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Education in Thailand is provided mainly by the Thai government through the Ministry of Education from pre-school to senior high school. A free basic education of twelve years is guaranteed by the constitution, and a minimum of nine years' school attendance is mandatory.
Administration and control of public and private universities are carried out by the Office of Higher Education Commission, a department of the Ministry of Education.
Education in a school-related system, is provided by educational institutions, characterised by a class system, and the use of a curriculum specified for the level and type of education, so as to develop learners in accordance with curriculum objectives. On the other hand, education from the way-of-life learning process is self-learning from various sources of knowledge and the environment, which is related to ways of life naturally existing or modified to enhance it, coupled to service learning.
Education in a school-related system is divided into four levels: pre-school education, primary education, secondary education and higher education.
1. Pre-School Education is in the form of childcare and the readiness development of children in physical, psychological, mental, emotional, personality, and social aspects so as to prepare them for higher levels of education.The provision of education at this level can be organised in the form of day-care centres, kindergarten, or child development centres, depending upon local conditions and target groups.
2. Primary Education aims to provide a basis for learners to retain literacy and arithmetic ability, to form a desirable character and encompass morality, ethics, basic knowledge and ability.
3. Secondary Education is divided into two parts, i.e., lower secondary and upper secondary education.
* Lower Secondary Education aims to promote learners' morality, knowledge, ability and skills beyond the primary level. To enable them to identify their needs and interests, to be aware of their aptitude both in general and vocational education; and to develop their ability for work and occupational practices relevant to their age.
* Upper Secondary Education aims to enable learners to progress according to their aptitude and interests, and acquire the basis either for furthering to higher education or for working and pursuing a career suitable for their aptitude both as entrepreneurs and paid workers. To promote their morality, ethics, and social skills necessary for working pursuing, a career and leading peaceful social lives.
4. Higher Education is divided into 3 levels, i.e., lower than Bachelor's Degree level, Bachelor's Degree level, and Graduate level.
* Lower Than Bachelor's Degree Level aims to promote learners' knowledge and vocational skills at middle level, including their ability to initiate jobs and develop entrepreneurship.
* Bachelor's Degree Level aims to promote learners' higher level of knowledge and vocational skills in various disciplines, especially the ability to apply theories to practices for both academic and professional development. To create and disseminate knowledge, to participate in national development with relation to economic, social, political, cultural and environmental aspects, and to promote the role of the nation in the world community.
* Graduate Level aims to promote learners' specialised knowledge and skills. To strive for academic progress and excellence, especially in studies, research and development of knowledge and technology in science, humanities and social sciences. To facilitate the adoption of modern technology and local Thai wisdom for economic and social development, instrumental to Thai society.
In addition, education in a school-related system is provided for specific needs and target groups, some of which are:
* Teacher Education aims to train and develop prospective, as well as practicing teachers, who have acquired morality, knowledge, ability and skills in teaching and motivating learners to learn; to be mindful of professionalism, spirit and responsibility of teachers. To serve as a role model for learners regarding social behaviour, life style and preservation of the national language and culture; to develop an inquiring mind and engage in the continuous improvement of themselves and their teaching capability. To engage in community development, as well as in rehabilitation, conservation and enrichment of the local and national environment and culture.
* Vocational Education aims to enable learners to develop vocational knowledge and skills useful for working both as entrepreneurs and as paid workers; and to make a decent living.
Vocational education can be organised in both formal and non-formal systems. Vocational education in the formal school system is a development of occupational knowledge and skills relevant to each level of education from primary to higher levels. It also includes the development of vocational education in the non-formal system is short-course training in specific occupations, for those needing to upgrade their knowledge and skills of specific vocational skills and expertise which require a long period of training from childhood, such as dancing, music and sports. Such education can be provided in special institutes created for the purpose, or incorporated in the general curricula.
* Special Education aims to enable learners who are physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally handicapped to undertake learning suitable for their conditions and capability. On the other hand, it enables geniuses or talented learners to develop their aptitude to the fullest potential and maximise their ingenuity. Special education can be provided in special institutes or in general educational institutions, from pre-school to higher educational levels.