Bangkok, Feb 1 (EFE).- Thailand faces the worst shortage of skilled labor in the ASEAN region, according to a survey conducted by the World Bank, the Nation newspaper reported Monday.

According to the survey, 83.5 percent of the Thai labor pool is unskilled, with only 38.8 percent of workers being qualified for their jobs, putting the country’s skilled workforce at the bottom behind its neighbors Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The main cause of the low ranking is Thailand’s education system, which hasn’t been able to offer the right skills to people, making the workforce unprepared for the available jobs, as explained by Kiatanan Ruankaew, deputy director general of Dhurakij Pundit University’s research department.

Kiatanan recently unveiled the results of the World Bank survey, which was carried out from 2006 to 2009, at an education forum in Bangkok.

Among Thailand’s neighbors such as Malaysia, China and Singapore “education plays a key role in improving the economy.

“In these countries, education relies on four aspects: management, planning, personnel and resource allocation. Also, the curriculum is flexible enough for students to choose between vocational training and university,” Kiatanan said.

One solution is to de-centralize approaches to education and adapt them to local needs while also responding to the needs of the 21st century, said Sompong Jitradub, an academic at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education.

“Education methods created in 14 provinces can be adjusted or adapted to fit other provinces, and that would be the most sustainable solution for education reform,” he said. 1 Feb 2016