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S. Chotisukan

Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University (THAILAND)
Primary education has been a significant means for national development. Even though the Thai Government has attempted to standardize its national primary educational quality, disparity still exists across the spatial dimension. Primary education in Bangkok Metropolis, for example, is obviously higher in quality comparing to the rest of its counter parts. Guardians tend to struggle for a seat in any prestigious schools of Bangkok, assuming that a better primary school environment could be a perquisite to secure the child’s future in the higher education system. The milieu brings about school overload in some particular primary schools, while the rest of schools have fewer applicants than their capability.

The situation further brings about a service clustering policy fostered by the Ministry of Education to ensure the equality of access in the compulsory education system. However, the policy still allows some flexibility for each school to admit a portion of students across clusters.

Utilizing the Bangkok Metropolis as a case study, this research aims to discover an appropriate means of administrative and spatial educational management to ensure suitable catchment service coverage. It strives to find the way to enhance the quality of academic and social education in public schools. Embedding upon the consumer behavior analysis approach, the research also examines guardians’ potentiality to select schools of their choice, assuming that quality of education institution is the prime factor determining guardians’ decision. Survey and interview schedules include 560 questionnaire survey and 14 in-depth interviews.

A multi-state sampling method is applied to randomly draw respondent from education administrators and students’ parents representing schools in the Bangkok’s city center, sub-urban, and outer-Bangkok areas. Inquiry includes information operationalized from the research framework to reveal linkages among variables, namely, issues of school administration towards quality of education and social relations in school environment on the one hand, and the aspects of familial demographical attributes and their decision behavior on the other.

Statistical analyses found that education level, income, and age of guardians determine their value towards education quality of school differently. A composite modeling is later established for future school administrative and service area management. A policy implication is finally suggested for the authority in order to guide the standardization of educational quality in accordance with the guardians’ decision making pattern.