From the Phuket Gazzette via Thaivisa
Foreign teachers: eligible bachelors only need apply
Crackdown is likely to affect Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket
PHUKET: -- Schools across the island will ask Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit to petition the Ministry of Education (MoE) to ease – if not scrap – new regulations requiring all new teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree and to pass an extensive background check before they can begin work.
The decision was made at a meeting at the Phuket Educational Service Area (PESA) office on Tuesday, chaired by Niran as one of his last acts as Vice-Governor before his promotion to Governor.
At the meeting, attended by representatives of 37 private schools and 14 government-run schools on Phuket, it was agreed to ask the Governor to petition the MoE to also allow schools to put teachers to work while the lengthy background checks are being conducted.
Owners of small private schools employing foreign teachers, especially language schools, feel the new requirements, which came into effect September 29, are too restrictive and time-consuming, taking months to complete before a new teacher can be hired.
The new policy requires that all foreign teachers possess at least a bachelor’s degree, a certified copy of which must be presented to the local MoE office along with a certified copy of the applicant’s transcript (academic record).
Before hiring a new teacher, schools must wait for approval from the MoE’s International Education Promotion Division, which must check the authenticity of the teacher’s credentials by seeking a confirmation letter from the university the applicant claims to be graduate of.
The new policy specifies three other requirements:
- The applicant must possess a passport with a non-immigrant visa of any class, except for an “ED” study/education visa. The visa must be valid for at least 15 days before the date of application;
- The name of the teacher must match that on his/her passport and academic degree;
- Teachers from countries where English is not an official language must present evidence of English-language fluency, in the form of standardized test results with the following minimum scores: IELTS 5.5; or TOEFL 550 or TOEIC 600.
Gov Niran said that, apart from security concerns, there are many foreign teachers in Thailand who lack proper teaching credentials.
The crackdown is likely to affect Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket the most, as these are the provinces with the greatest concentrations of foreign teachers, he said.
PESA Director Chien Srirueng confirmed that the bachelor’s degree and background checks apply only to new hires, not existing foreign staff.
There are currently 105 foreign teachers in Phuket, employed by 35 different schools.
"Goddamn it Lord, bless oh ye this bacon..."
George Liquor American
That's good news. Teachers who are already here have nothing to worry about.Originally Posted by panhunger
Isn't that a mistake? 35 schools and only 105 teachers?Originally Posted by panhunger
Waaaayyyyy too low. 1 school alone has 50 that I know of.
Could be only 105 that hold a TL and work permit.
We could all sit outside on banana lounges discussing the best way to rebuild a 4WD transmission and agree, through shared stories of conquests supporting our assertions, that there is no basis to the proposition that those least assured of their persuasions are the first to condemn others for theirs.
That should be interesting in the case of a woman who married sometime following her graduation.- The name of the teacher must match that on his/her passport and academic degree;
How is a new hire going to be in possession of a non-immigrant visa, prior to being hired?Originally Posted by panhunger
(Only those with marriage or retirement visas need apply?)
Conjures up images of schools filled with unmarried men.Originally Posted by panhunger
Still good to hear that these new regulations are being treated with the contempt they deserve by schools.
LDMA - Ajarn Forum Admin
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Only the bad person say the bad thing about the good thing.
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Also good to hear that any attempt to improve standards is met by contempt by the webmaster of this board.Still good to hear that these new regulations are being treated with the contempt they deserve by schools.
Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris? Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
Yes, I do not think it surprising that some schools may hold these new rules in great contempt, as they have the potential to seriously affect profit margins, teacher hiring and customer bases.
Contempt is often a matter of self-interest.
"Life is so much better here since I discovered the Ignore List."
Is this an attempt to improve standards or an attempt to look like they're improving standards?
How many of the small schools will still attract teachers if they have to wait months for approval from the local bureaucrats?
"Come and take me, mongrels - if you dare. While I have fingers to grasp a sword, and eyes to see your cowardly faces, your treacherous heads will not be safe on your shoulders."
I'm confused with this. What makes you a good teacher in Thailand? What exactly are Thais looking for in a teacher? How many of the students are listening anyway? If 66% of employed and educated to teach teachers failed to pass an exam to qualify them as teachers in your country I'd think just about anyone with a degree, good grades, and a natural sense for teaching would do just fine. There isn't a whole lot of mystery to pedagogics. If you have a degree you've already witnessed at least 16 years of it.Originally Posted by haltest
Haltest, do you really believe that the government are actually trying to raise standards?
I find this a very naive opinion myself, although you may well be right. I thought the latest "crackdown" was pretty obviously just a fairly ill-thought-out attempt to appear to raise standards. We all know that there are oodles of teachers that would have to be ejected if the standards were really to be raised. Schools won't allow that to happen, not in Phuket or anywhere else!
In my opinion the "best intentions" of whatever politicians are pulling the strings here won't mean a thing - at the business end the "crackdown" is totally unworkable.
On the other hand if the rumours are true that we are all hearing, the only inevitable finish will be that old-timers (retirees, long-standing teachers) and people on marriage visas will be able to easily meet visa requirements. Nobody new will bother to subject themselves to the new registration, certification and entry requirements - most importantly career teachers just won't bother it won't be in their interest for paltry pay in a tropical climate!
Thus I see no improvement in standards either way
Excuse me for not taking this seriously .....
If salaries are raised along with standards, GREAT! If history is any help in understanding Thai enforcement of policy, nothing at all will happen. If people with money complain, and if they spread around a little green, then nothing will happen, only lip service and nothing more. Schools all across Thailand make big bucks off of white faces. Nothing will be done to end that.
Wish I could remember the website .. the percentage of TEFLers worldwide per nation. I almost fell off my chair when I saw how many were in Thailand, practically in minus figures. They are where the money is, logical. Take the lonely heart just divorced cum slinger off the the TEFL Thai destination roster and you're left with a good many real teachers and/or blokes married to Thai gals .. better quality for sure but far too few pulses to meet the need. Fender's right.
It seems that since these changes were first announced, there's been a chorus of "it ain't never gonna happens." I tend to agree, this scheme seems unworkable and would obliterate the Thai TEFL scene. However, in my neck of the woods, the wheels appear to be moving - we've endured spotcheck examination of our quals, submitted our paperwork, paid the 500 baht, and there's been mass firings of unqualified folks in at least one school that I no of.Originally Posted by defender