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22 June 2023 | อ่าน 5,137 ครั้ง

Background of the Establishment of ONESQA

Section 81 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand of B.E. 2540 (A.D. 1997) has referred to the National Education Act, which became effective on August 20, 1999. The Section 6 on the Standards and Quality Assurance for Education of the National Education Act of 1999 stipulated in the Article 49 mandated the establishment of the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment, to be abbreviated as “ONESQA”. ONESQA will be established with the status of a public organization. The announcement for establishment of ONESQA was published in the Royal Gazette, Volume 117, Section 99A on November 3, 2000 and effective from November 4, 2000 onwards. 


ONESQA is responsible for the development of criteria and methods for the external quality assessment (EQA),

and to conduct assessment of achievements of educational management in order to inspect the quality of education institutions. EQA will determine objectives, principles and educational management conducted by assessed institution of each educational level, as stipulated in this Act. The act is also stipulated that EQA will be conducted for all educational institutions at least once every five years since the lasts EQA cycle. The results of EQA will be submitted to relevant agencies and made available to the general public.

The Royal Decree on the Establishment of ONESQA in the year 2000, and in addition of the Royal Decree on the Establishment

of ONESQA (Public Organization) No. 3, B.E. 2561 (A.D. 2018) has stipulated in Section 8 the main functions for ONESQA as follows:

  1. To develop EQA system, to set up effective EQA framework, directions and methods that will be in line with the quality assurance system of education institutions and their parent organizations.
  2. To develop standards and criteria for EQA.
  3. To certify external assessors.
  4. To oversee, supervise and to formulate standards for EQA conducted by external assessors, as well as to issue certification of standards. In case there is necessity or for the benefit of developing EQA system, the Office may carry out EQA itself.
  5. To develop and train external assessors; prepare training course curricula, as well as to encourage private organization, professional or academic bodies to participate in the training of external assessors for greater effectiveness.
  6. To submit annual reports on the assessment of educational quality and standards to the Council of Ministers, Ministers in charge of education management, and the Budget Bureau for the consideration of formulation of educational policy and allocation of budget for education, as well as to disseminate EQA reports to relevant agencies and the public.


Reasons for establishing the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment

Similar to the operation of other concerns, education provision needs administrative and managerial principles for the entire cyclical functioning. It has been well recognized that evaluation is indeed an essential step for feedback information, which provides us with the basis for assessing the extent of target achievement. It also enables us to identify weaknesses or problems for which remedial measures are needed so as to facilitate subsequent planning and actions required to achieve the goals effectively and efficiently.

It is hence crucial that the importance of evaluation be recognized, particularly quality assessment by an external and neutral body. Such mechanism will provide meaningful assessment. It also gives all agencies responsible for education provision by provide internal quality assurance report to the regulatory agencies and received the feedback to use as a guideline to improve and develop their quality of education. So, the incentive for evaluation is that the quality of education will be continuously enhanced. Moreover, the educational quality assessment will make more confident to the institution’s stakeholders and general public that institution can provide quality of education align with the national education standards.


Why a public organization?

Quality education is in fact a public service required of the state, which will have to provide such education to all people. The state therefore entrusts the responsibilities of offering education responsive to the needs of direct beneficiaries, i.e. students and parents, as well as those of indirect beneficiaries, i.e. enterprises, the public and the society as a whole. For such provision, the state necessarily has to assess how far it complies with the national education policy, and how far it serves the needs of the customers or different groups of beneficiaries.

An external quality assessment agency needs to be a public organization, enjoying the status of a state body, which is neither a government office nor a state enterprise, in order to achieve highest efficiency. With complete autonomy and power in decision - making for its administrative, managerial and financial affairs, it has the flexibility to carry out the assigned tasks more efficiently than through the bureaucratic line of command.

Besides, not being under the obligation of reporting to the agencies in charge of education, ONESQA enjoys complete neutrality and integrity, since there is no outside pressure to distort the assessment, resulting in a genuine check and balance. External quality assessment is a public service for capacity-building to check how far the quality of education required by learners, the society and the state meets the desired standards and efficiency