Recently, the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (Onesqa) held a press conference on the debut of Prof Channarong Pornrungroj, PhD, the new director of Onesqa, following the resignation of Prof Emeritus Somwung Pitiyanuwat.
Prof Channarong is confident that his experience as a former secretary general of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand and two-term dean of the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Chulalongkorn University, as well as having worked with Onesqa since its inauguration, being both an assessor and assessee, enables him to understand the role of and need for Onesqa to enhance the quality of Thai education.
"Onesqa has reached its goal of carrying out the quantitative assessment of education institutions. However, the task of creating quality is more challenging," said the new director. "The past nine years saw the cultivation of an assessment culture. In the next four years, Onesqa will focus on creative development."
For the third round of the assessment process, Prof Channarong said, he has proposed to Onesqa's board of governors that the key performance index (KPI) components should be kept to a minimum, easy to understand and to apply, and able to clearly distinguish those institutions that perform well and those that perform poorly.
"The KPIs will focus more on output, outcome and impact," he said.
Prof Channarong also suggested dividing the KPIs into three categories. The first group contains the basic KPIs that apply to all institutions. The second group consists of KPIs custom designed to fit each institution's identity and mission. This will allow education institutions to propose their own KPIs to Onesqa.
The last group is made up of yardstick KPIs that can be changed over time, and they serve as a mechanism for the state sector to drive towards quality as a whole. For example, if the government is promoting a sufficiency economy policy, education institutions that strongly support it may get special marks.
Onesqa has already piloted the framework of the third round of the external quality assurances in six institutions. The pilot project will be completed in March and will be followed by evaluation for further improvement. The actual assessment of institutions nationwide will commence in June next year.
To create quality in education, it is vital that all the stakeholders must raise their own quality levels first.
"Onesqa is an organisation that drives quality. However, quality should be driven by all the sectors concerned,"Prof Channarong Pornrungroj said.