An overview of the education system in ThailandThe Ministry of Education is mainly responsible for regulating education in Thailand. By law, children must start their formal education no older than seven years old and study until the end of secondary school. After secondary education, students may continue in general or vocational programs. Overall, Thai students prefer to enroll in general education since it allows them to ease into university degrees.
On the other hand, vocational training prepares students for specific job markets such as commerce, hospitality, mechanics, or agriculture, which are considered more labor-intensive. Students with vocational training may decide to enter the job market or pursue higher education to receive a diploma in higher technical education.
Despite these options, free education in Thailand is only available for twelve years: from nursery school until the end of middle school. Therefore, having a formal education is not entirely flexible for everyone of all socioeconomic statuses. The state has thus established non-formal education programs for individuals 15 years and older to continue their studies in their own time. Although options for non-formal education exist, employers still prefer to hire those trained in formal education, which takes up more than half of the country’s labor force.