- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
The National Education Act Act, B.E. 2542 (1999) and Thailand's Constitution include private education institutions within Thailand's education system and enact the possibility for individuals, legal persons, non-profit organizations, and religious denominations that meet the conditions set by law to open and manage a private educational institution.
No formal definition was found in the legal texts for the terminology "private" or "non-governmental" education institution. However, the Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554), which governs from pre-school to upper secondary level, uses the terminology "school" as a private establishment providing education; whether it be a Formal School or a Non-formal School which is not a private higher education institute under the law governing private higher education institutes. The Private Institution of Higher Education Act (2003) defines a private institution of higher education as a private establishment of education that provides degree level instruction to one person or more.
In Thailand, most schools at primary (six years, beginning at age 7), lower secondary (three years, beginning at age 13), and upper secondary education (three years, beginning at age 16) are state schools. Compulsory education covers primary education and lower secondary education (nine years, ages 7 to 16). The State provides 15 years of free basic education. The education system comprises formal, non-formal, and informal education.
Non-state managed, state schools
No information was found.
Non-state funded, state schools
No information was found.
Independent, non-state schools
International Schools are established, managed, and financed by individuals or legal persons under private law. These schools do not receive any government subsidies, and are free to establish and follow their curricula with the Ministry of Education’s approval. These educational institutions include schools with various programs such as American Curriculum, English National Curriculum, International Baccalaureate Curriculum etc. In 2022, there were 233 international schools in Thailand (Data as of May 2, 2022).
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
Private general education schools are private educational institutions that follow the national education curriculum and are subject to government funding. In 2022, there were 3,760 Formal Private Schools and 7,868 Non-formal Private Schools in Thailand (Data as of May 2, 2022).
Private assisted schools are privately owned and managed but publicly funded through government subsidies such as per-student subsidies, free education subsidies for 15 years, supplementary food subsidies (milk), and lunch subsidies. They must comply with the State requirements, including following the Basic Education Core Curriculum; however, Religious Schools may include additional curricula with previous government authorization.
Charity schools are defined as private schools established to provide education for students living in disadvantaged circumstances without collecting tuition fees. According to the Regulation of the Ministry of Education on the Prescribing of the Measures to Assist Students in Private Schools as Individual Subsidies B.E. 2558 (2015), the Regulation of the Ministry of Education on the Prescribing of the Measures to Assist Student in Private Schools as Individual Subsidies (No.4) B.E. 2563 (2020), and the Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554) Section 35 states that any formal school which does not collect tuition fees or collect such fees less than the rate calculated under Section 32 because it is a school for charity or for educating the poor shall be financially subsidized or provided with other assistance by the Ministry of Education in order to enable such Formal School to continuously carry out its operations in accordance with the standards set forth by the Office of the Private Education Commission.
Private Islamic schools (pondok) are considered non-formal education with flexibility in educational management. This type of school is predominantly on the southern border, and follows the Islamic curriculum and religious traditions. The Regulation of the Ministry of Education on Subsidy as Remuneration for Religious Teachers in Islamic Private School (Section15 (1) (2)), and Subsidy as Management Charges of Private Islamic School (Section 15 (2)) in the Southern Border Provinces B.E. 2550 (2007) indicates that subsidies are paid for religious teachers in Private Islamic Schools and the subsidies are administrative fees for the only Religious Private Islamic Schools in the southern border provinces.
Contracted, non-state schools
No information was found.
Border Patrol Police Schools
Border Patrol Police Schools are established for the purpose of solving problems in using Thai language of the children in remote areas including improving quality of life and solving security problems in the border areas.
Thailand's Constitution and the National Education Act (1999) recognize the importance of education. Therefore, homeschooling is legal under the specifications of the Ministerial Regulation on Rights of Providing Basic Education by Family Education B.E. 2547 (2004).
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
No information was found.
No information was found.
According to the National Education Act Act, B.E. 2542 (1999), the Ministry of Education (MOE) is the main governing body responsible for overseeing education and formulating national educational policies.
The Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC)’s mission is to manage and promote basic education including pre-primary, primary, and secondary education in collaboration with other Ministries. Early Childhood Care and Education is governed by multiple government agencies; age zero to three are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, specifically the Department of Child and Youth. Children ages three to five, are under the responsibility of the Local Administration Organizations (LAOs) under supervision of the Department of Local Administration, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Education. Higher education and tertiary education is governed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI). Vocational education and training is governed by the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC). Non-formal and informal education is supervised by the Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education (ONIE). The Office of the Private Education Commission (OPEC) is a responsible office for private education. According to the Section 14 of the Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007), OPEC shall have the powers and duties (As amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011)) as follows :
(1) To be responsible for administrative work and support operations of the Commission;
(2) To submit recommendations on the strategic policy, private education development plan to the Commission;
(3) To promote, support technique, quality assurance, research and development for private education quality assurance;
(4) To be responsible for the operations relating to the Fund;
(5) To allocate subsidy to private education in accordance with the measures prescribed by the Commission under Section 13 (4);
(6) To be a data promotion and support center and private education central registration as well as to follow up and evaluate the private education management;
(7) To perform other tasks as assigned by the Commission.
At regional level, the Provincial Education Offices, the Provincial Private Education Offices, and the Education Service Area Offices are responsible for education institutions in their jurisdiction. In addition, there are Local Administrative Organizations responsible for education provision in their local areas – according to the Determining Plans and Procedures for Decentralization of Powers for Local Administrative Organizations ActB.E. 2542 (1999) section 16 (9) for Pattaya Municipality and Subdistrict Administrative Organizations; section 17 (6) for Provincial Administrative Organization; section 18 for Bangko; and section 19 for other special Local Administrative Organizations which do not cover a whole provincial region.
Vision for Private Education: Thailand's legislative framework enables private actors to contribute to the educational systems. Thailand's Constitution (Sec. 54) enacts that the State shall provide education as needed in various systems and enable cooperation among the State, local administrative organizations, and private sector in providing every level of education. The1999 National Education Act (as amendment in 2002) dictates that organizations other than the State such as private persons, local administration organization, individual, families, community organizations, private organization, professional bodies, religious institutions, enterprises, and other social institutions shall have the right to provide basic education as prescribed in the ministerial regulations (Sec. 12). The National Education Plan for the Year 2017 -2036 includes the private sector as an ally in education provision and states the willingness to promote the participation of all sectors in the provision of education. According to the 2019 Early Childhood Development Act B.E 2562, “The government entities, local administrative organizations, private sectors, and involved civil society sectors have the missions to collaboratively carry out the early childhood development and implementation in accordance with the standards and good practices relating to early childhood development as specified by the Committee, including a promotion of child caregivers to provide the development to early age children under their care pursuant to those standards and good practices relating to early childhood development”.
According to the National Standard for Early Childhood Development Center, it refers to an early age child as a child under six years of age. Early Childhood Care and Education is normally divided into two groups; children aged 0 – 3 years covered by home cares and nurseries, childcare centers, initial care centers, and children aged 3 – 5 years which are usually enrolled in childcare centers, child development centers, pre-school child development centers of religious institutions, initial care centers for disabled children or those with special needs, or early childhood development centers under other names. According to the 1999 National Education Act, early childhood education, which refers to the period of three years of kindergarten, is provided through three types of education i.e. formal, non-formal and informal education. In 2020 enrollment in private pre-elementary Education accounted for 33% of child enrollment at a national level.
For private schools, the establishment of a school shall require a license from the licensor. Application for and issuance of a license for each category and level shall be in accordance with the rules, procedures, and conditions prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations. An applicant for a license shall have the qualifications and have no prohibitions prescribed by the Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011)) (under Section 21 – for a natural person, and under Section 22 – for a juristic person). The applicants for the license to establish a school located in Bangkok (central level) shall submit applications and documents at the Office of the Private Education Commission; the applicants in other provinces (regional level) shall submit to the Provincial Education Office or Provincial Private Education Office.
Registration and approval: According to the Ministerial Regulation Prescribing Rules, Procedures and Conditions for Applying for a Nursery Establishment License B.E. 2549 (2006), private nurseries can be established by a natural person or a juristic person. Nurseries located in Bangkok must apply for permission for establishment at the Department of Children and Youth, whereas nurseries in other provinces must apply to the Provincial Social Development and Human Security Office. All proprietors must fulfil the requirements of qualifications, environment, infrastructure, staff, student-teacher ratio and sanitary facilities as specified by the Ministerial Regulation Prescribing Rules, Procedures and Conditions for Applying for a Nursery Establishment License, B.E. 2549 (2006) and pay the establishment fee.
As for early childhood development center, all centers must comply with the National Standard for Early Childhood Development Center to operate. According to the National Standard for Early Childhood Development Center and the Regulations of the Ministry of Education on the establishment of standards for private kindergartens B.E. 2545 (2002), they specify that all centers must apply for authorization and fulfil the requirements regarding classroom area according to educational level, teacher-student ratio and environmental administration for safety including indicators on strong structures, safety standards and adequate and clean bathrooms, toilets and tooth-brushing/hand-washing areas.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: No information was found.
Curriculum and education standards: All early childhood development institutions must comply with the learning objectives of the Early Childhood Curriculum B.E. 2560 (2017) and the National Standard for Early Childhood Development Center’s children development indicators. According to the 2019 Early Childhood Development Act B.E 2562, government entities, local administrative organizations, and private sectors in charge of public health and education management, welfare and right protection service to early age children shall provide knowledge, enhance skills, and build positive attitudes to child caregivers and other persons relating to early childhood development in respect of early childhood development.
Teaching profession: According to the Ministerial Regulation Prescribing Rules, Procedures and Conditions for Applying for a Nursery Establishment License, B.E. 2549 (2006), caretakers must comply with the training qualifications and may not have any of the prohibited characteristics included in the regulations. However, they are not required to have a professional license.
Fee-setting: According to the Notification of the Ministry of Education RE: Prescribing Criteria, Methods and Conditions for Preparing Announcements on Collection of School Fees and Other Fees (Notified on 31 May B.E. 2564 (2021), the school must declare a list of tuition fees, other fees, and non-profitable rewards with the approval of the school board and propose the licensor to sign for acknowledgment before publishing or closing the notice in a conspicuous place in the school, as well as notifying all parents in advance.
Admission selection and processes: No information was found.
Policies for vulnerable groups: According to the 2019 Early Childhood Development Act B.E. 2562, government entities, local administrative organizations, or private sectors in charge of early childhood development shall provide the welfare and right protection service to early age children, including a follow-up process to ensure the welfare and right protection service to all early age children.
Reporting requirements: Nurseries are provided with licenses for a year subject to renewal. All proprietors must apply yearly for the license permit authorization and demonstrate compliance with the authorization requirements.
Inspection: The nurseries have been inspected by the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment or ONESQA since B.E. 2543 (2000)
Child assessment: The Early Childhood Curriculum B.E. 2560 (2017) provides a framework for assessing children's development to be used by early childhood and care institutions. However, the 2019 Early Childhood Development Act B.E 2562 dictates that the "provision of learning management by early childhood development centers shall accord with the preparedness of early age children, but it shall not be the learning management targeted at competitive examinations among early age children.”
Registration and approval: The Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011)) dictates that the opening of a private educational institution is subject to the approval of the MOE under the law. The MOE specifies the documents included in the application according to the type of ownership and private institution. Providers located in Bangkok must apply to the Office of Private Education Commission. In contrast, a school located in a different province must submit their application at the Provincial Private Education Office
All private education institutions must follow the infrastructure requirements, including the number of students per classroom, building construction permit, and building construction certificate.
Licence: Once a license to establish a Formal School has been obtained, such School shall become a juristic person from the date of receiving such license, and the Licensee shall become a representative of such juristic person and continue to proceed under Section 25 and 26 by the Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011))
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): According to the Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011)), Section 91 states that in the case where it appears that the condition of the buildings, places or premises of a Formal School is inconsistent with the sanitation or hygiene, unstable, or other event which may endanger students, the Licensor shall have the power to issue a written order directing the Licensee to complete the remedial action within a reasonable time.
During remedial action referred to in paragraph one, the licensor may order the Formal School to stop teaching, and such Formal School may also be instructed to proceed with any other act necessary for the provision of education to students.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: According to the Regulations of the Ministry of Education on the Prescribing of the Measures to Assist Students in Private Schools as Individual Subsidies B.E. 2558 (2015), pre-primary to upper secondary private educational institutions may apply for government per-student subsidies by applying and fulfilling the prescribed requirements. Additionally, further grants are available such as subsidies for teachers' salaries and loans.
Private schools providing basic education can qualify for state-subsidized loans for construction and renovations (UNESCO). The Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011)) Section 48 prescribes that the government shall provide subsidization and promotion to the Formal Schools in addition to the subsidy provided under Section 35 in accordance with the recommendations of the Commission, particularly, on the following matters;
(1) Providing Educational Personnel together with their remuneration in the case of shortage of such personnel or in the case where any technical aspect is emphasized;
(2) Providing Teachers together with their remuneration including educational equipment, facilities, media, other educational services and assistances to handicapped students, the underprivileged or persons with special abilities;
(3) Reducing or exempting import duty on heavy durable goods and equipment for use in education as provided for in the law on customs tariff;
(4) Reducing or exempting income tax of the Licensee, however, as provided for in the Revenue Code.
(5) Reducing or exempting building and land tax or any other similar tax as prescribed by law.
Curriculum and education standards: International Schools can introduce international curricula with previous government authorization and submit to the MOE to apply any changes or new programs before implementing them. Private General Education Schools must comply with the Basic Education Core Curriculum objectives; however, institutions can include additional academic instructions according to the community and local context's needs. Institutions must request authorization to set their curricula, learning, or teaching methods. The Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011)) indicates that instruction in a Formal School other than the instruction of foreign languages shall be carried out in Thai language, unless it is an international school or a school authorized to instruct in foreign languages, the instruction shall be carried out in the languages indicated in the license. However, the students shall be instructed to be able to read, write and speak Thai (Section 43).
Textbooks and learning materials: No information was found.
Teaching profession: The National Education Act (Sect. 53) states that teachers, administrators of educational institutions, educational administrators and other educational personnel, both at state and private schools, must have professional licenses and proper qualifications as stated by law.
According to the Regulations of the Ministry of Education on the Prescribing of the Measures to Assist Students in Private Schools as Individual Subsidies B.E.2558 (2015), private educational institutions benefiting from subsidies must set their teachers' salaries following the regulations and wages must not be below those established by the government. (Clause 14-6)
Teachers Council of Thailand
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2540 (1997) under Section 81 calls for the development of the teaching profession and promotes professional standards of teachers and educational personnel of Section 9 (4) in the National Education Act B.E. 2542 (1999) in order to convert a council in the Ministry of Education in pursuant to the Teachers Act B.E. 2488 (1945) to be a teaching profession organization in pursuant to Section 53 of the National Education Act B.E. 2542 (1999). In compliance with Section 73 by enacting the Teachers and Educational Personnel Council Act B.E. 2546 (2003), there shall be a teacher and educational personnel council, called the “Teachers Council of Thailand.” It shall have authority and duties to establish professional standards, issue and revoke teaching licenses, supervise the practice according to the professional standards and code of ethics, including professional development, professional development plans and policies, coordination to promote education and teaching profession research; and aims to continue the history and intention of establishing the Teachers Council of Thailand to be a teaching profession council which deserves to be a high profession.
Corporal punishment: The Ministry of Education Regulation on Student Punishment B.E. 2548 (2005) article 5 establishes 4-level punishment including admonition, parole, deduction of behavioral marks, and behavior modification activity, and article 6 states that it is prohibited to punish pupils and students with violent methods or with harmful, angry or revengeful intention.
Other safety measures and Covid-19: As of May 2022, schools are all open but students and teachers are required to wear masks at all time. And the schools have to follow the Covid-19 measures by the Ministry of Education (Announcement of the Ministry of Education, 10 May 2022).
Admission selection and processes: No information was found.
Fee-setting: Private Schools that do not receive any government subsidies are free to set their tuition fees; however, fees must be approved by OPEC before they can be applied. If the OPEC deems a determination of tuition fees and other fees in a manner of seeking exorbitant profits, the OPEC may order a reduction of such tuition fees and other fees as deemed appropriate (The Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011)). In accordance with the Regulation of the Ministry of Education on the Prescribing of the Measure to Assist Students in Private Schools as Individual Subsidies (Article 6 (2) b, the schools that collect tuition fees, combined with individual subsidies, do not exceed the individual cost rate for public sector students at each level. In the case of charitable school, tuition fees must not be collected from the school.
Policies for vulnerable groups: The Ministry of Education endeavors to provide access to education for all groups of students (Education in Thailand, 2018). Moreover, there is the Equitable Education Fund (EEF),which was established by the Equitable Education Act (2018). This fund works to promote partnerships with different agencies working with children, support basic education expenses, and strengthen teacher development quality.
School management/board: According to the National Education Act (1999) (Sec. 44), private education institutions must have their executive boards comprising of private education administrators, licensees, representatives of students’ parents, representatives of community organization, representatives of teachers, representatives of alumni, and qualified persons. The Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011)) (Section 30) indicates that a Formal School shall have an executive board consisting of the licensee, manager, director, representatives of teachers, representatives of students’ parents and qualified persons as members. However, the powers and duties of the executive board of a formal school shall be indicated in Section 31.
Reporting requirements: No information was found.
School inspection: Institutions must have Internal Quality Assurance and External Quality Assessments. External Quality assurance must be conducted at least once every five years. The Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA) oversees both basic and higher education institutions' external quality assessments.
Student assessments: Ordinary National Educational Test (O-NET) is administered annually by the National Institute of Educational Testing Service (Public Organization) to grade 6 (ISCED 1), grade 9 (ISCED 2) and grade 12 (ISCED 3) students in public and private schools.
Diplomas and degrees: No information was found.
Sanctions: According to the Private School Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (As Amended by the Private School Act (No. 2) B.E. 2554 (2011)), any Formal School which violates or fails to comply with the provisions of this Act, ministerial regulations, rules or announcements issued under this Act, carries on the business inconsistent with that license, or provides education below the prescribed standard, the Licensor shall have the power to issue an order for remedial action within the prescribed time. The Licensor shall have the power to issue an order directing such Formal School to suspend admission of new students or temporarily cease to carry out all or part of the business pursuant to the license, or other order reasonable to the case, taking into account the severity of circumstance in which the offense is committed. The Licensor shall have the power to issue an order requiring a Formal School to be controlled by the Office of the Private Education Commission or the Office of Educational Service Area having jurisdiction upon any events as indicated in Section 96.
Most tertiary education in Thailand is provided by public higher education institutions (88%). In 2016, 12% of the provision of HEIs was provided by private institutions. Under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) oversees 155 public and private tertiary educational institutions, comprising 82 public universities and 72 private universities. To attract HEIs and align with the Policy framework of Thailand 4.0, the Thai Government has promoted a new act making it easier to establish branch campuses to attract quality foreign providers. The main regulatory framework is the 2003 Private Institution of Higher Education Act (as amended in 2007) and the National Education Act (1999).
Registration and approval: According to the Ministerial Regulation rules, procedures, and conditions for obtaining and issuing licenses for establishing a private institution of higher education. B.E.2561 (2018)providers of HEIS may be individuals, legal persons, or foundations. All providers must apply and comply with the regulations' requirements. Among the requirements are the academic project, feasibility study, tuition rates, admission, and dismissal procedures—also, the land requirements of ownership or lessee of land (Sect. 12).
According to the Order of the National Council for Peace and Order No. 29/2560, RE: the Promotion of Education Provision by Renowned Foreign Higher Education Institutions, the renowned foreign higher education institutions who received the approval of the Committee on Promotion of Education Provision by renowned foreign higher education institutions (CPEF) headed by Minister of Education and endorsed by the Council of Ministers, shall be operated in the following zones, comprising the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and other special economic zones specified by the Council of Ministers. Such operation must be in cooperation with public higher education institutions. The renowned foreign higher education institutions shall be exempt from complying with the laws and regulations.
Licence: No information was found.
Profit-making: HEIs must be established as non-profit institutions. Providers support themselves through their revenues, but must re-invest 70 percent of any profit into the institution. The remaining 30 percent can be remitted to the licensee (owner).
Taxes and subsidies: According to the 2003 Private Institution of Higher Education Act (as amended in 2007), Private institutions of higher education may also benefit from government subsidies.
Curriculum and education standards: Universities do not need to obtain ministerial approval to deliver higher education programmes. They can volunteer to submit their programs for MHESI's acknowledgement based on meeting the OHEC's Curriculum Standards Criteria; if a programme does not meet these requirements, the institution will have the opportunity to re-submit a revised application. Only acknowledged degrees are recognized by Thai public bodies, including the civil service and the public education system.
Teaching profession: The qualification of academic staff, particularly teaching profession must comply with the Commission on Higher Standards’s Announcements on Standards for Higher Education Curriculum B.E. 2565 (2022). Regarding the issue of employment, each public higher education institution has its own regulations, while private one is required to comply with the regulation prescribed in the 2003 Private Institution of Higher Education Act (as amendment in 2007).
Fee-setting: No information was found.
Admission selection and processes: The university admissions process in Thailand is generally based on both the upper-secondary school grades and standardized entrance examination results (Thai University Central Admission System or TCAS).
Management/board: Each higher education institution must include a Council of Institution consisting of a President of the Council of Institution proposed by a licensee, a rector, qualified members proposed by the licensee with at least one full-time faculty member, and members selected by the Minister from a name list of eligible persons approved by the Commission.
Report requirements: To comply with the National Education Act (1999 as a amendments) and the Higher Education Act B.E. 2565 (2022), all institutions must undergo an external quality assurance (EQA), conducted by the external evaluators which get the approval from the Commission of the Higher Education Standard (CHES) every five years. All higher education institutions must conduct yearly internal quality assurance (IQA) reviews, including a self-assessment in line with the Manual for the Internal Quality Assurance for Higher Education Institutions 2014.
Inspections: A competent official may enter a private institution of higher education during office hours to inspect the premises and compliance with the regulations and obligations for operating.
Student assessments: No information was found.
Diplomas and degrees: Private higher education institution has the authority to award certificates, diplomas, degrees or graduate degrees when their academic standard complies with the criteria, procedure and conditions prescribed by the 2003 Private Institution of Higher Education Act (as amended in 2007), Section 55.
Sanctions: If a private university fails to operate according to the licensing regulations or other laws, the license may be revoked or suspended.
There is no law regulating supplementary private tuition in Thailand, however, it is a common practice in Thailand.
This profile was reviewed by the Thai Ministry of Education.