Under the coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, countries around the world are all affected by both social and economic development, as well as human daily living. Dealing with the situations of different countries is based on a variety of different knowledge, abilities and experiences. A globally connected education system leads to linking and exchanging of data and practices in dealing with the pandemic commonly. Body of knowledge is created by developing and transferring of learning through educational processes in terms of sharing of knowledge, ideas and expertise. In addition, good quality education is not only an important element for the development of competent human resources and nations, but it is also important for enhancing quality of life and the national security.
The Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (Public Organization) or ONESQA was established under the National Education Act of B.E. 2542 (A.D. 1999), with a status of a public organization. Section 49 of the Act stipulates the main function of ONESQA to assess 61,566 educational institutions nationwide at that time. Its functions also include providing advices and suggestions for the benefit of development to educational institutions aiming to improve the Thai education, to uplift the quality of education, and to enhance competitiveness to be comparable to the international education system.
Dr. Khunying Kanlaya Sophonpanich, Deputy Minister of Education who oversees ONESQA is very much concern for all education institutions, teachers, and students affected by COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, she has a policy to temporarily delay ONESQA’s external assessment, and asks ONESQA to formulate new criteria for external quality assessment (EQA) to be consistent with the implementation of new normal for teaching and learning in education institutions. The new normal of the school will be taking into account the context of the school in terms of size and type of school, and the online teaching. Consequently, new format and guidelines for the assessment of the quality of education has been developed for the future quality assessment. Moreover, Dr. Khunying Kanlaya has assigned ONESQA to develop an online platform for EQA that will link basic information of education institutions with their parent organization and other relevant agencies to assess the results of education management that reflects the results/achievement of learners in real-time. It will present information on educational productivity and outcomes quickly. This will enable the Ministry of Education and relevant agencies to use this information for formulating of educational policy, as well as budget allocation more accurately, precisely, efficiently, and more quickly.
ONESQA has developed a model for external quality assessment under COVID-19 pandemic which will reduce burdens on education institutions by means of requesting them to submit self-assessment reports (SAR) online via E-SAR system that link parent organizations with ONESQA. The new system will reduce risk of physical exposure to the coronavirus and avoid physical contact on the basis of social distancing. The new model of assessment is consistent with the internal quality assurance of education institutions and their parent organizations. In the first phase of assessment, panel of external assessors will not request for any additional documents or data from assessed institution in order to reduce burden and disturbance of educational institutions. IT system for external quality assessment will be harnessed to reduce procedures, time and redundancy of information and to monitor and control the quality of external assessors. This assessment method will allow educational institutions to evaluate external assessors, as well as allowing assessor to assess among themselves. This is an assessment for development, not judgmental in order to comply with the principle of “Amicability”, “Quality”, “Ethics” and “Morality” given by Dr. Khunying Kanlaya Sophonpanich.
Dr. Nantha Nguantad
Acting Director, ONESQA