The vocational education has been initiated since the period when the handicraft profession has become popular than the agricultural ones. The vocational education has been developed systematically and included into the educational project since 1898 as a special education or learning of specifi c subjects to enhance learners’ skills. In 1909, the education wasdivided into 2 types: formal schooling for general subjects, and informal schooling for vocational subjects such as medicine, nursing, English, commerce, and teaching, etc. In 1910, the fi rst vocational school was established: the Commercial School at Wat Maha Phruttharam and Wat Ratchaburana. In 1913, Pohchang Academy of Arts was established, followed by the Teachers’Training of Agriculture in 1917. The National Education Plan 1932 declared the importance of the vocational education and gave a defi nition to the vocational subjects as the curriculum taught in compliance with the national context and geography such as agriculture, handicrafts, and commerce, which provided learners with basic skills in agriculture and industry. The term “vocational education” was fi rstly coined in Thailand as shown in the National Education Plan 1936. During that time, the vocational education was divided into 3 levels, fundamental, intermediate, and higher vocational education and students were recruited from school children in the formal education system. In 1938, two Departments were established under the Royal Decree of Structural Reform of the Dhammakan Ministry (later the Ministry of Education) as follows: the Department of General Education, responsible for providing formal education; and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Development comprising 4 Divisions: Offi ce of the Secretary, Textbook Division, Examination Division, and Vocational Education Division, which managedthe vocational education and supervised all the vocational schools. In 1941, Dhammakan Ministry was renamed as the Ministry of Education according to the Restructuring of Government Agencies Act B.E. 2484, which was offi ciallyannounced in the Royal Gazette on 19 August 1941. Ever since, the Department of Vocational Education was established and the Technical Department was downsized to be the Technical Division. Later, as announced in the Royal Gazette, the Department of Vocational Education has become the Offi ce of the Vocational Education Commission since 7 July 2003.
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