The Education Ministry yesterday strictly observed students taking the Advanced National Education Test (A-Net) at 12 sites nationwide, before a new admission system takes effect in the next academic year. There was strict checking of the examinees' identification cards, and students were prohibited from carrying communication devices, while ICT agencies also kept a close eye in a bid to prevent cheating. Two Songkhla students were yesterday reportedly caught using fake A-Net applicant cards. If found guilty, they could be barred for three years from admission examinations. The Office of Higher Education Commission (Ohec) will hold a press conference about the A-Net this evening.
More than 170,000 student nationwide took the test held yesterday and today. Deputy Education Minister Chaiwuth Bannawat and Ohec chief Dr Sumet Yaemnoon yesterday visited Bangkok's Triam Udom Suksa School, where 2,910 students took the test. Chaiwuth said the parents who plan to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court for the A-Net fiasco that saw many students forfeiting their right to appear for the test this year had a right to do so and Ohec would abide by the court's ruling. He said that students could get into a university through other means such as taking a university's direct admission, applying to a university's faculties that didn't require an A-Net score, or taking the new admission test next year, which comprised the General Aptitude Test (GAT) and Professional Aptitude Test (PAT). Commenting on universities giving more direct admissions as they were not confident the central admission got them the most suitable freshmen, Chaiwuth said the central ratio was not set by the ministry but a committee comprising university officials. He said the University Presidents Council of Thailand would hold a meeting in the middle of this year to improve the central admission system as instructed earlier by PM Abhisit Vejjajiva.