Dr. Prasarn warned not to fall into the trap that the work of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) is redundant. Until budget was cut, he identified Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT)to solve inequality at the point of education and low investment, but high effectiveness. The Nobel Economics Research 2019 indicated the measures aimed at resolving the demand for education needs. Poor children truly helped increase the enrollment rate and really reduce the rate of system logout. The Equitable Education Fund (EEF) was ready to go forward and cooperate with J-PAL to draw the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics research team to evaluate and to develop special subsidies for poor students conditionally.
1 November, 2019 at the Saman Club meeting room, The Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) cooperated with the Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, organized academic forum on “From the Nobel Prize in Economics for the year 2019 to the use of economic innovation to reduce inequality in education and human resource development in Thailand “Dr. Prasarn Trairatvorakul as Chair of EEF’s board delivered a speech on “Innovation in Policy Forming for Educational Equality, a lesson from the Nobel Prize in Economics for the Year 2019”, stating that The Royal Swedish Academy of Science presented the Nobel prize in economics of the year 2019 for Mr. Abit Jitbanerji and Mrs. Esther Dewold, who were a scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Mr. Michael Kramer who was a scientist from Harvard University in the United States regarded as praise “The introduction of experimental innovation research ” (Experimental Research) is to support development economics research. I thought that the Nobel Prize in economics might come at the right place at the right time in this year because data from theUNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)indicated that there were still more than 263 million children around the world who were still out the education system. The total included more than 60 million children of primary school age.
Dr. Prasarn said that over the number of children outside the system we concerned about progress in establishing educational equality in the past decade, which started to slow down. The final target of 5-10% had no access to education or had to leave school halfwaythrough a term. The concern was over the number of children outside the education system in the global recovery was likely to rise again during the years 2016-2017. While Thailand had young children in poor and disadvantaged families more than 670,000 people aged 3-18 years, there were also students at risk in poor families and poor special almost 2 million people who could fall out of the education system before completing basic education.
Dr. Prasarn said that the global educational inequalitytended to decrease at a very low rate which reflected the more difficult circumstances. While government’s budgets and donations tended to decrease, it was necessary for policymakers to choose measures that invested a little but were very effective. The experimental innovation research that obtained the Nobel Prize in Economics this year might be an important tool for policymakers. And government agencies with a mission to reduce inequality and solve poverty could choose an appropriate policy to solve problems in their context efficiently and sustainably.“According to the results of the research, evaluating more than 31 inequality in education programs around the world with the Randomized Control Trial (RCT), it was found that the policy to reduce educational inequality with specific measures to demand for education (Demand for Education) which was a measure that promoted educational opportunities met the true needs of students and families. Many of the measures provided results and higher budgetary value than supply-side of education that emphasized education managers such as “reducing the cost of access to education” by providing conditional subsidies or Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) to the learner’s enrollment rate. These were being measured by the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) or supporting breakfast, uniforms and traveling Non-cash Conditional Transfer (NCT), “said Dr. Prasarn.
Therefore, the children, youth or parents rejected education. Although the government has built a school or hired more teachers in their neighborhood already, it was not that they were people who lacked reason or did not see the importance of education to the future of their children. However, these people need to be motivated to make decisions with measures to reduce the inequality in understanding the demand for their education effectively and in accordance with their specific context.Dr. Prasarn said that although the situation in Thailand regarding inequality was likely to improve in some way better. But there were still many important issues that the country should accelerate to manage such a system before it affected the stability and capacity of the country’s competitiveness in the long term. There were still many parts of the complex.
It was believed that the improvement must be done at the beginning with giving children and youth who could access to quality education, which many agencies were doing. The Equitable Education Fund (EEF) was responsible for enhancing knowledge and information including finding new ways and find out the reason why children and young people are unable to fully access education.
“Some children had to travel to school. Some children were 20 kilograms away. Some children travelled for 20 baht and travelled back for another 20 baht. If parents could not sell fish, children would have to stay home because there was no traveling fee and no money to have breakfast. Some children were absent day by day because there were no gym clothes.While we distributed student uniforms throughout the country, some parents of students of Kaset Demonstration School said that did not want them. They could buy uniforms for their children. So, teachers collected them to donate. This was a reflection of supply-side measures. We must be careful not to fall into the trap that the Equitable Education Fund (EEF)’s work was redundant until requesting budget was cut. But the fact it’s a different and each mission, the intention of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF)’s would not work on a large scale. However, we would find a corner to play an important role about the Nobel Prize in Economics for this year, which did a research work in the same way as the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) did. Therefore, there was a very good moment to understand that what you did might spend a lot of money and emphasize the promotion of educational opportunities from the education manager’s side. But the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) would support knowledge and get it to the right place, EEF would emphasize measures that promote educational opportunities and meet the true needs of students and families. These would produce effective results. The Equitable Education Fund (EEF) would do it from the root. We would not leave the problem of poverty across generations, while giving away money, shopping and using would run out of the next generation, “said Dr. Prasarn.
Dr. Kraiyos Patthrawat, Deputy Manager for the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) and the director of the Equitable Education Research Institute (EEFI), said at the end of last October the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) had joined the meeting to find ways to cooperate with the Research Center (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) J-PAL of MIT in ASEAN region in Indonesia. This meeting was to develop a framework for collaborative research and to evaluate the educational inequality project of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) by using the Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), which was the way of the Nobel Prize in Economics researcher this year.
The J-PAL Research Center would select a team of economists from MIT and institute of academic parties. This team would support the research and evaluation of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) project in Thailand. The experiment may be started in some areas first in the academic year 1/2020 because the budget of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) was limited, which could not operate in the whole country. This kind of evaluation would help to provide high quality research results for decision making, improvement of educational equality measures for the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) and the agencies or partners.
Or it specified the working direction of the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) that decided where to work first within a limited budget and how to the EEF work could solve the problem of educational inequality sustainably. Expected to see concrete in the middle of next year, Thailand will benefit from the work of the Nobel prize-winning economists together with a team of researchers in Thailand to develop measures for educational equality, which the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) and the agencies or partners are currently undertaken.”
The Equitable Education Fund (EEF) tried to help solve the main problem of inequality, especially the problems in the educational demand side (Demand-side) both the cost of entering the education system and assessing the value of further education of students from poor families, which was a measure that did not use a lot of money. But the research results from the Nobel Prize-winning economist found that it had a high effect on equality (High-impact) such as the Conditional Cash Tranfer (CCT) program, children who have been subsidized must meet the criteria of not less than 80% of the study. ” Dr. Kraiyos said.
The latest data showed that special poor students receiving scholarships from the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) could complete 98% of the criteria, while the other 2% of the data would be followed up by the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) on how the children had problems. Including the body mass index or BMI, there was about two hundred thousand people, or about 30 percent who still had weight and height under the standard. While 1.3 hundred thousand people were higher than the standard, this was exactly what the the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) was trying to help solve the problem at the main point.
From the economic research, it has won the Nobel Prize and working with international and domestic research institutes in order to help society and taxpayers who had more confidence. The Equitable Education Fund (EEF) would use those funds, which every money was received from the government, private company and public donations to reach children and to solve the problem of inequality in education for the highest efficiency.
Download an overview of Academic Forum on “From the Nobel Prize in Economics for the year 2019 to the use of economic innovation to reduce inequality in education and human resource development in Thailand “
Friday 1 Nov 2019 from 8.30 – 12.00 hrs. Bank of Thailand
1. International lessons on the use of RCTs to drive education policies and reduce inequality by Dr. Poomsaran Thongliamnak (Download slide of the speaker of Equitable Education Research Institute (EEFI).Here)
Friday 1 Nov 2019 from 8.30 – 12.00 hrs. Bank of Thailand
2. The discussion by the seminar participants in the topic of the direction of applying economic innovations to evaluate and upgrade the ways of creating educational equality. Opening the debate by Dr. Kraiyos Pattharawat, Equitable Education Research Institute (EEFI).