As exams loom, the ‘COVID generation’ of Thai students fear for their futures

Worried that disruption from the latest COVID-19 outbreak will derail their futures, thousands of Mathayom 6 students are trying hard to have their university entrance exams postponed.

#Courtpetitionsforexampostponement is trending on Twitter after six students submitted a plea to the Central Administrative Court with the help of Pheu Thai Party spokeswoman Asst Prof Arunee Kasayanond on Wednesday (March 17).

The exams will get underway on Saturday – unless the court intervenes by Friday.

Rationale for postponement

As of press time on Thursday, nearly 10,000 students had signed a petition backing postponement.

Since January, students have been complaining that the ongoing wave of COVID-19 infections has disrupted their studies and preparations for the Thai University Central Admission System (TCAS).

The resurgence of COVID-19 infections last December meant students in 28 provinces had to return to online classes for nearly a month. As a result, many feel they are underprepared for exams that may determine their future.

Importance of exams for uni entry

Launched in 2018, TCAS is the gateway that matches students with the universities and subjects of their choice. TCAS features several admission rounds for applicants, but the rounds related to exam scores are considered the most important because they offer the largest number of university seats.

Major exams recognised by TCAS are the General Aptitude Test (GAT), the Professional and Academic Aptitude Tests (PAT), and the Ordinary National Educational Test (O-Net).

Exam scores are the key criterion in deciding whether applicants are accepted in their preferred university programme. And for millions of Thais, their university programme has a crucial influence over their future career path and more.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)