Historical Background and Basic Information concerning the Office of Educational Affairs (OEA)
The origins of the Office of Educational Affairs, formerly the “Thai students Office” go back to 1880 when Prince Prisdang, a nephew of Rama III, became the first resident Siamese Minister to the Court of St. James. King Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) bestowed on him the responsibility of taking the first group of nine students to Europe in 1881, finding schools for them and supervising their progress so that none would be “idling or lagging behind in his work” and he later became the first person to formally have responsibility for Siamese students in the United Kingdom, taking the style of “ Superintendent”. This title continued to be used until fairly recently, the position is now known as the Minister Counsellor (Education).
In 1933, King Rama VII later assigned the Civil Service Committee ( CSC), with the responsibility for carrying out the management of government scholarship programmes, ranging from the establishment of government scholarship policies, regulations, and directives to the recruitment of competent scholars,and their supervision, as well as their placement in government service positions after graduation.
The Office of the Civil Service Commission currently has an Office of Educational Affairs, OEA, in 6 countries : the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Japan and Germany. The person responsible for this task is the Minister (Education) or Minister Counsellor (Education) who acts as the guardian of the Royal Thai Government scholarship students and is also responsible for Government officials on leave and Thai students under supervision. The Office of Educational Affairs has authority in administering all educational supervision assigned by the Office of the Civil Service Commission.
The Office of Educational Affairs, France was initially established in 1962. For most of the period since then, OEA, Paris has not had a large number of Thai students under supervision and the method of educational supervision during that time was largely based on individual oversight very much along the lines of what amounted to an extended family.
More recently, the public government administration has been charged to a “Chef Executive Officer” (CEO) and is more commonly known as “Team Thailand”. All of the Thai Government agencies in a foreign country are under the umbrella of “Team Thailand” with OEA, Paris as one of the members of “Team Thailand” and with the ambassador in overall control of this particular administration as the local head of “Team Thailand”.
Since 2004, the number of Thai students under supervision has increased gradually. This growth in numbers has obliged the OEA to change its working style. The educational supervision methods are much different from those of the past and have had to be totally modified with a view to classifying the various types of scholarship and to administer all educational supervision procedures and projects with the aim of efficiently supporting their successful educational outcome. The OEA has been also developing communication and information technology as well as creating mentor systems and networks bringing together the OEA, Thai scholarship students plus local Thai Institutions and Thai associations with the main purpose of pooling the efforts of all of those involved to further promote successful and positive educational outcomes for our students. The OEA has also emphatically promoted all activities related to the support of education and research networks.
The Civil Service Act of 2008 and its definition in section 9(10)
The office of the Civil Service Commission(OCSC) serves as the secretariat of the Civil Service Commission and is the central agency in charge of advising the public sector in managing human resource and protecting merit system practices of the civil service. Furthermore, it evaluates and advances work quality, environment, and quality of life of government officials in order to facilitate their professional performance based on the principle of merit and good governance, aiming at the benefit of the people and the sustainable development of the nation.
The OCSC is a government agency under the Prime Minister’s Office, headed by the Secretary-General and directly accountable to the Prime Minister.
The roles and responsibilities of the OCSC have been defined by the Civil Service Law 2008 , section 13(specifically that section relating to government scholarship), the OCSC is to carry out duties and tasks in relation to King’s scholarships and government scholarships in accordance with the policies or rules of the CSC and to carry out duties in relation to the care of public personnel and scholars in accordance with the directives or rules of the CSC.
The ruling of the CSC in relation to the care of public personnel and scholars under CSC supervision 2008 has defined that the OEA is responsible for all duties related to the care of public personnel and scholars in accordance with directives or rules of the CSC during their study or training abroad.
The OEA Paris has a clearly defined task to supervise those Thai government scholarship students, government officials and Thai students under the supervision of the CSC, who are studying and training in France and Switzerland. We have approximately 150 students in 2 countries. It should be noted that this number does not include privately funded Thai students. The mission of the OEA, Paris is set out below :
1. Educational supervision OEA, Paris has duties to supervise, monitor and consult Thai scholarship students, government officials and Thai students under supervision of the CSC to ensure that they can successfully complete their study and training within the defined plan and period of study and return to work for the government in Thailand after their completion.
2. Supporting and Facilitating Activities OEA, Paris has regularly supported and facilitated all activities related to education for the purpose of establishing mutual aid and support networks, evaluating their progress of study and adapting OEA educational services where appropriate.
3. Developing a collaborative relationship OEA, Paris has also emphasized the duty to develop a collaborative relationship with other organisations, institutions and government agencies for the purpose of creating relationships and collaboration related to the promotion of educational supervision.
4. Other missions OEA, Paris , in addition, can be tasked with any essential mission assigned to it by the Royal Thai Embassy or OCSC.
Office of Educational Affairs, Paris, France : August 2016