level of intelligence, it is about the level of being able to do and see things by "yourself". Thing is that in Thai educational system, emphasis is not on how to implement knowledge on given problems but just on replicating given examples. As I was and am helping my wife out on her written exam evaluations at the end of a semester, I have to admit that I am very, very disappointed. But my wife (well, she's the teacher and knows what's going on) often tells me "ok, don't take this so serious, let it go". It is not in her mind but she knows that this is the opinion of those having the "big picture" about education. More, I don't want to say :(

I don't agree with you on this one. IQ is IQ. I'm not one to believe that one can't be educated to a higher IQ but to say that it just doesn't test the IQ in a way that Thais would be good at sounds a tad like you're talking about the symptom rather than the cause. An IQ test, tests, amongst other things, critical thinking, logic, abstract reasoning, spacial imagery, etc. These are considered, pretty much, the indications of intelligence worldwide. It's generally accepted that if you give the same person various IQ tests with different questions that they'll score the same on each test (within a certain standard deviation).

That being said, I don't think it's Thai in the sense that it's genetic. It's just that these thinking and learning skills are squashed in the Thai educational system (which is why the rich don't put their kids in public schools and, if possible, send them overseas to study). The Thai educational system is designed to produce robots. It is designed to kill intellectual curiosity.

I think if they overhauled the educational system Thailand's IQ results would jump 10 points in a decade. Easy.

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The problem is, the report is written on paper... therefore very few Thai people will ever know about it.

If the somehow put it into a comic book, it may get wider coverage.

(Sorry, I'm on a downer against stupid Thais at the moment. There are at least 11.3 million of them who are stupider than sheep)

A Hello Kitty announcement at MBK perhaps?

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I don't agree with you on this one. IQ is IQ. I'm not one to believe that one can't be educated to a higher IQ but to say that it just doesn't test the IQ in a way that Thais would be good at sounds a tad like you're talking about the symptom rather than the cause. An IQ test, tests, amongst other things, critical thinking, logic, abstract reasoning, spacial imagery, etc. These are considered, pretty much, the indications of intelligence worldwide. It's generally accepted that if you give the same person various IQ tests with different questions that they'll score the same on each test (within a certain standard deviation).

That being said, I don't think it's Thai in the sense that it's genetic. It's just that these thinking and learning skills are squashed in the Thai educational system (which is why the rich don't put their kids in public schools and, if possible, send them overseas to study). The Thai educational system is designed to produce robots. It is designed to kill intellectual curiosity.

I think if they overhauled the educational system Thailand's IQ results would jump 10 points in a decade. Easy.

So I generally don't see a disagreement between the two of us on this point! Maybe I expressed myself in a way that might be misunderstood, but I am convinced that the reason why Thai students cannot solve some IQ questions is because they are not taught to apply knowledge on issues that are shaped differently but just to follow exactly what they heard during the lesson. And this, in my opinion, has nothing to do with intelligence per se but with the capability of applying it which, in my opinion, is a pure matter of the education system and not genetically or else conditioned.

E.g. in Yemen, I have seen a teacher who let his pupils recite some Quran veres for me and he was very proud that the collective could do so. I am sure that he never thought (and thinks) of first assuring that EVERYONE in the class can do it (which to observe is a bit difficult with about 50 kids) and, even more important, to explain the MEANING of those phrases.

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At your service sir. I had a few things to deal with but they won't be a problem anymore. Now I have a wonderful new problem.

New problems ---YOU???? -----hard to believe...

water has been cleaned, but you should find even deeper lows available to you in the "new TF" !

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As a Thai person having attended a Thai leading private school, I would say the Thai educational system has had a serious problem for a very long time. First of all, the Thai educators needs to change their mindset, which is apparently - not easy. Teachers need to encourage more discussion in class - which causes more preparation for the teachers ! And who needs that with low wages. So many aspects to cover.

Actually, when I had to take GRE and GMAT as part of my application for a scholarship overseas, I thought I wasn't gonna pass them. The reason was that the tests required critical thinking which I wasn't accustomed to. I had to study the previous tests again and again by myself (no money for a fancy tutorail classes). Finally, I passed both and got that scholarship. Let me tell you, it was just a begining. My first graduate class overseas was still haunting me, 55555 That's another story....

My point is Thai students are victims of its society. But if they really want to achieve, they could but only a few. Sad but true.

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Thai Students Grab Three Gold and One Silver Medals in International Biology Olympiad (28/07/2010)

Four Thai students recently won three gold medals and one silver in the 2010 International Biology Olympiad (IBO) held in South Korea.

They competed with more than 230 students from 58 countries in the annual event held from July 11 to 18 in Changwon.

Last year, Thai students received one gold and three silver medals in the IBO 2009, held in Tsukuba, Japan.

The IBO is a competition for secondary school students. Their skills in tackling biological problems and dealing with biological experiments are tested in this event.

In bringing together gifted students, the IBO tries to challenge and stimulate these students as a way to expand their talents and to promote their future careers as scientists.

A very important point is bringing together young people from over the world in an open, friendly, and peaceful state of mind.

"http://thailand.prd.go.th/view_around_thailand.php?id=5156"

nocommentnocomment

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