Education is mandatory for Thai children from the age of six to the age of fifteen. Government public schools are free for all Thai national children, a Thai national being a person that has at least one Thai parent as long as the birth has been registered in Thailand. Thai parents are required to pay fees for books and other necessities and to buy a school uniform.
The curriculum of government schools focuses on five areas:
- Basic Thai language skill and mathematics
- Life skills – including social studies, natural science, health and more
- Character growth and development
- Special skill – English language studies
- Thai Studies
Though there have been many attempts at improving the level of English taught in public schools, it is still sub par and needs much work to reach an international level. Some government schools have bi-lingual programmes or English programmes. This includes classes entirely in English to extra English classes. These programmes come at a fee, though, but are still much cheaper than private schools.
Private and International schools are usually the choice of expats in Bangkok. The quality of teaching is high and classes are small. There are more than 70 international schools in Bangkok and in the surrounding areas. They offer education for all ages, from kindergarten all the way to college and university.
Some schools follow the American curriculum while others follow the British or other systems such as the German, Japanese and Swiss. International schools use internationally recognized course and grading systems that allow students to transfer to any schools, high school or university abroad.
Thai studies are mandatory in private and international schools.