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Thai students found below global average


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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You guys give me hard-ons, the likes of which I haven't had since my Cialis, yabba and coke all weekenders with skinny brown whores (having a night off from their usual clients of course) on Suk Road. Thanks.

Oh.. he is really back.., please everyone here be happy and give him a warm welcome back :x

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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.

Thank you very much for this comment as you really are spaeking out of my soul!

My wife, clever as she is, got on a website in 1999 - just in order to find some people who could help her to improve her English*) - and she was/is an English teacher! hen I got first to her school, there have been some English teachers who did not dare to talk to me as they were not able to maintain even a simple conversation in English! There was one teacher who asked me for help when she wanted to prepare her lesson about KITTY with a typical multiple choice book and did not know which answer was right (KITTY is known for having....a) no ears, B) no mouth, c) no eyes....and so on).

Have a look at Thai teachers in public schools - most of them know NOTHING! And then, they are trying to convey their non-knowledge to the students! It's a shame!

Well, there is a big problem in the educational system, but it is not only because of the habit of making 50 teenagers repeat some phrases. As I could see now, I think that the education for teachers HOW to teach is not so bad but they don't know WHAT they should/could teach. I mean, if you study for MA and during this time nobody ever challenges your English skills (as an English teacher), it is a bit poor, even if you learn how to perfectly arrange lesson plans and whatsoever.

Just the 2 cents of a farang married to a very engaged English teacher....

*)and I am still happy she did so because otherwise we never would have met!

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And still, I do not think that Thais (Thai students) are more stupid than others. It's just the way of the education system. If at school, they would learn how to deal with issues, they also would be able to pass all this IQ and PISA and whatever tests. It's just that they are just learning for repeating, they take works from other, more senior students (who, then, also had got them from their predecessors) and so on.

I met a lot of clever and bright people in Thailand, but due to the educational system, most of them (if not deriving from rich families and able to attend international schools) will remain in a dull state - might they have a BA or MA, I'm sorry to say!

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This quote from a letter to the editor pretty much sums up my thinking on the entire educational system in Thailand.

The education system produces literate, obedient, deferential workers who know their place and barely understand their rights or know how to think critically, and we should realise that this is most likely its intended purpose.


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