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Thai students IQ below global average
[July 08, 2011]

Thai students IQ below global average

BANGKOK, Jul 08, 2011 (The Nation - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Thai children's average intelligence quotient (IQ) is just 98.59, a little lower than the world's median of 100, according to new research.

"Judging from global statistics, the percentage of children with below-70 IQ should not exceed two," Dr Apichai Mongkol of the Mental Health Department said.

He said the survey of Thai students was conducted using the Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM parallel version; updated 2003) in December and January.

"Given the size of the sample, this is the biggest IQ survey," he said.

By region, students in the Northeast had the lowest average scores, with 95.99. In the South, students did a bit better, scoring 96.85.

On average, Northern students' scores were 100.11 while students in the Central region achieved 101.29. Students in Bangkok had average scores of 104.5.

"But Bangkok students do not demonstrate the highest average IQ scores [by province]," Apichai said. "Their average scores are just the fourth highest in the country".

By province, students in Nonthaburi were the brightest, scoring an average of 108.91. Next were students in Rayong with 107.52 and students in Lampang with 106.62.

The survey showed 14 other provinces had children with average IQ scores above 100. They were Chon Buri, Samut Sakhon, Trat, Pathum Thani, Phayao, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi, Sing Buri, Phuket, Samut Songkhram, Nakhon Sawan, Phrae and Chiang Mai.

Children in 20 other provinces had average IQ scores of 100.

In 38 provinces, the children's average scores were below 100. Seventeen Northeastern provinces were in this group but the lowest IQ scores were detected in the Southern province of Narathiwat (just 88.07).

Apichai said he believed insufficient iodine intake was the main cause of the below-average IQs of children in these provinces.

To promote higher IQs, he said parents should express their love for their children, provide them with nutritious food and allow them to interact with nature.

"Let children play without restrictions because that will boost their creativity," Apichai said. "Aside from that, parents should encourage their children to read, sing and play sports." Chulalongkorn University lecturer Narongrit Asawaruangpipob said students in urban areas had higher IQs than those in rural zones. "The percentage of geniuses or those having IQ scores of above 130 is 3.4," he said. In Nonthaburi, 9.5 per cent of students surveyed had IQs of more than 130.

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