Thailand has a large and complex educational system. Basically, the system is a 6-3-3 one followed by a wide variety of postsecondary options. Public preschools are under the control of the Ministry of Education or Interior and serves children aged three to five. Private preschools serving the same age group are under the supervision of the Private Education Commission. Public primary schools accommodate children from the ages of 6 to 11 and are supervised by the Ministries of Education, Interior, and local municipalities. Private primary schools are under the control of the Private Education Commission. Secondary schools educate children between the ages of 12 to 17 and overseen by the Ministry of Education and local municipalities in the public sector and by the Private Education Commission in private schools.
Students between the ages of 14 to 17 who are seeking admission to selective universities or students seeking admission to highly selective schools attend private coaching schools. There are also private international schools teaching 5-to 18-year-olds under the supervision of the Private Education Commission. Selective public universities (undergraduate programs) teach 18- to 21-year-olds and are under the supervision of the Ministry of University Affairs. Selective public universities, offering graduate masters and doctoral programs are supervised by the Ministry of University Affairs. The "open universities" (both open admissions and open distance) serve the over 18 working population and are overseen by the Ministry of University Affairs.
International colleges and universities, private universities, teacher training colleges, institutes of technology, colleges of physical education, and nursing colleges offer undergraduate and master degree programs. These institutions of higher learning are controlled by the Ministry of University Affairs, the Ministry of Education, or the Ministry of Public Health depending upon their content.
There are 44,903 preprimary schools (6,619 private) in Thailand. The number of public primary schools and lower secondary is 31,129. Public lower and upper secondary schools number 2,660. There are 409 public vocational schools (upper secondary and postsecondary-certificate levels), 42 international schools and colleges, 36 Rajabhat Institutes, 50 Rajamangala Institutes of Technology, 13 special science schools, 13 colleges of physical education, 6 sports schools, 15 colleges of fine arts, 2 Buddhist universities, 11 original public selective universities, 8 recent new public universities, 2 public open universities, and 49 private universities in Thailand.
In addition to these genres of education supervised by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of University Affairs, a number of other ministries and agencies administer various kinds of schools and academic institutions. For example, the Ministry of Public Health administers nursing colleges, public health colleges, and a college of medical technology and public health. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives administers an irrigation college, a veterinary school, and a cooperative school. Seven other ministries and bodies administer schools and colleges of various types.
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