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REVIEWS OF GOVERNMENT EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND ITS EFFECT IN THAI AND PATTANI MALAY LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION AND ISLAMIC STUDY IN SCHOOLS OF FOUR SOUTHERN BORDER PROVINCES OF THAILAND IN THE LAST 50 YEARS

K. Nitjarunkul

Prince of Songkla University (THAILAND)
Thailand’s largest religious minority is Muslims, which are concentrated mainly in the four southern border provinces (4SBP) of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Satun. With the substantial population of Muslims (called Pattani Malay) in the area allows the identity of language, religious, and culture to remain strong. Since then Pattani Malay people speak Pattani Malay language. However, in fact, before one can get an effective education in Thailand, one must know Thai. In addition, it is delicate and sensitive to promote monolingual Pattani Malay speakers to be bilingual (Thai and Pattani Malay) due to culture conflict. At long last, a proper balance of “secular and religious” education is needed and should be provide by the government. Educational policies provided by the government in the last 50 years will be revealed in this manuscript. The given educational policies toward Thai language and Pattani Malay language instruction and Islamic study are the three focusing aspects. The data used are based on examination of documents, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions. Research has shown that Thai government gave scrupulous attention to the problematic what the Pattani Malay has been facing by giving acts and policies to promote Thai language to be a required subject in schools, provide Pattani Malay language course as an elective subject in schools, and arrange a balance of basic education and Islamic study in all Islamic private schools. Furthermore, the effects of the educational policies given by Thai government are included in this manuscript.