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New Employment Criteria for Foreign Teachers at Government Schools


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The announcement from OBEC to a meeting of 78 school directors in the EEC was made a few weeks ago. The new requirements will apply to all government schools starting from May 2019. It's OBEC's intention to professionalize the teaching profession and bring Thai schools up to international standards. The major point for Government schools is that they must adopt one of a range of mainly-UK-based curriculum and assessment methods.

 

Foreign teachers will now need a recognized university degree + vocational teacher training + evidence of their language proficiency if they are non-native speakers.

 

I know 2 people associated with the formulation of the new requirements. I received my information from them.

 

'standard TEFL'

4-week onsite program with observed teaching practices. There will need to be evidence of the legal status of the program. IE run through a company, run from a licensed school or training organization, taxation records etc. They won't accept 'online' TEFLs.

 

'TKT'

The Teacher Knowledge Test from Cambridge English.

 

'General Program'

Teachers working at any of the general English programs at 30,000 government schools in Thailand.

 

'Intensive English Program' (formerly English Programs)

440 of the 30,000 schools have IEPs.

 

'International Program'

19 of the 30,000 schools have IPs.

 

The requirements take effect at all government schools from May 2019. I was told that teachers who don't meet the new requirements by May will lose their jobs. This seems extreme, so I'm skeptical. I think there will be a compromise on the start date.

 

The MoE has signed a MoU with the Philippines government to import 2,500 Filipino licensed teachers on enhanced employment contracts at Thai government schools by the start of the new school year. I believe they will be mainly teaching on IEPs and IPs.

 

Caveat:

This is Thailand and there have been many official announcements relating to educational reforms before. Few are ever implemented, but it seems from my sources that the Minister of Education is serious about implementing these new changes.

Announcement.jpg

General English.jpg

Intensive English.jpg

International Program.jpg

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Pretty ambitious goals.  Are they also going to reduce the average class sizes from 40 - 50 students or do they expect conversational English classes to be effective when the average students will get, at most, a few minutes of one-on-one speaking practice with their teacher each week?

 

B1 level for regular class M6 graduates is equal to an Intermediate English classification:

 

Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

 

It would be nice to see them achieve this goal, but I really think that they are not being realistic. 

 

Also, how do these teacher qualifications fit in with the TCT licensing requirements?  Does it replace them?  Or will teachers with a degree and a TEFL get an infinite number of waivers?  Or did the MOE forget to talk to the TCT about this entirely?

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28 minutes ago, otherstuff1957 said:

.... <snip>

 

Also, how do these teacher qualifications fit in with the TCT licensing requirements?  Does it replace them?  Or will teachers with a degree and a TEFL get an infinite number of waivers?  Or did the MOE forget to talk to the TCT about this entirely?

Good question. I don't know. However, I do know that school directors, the MoE and teachers have been frustrated by the TCT for many years. The TCT was set up in the 1990s to be independent of government influence; hence, even the Minister of Education cannot directly control them. In my opinion, I think the TCT may be removed from the foreign teacher process.

 

I'm not sure who will check qualifications and at what point in the hiring, non B visa application, visa extension and work permit process.

 

I did hear that the MoE wants to eliminate 'waivers'.

 

 

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Excellent. Very similar to thoughts banging around in my head. Standardize IP, EP and an international program (not Cambridge ICGSE imo is too difficult for most). No A levels. Avoid copying the Anglo system. Do it the Thai way.

 

I'm very worried about the Filipinos. I think many degrees will be manufactured, there will be corruption. Further, I find the accent horrendous and the pronunciation atrocious. Finally, I've had poor work experiences with them. I won't list them out but both personally and what I've known to go on in the classroom. I think on the Thai side they might be exploited as well.

 

Very worried about shonky TEFL diploma meaning something. Only 2-3 providers any real legitimacy in Thailand. After decades no clear standout educator.

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I can't see any mention of a B.Ed that the TCT required for licensing. Furthermore, where are they going to find NES with the extra qualifications for less that $1000 a month? The Pearson and the TKT courses are not cheap, either.

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20 hours ago, stubuzz said:

I can't see any mention of a B.Ed that the TCT required for licensing. Furthermore, where are they going to find NES with the extra qualifications for less that $1000 a month? The Pearson and the TKT courses are not cheap, either.

Everyone makes more than 1k a month. Even the worst agencies in BKK will pay 35-36k. But, to your point. It's absolutely not worth paying for additional education, especially a worthless TEFL.

 

Graduating with post grad all public schools won't pay a satang more. Better educated, debt, experience. Nope. Don't care. You can bet they will look to the teachers to pick this up, I'm sure they'll even be some way to manage a bit of graft.

 

Even making 60-70k. What do you need with the course? You've broken thru and achieved competence on your own accord.

 

Finally, no way I can see TCT lifting requirement of post grad for licencing.

 

We shall see.

 

 

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I have a degree (not in education) and a CELTA and many years teraching experience. I was just denied a Krusapa waiver because I've had three in a row. It's actually somewhat more than that but a new passport seemed to start it again or they f###d up. That was six years ago. To get a krusapa / teachers license I now have to do a course, Dip. ed, which is going to cost me Bt74,000 and it's a long way from where I live and on completion then have to sit a test at Kursapa. There are only two (Krusapa accredited) schools you can go to, the other school offering a Masters for Bt250,000. Both are Catholic schools. I don't know how this plays out if for example you are in Issan, Pattaya, Chiang Mai or down south. I am more than unhappy with this situation. These morons haven't got a clue. Let the exodus continue. Surely if you have worked a certain amount of years and lets say the majority at the same school then this should be seen as credit toward a teachers license. I've done 10 yrs at the same school have a BA in political philosophy and a CELTA and 15 yrs experince teaching in govt. schools in Thailand but I'm being treated like a backpacker.😡 

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"Foreign teachers will now need a recognized university degree + vocational teacher training + evidence of their language proficiency..."

Be nice if same standard applied to Thai teachers...

Regarding Filipinos "I find the accent horrendous and the pronunciation atrocious." I would assume accent influences pronunciation. Personally, I like their accents, somewhat musical and have no problem understanding them. Perhaps because I am a Yank and they used to be one of our colonies, oops, protectorates?

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On 3/12/2019 at 12:58 PM, Loaded said:

Good question. I don't know. However, I do know that school directors, the MoE and teachers have been frustrated by the TCT for many years. The TCT was set up in the 1990s to be independent of government influence; hence, even the Minister of Education cannot directly control them. In my opinion, I think the TCT may be removed from the foreign teacher process.

 

I'm not sure who will check qualifications and at what point in the hiring, non B visa application, visa extension and work permit process.

 

I did hear that the MoE wants to eliminate 'waivers'.

 

 

All the Farang teachers I know have no formal quallies at all and have been working in local government schools in Isaan for years.

There has never been any hint of them being stopped by Immigration let alone any checks being carried out.

They are taken on by individual negotiation between themselves and the local school director who saves money not paying fees to agencies. 

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4 hours ago, Emdog said:

"Foreign teachers will now need a recognized university degree + vocational teacher training + evidence of their language proficiency..."

Be nice if same standard applied to Thai teachers...

Regarding Filipinos "I find the accent horrendous and the pronunciation atrocious." I would assume accent influences pronunciation. Personally, I like their accents, somewhat musical and have no problem understanding them. Perhaps because I am a Yank and they used to be one of our colonies, oops, protectorates?

I am not involved in teaching,but the Filipinos I have met over the years including here seem to speak excellent English, whatever their pronunciation.

They couldn’t do any worse than a couple of Thai teachers I have come across who could barely speak English but are teaching English grammar in Thai.

I am still trying to get my head around that method.

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6 minutes ago, Pravda said:

The country has no drinking water and worst pollution on the planet.

 

Talk is cheap.

Not sure where you live, but here in the North where I live we have great drinking water straight out of the ground and crystal clear.

Its far better than the water from the tap in Sydney for which we paid big money then had to filter to remove the chlorine to make it drinkable.

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9 hours ago, dinsdale said:

To get a krusapa / teachers license I now have to do a course, Dip. ed, which is going to cost me Bt74,000 and it's a long way from where I live and on completion then have to sit a test at Kursapa.

What is the test at Krusapa?

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46 minutes ago, stubuzz said:

What is the test at Krusapa?

Don't know. It hasn't been implemented yet. Maybe it's going to be one those tests nobody passes after shelling out a shit load of money to conform to the insane <deleted> rules. NOT HAPPY.😡

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So this only applies to public schools? 

Anyway, good luck getting fully qualified foreign teachers to work for 30-40K and teach subjects such as Physics, maths and chemistry to IB/AP level. Even if you get the teachers, 95% of students would not cope with the demands of such courses.

 

I would propose that textbooks be produced that exactly mirror what is taught in the Thai curriculum. Anot some watered down version that is currently on offer in the market. I refuse to use them and write all my own material.

 

The Thai entrance exams should also be translated into English and then given to the students from English language programs. 

 

What they are proposing is absurd and is doomed to failure. 

 

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On 3/16/2019 at 3:31 PM, StevieAus said:

I am not involved in teaching,but the Filipinos I have met over the years including here seem to speak excellent English, whatever their pronunciation.

They couldn’t do any worse than a couple of Thai teachers I have come across who could barely speak English but are teaching English grammar in Thai.

I am still trying to get my head around that method.

 

I do take a very active part in my children's education. Teachers are variable in skill and quality. But that's a generalization for all teachers and is true wherever they come from.

 

Filipinos and Flilipinas seem to be regarded as native English speakers - which they're not. Some speak excellent English others not. Some have nice accents others very strong and hard to understand.

 

I've experienced Filipino/Filipina teachers who have difficulty with correct spelling in English and use poor grammar. 

 

But I also had the same experience with Canadian, American and Thai teachers!

 

At least Thailand no longer lets wondering backpackers do a bit of teaching to replenish their funds!

 

 

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8 hours ago, DavisH said:

So this only applies to public schools? 

Anyway, good luck getting fully qualified foreign teachers to work for 30-40K and teach subjects such as Physics, maths and chemistry to IB/AP level. Even if you get the teachers, 95% of students would not cope with the demands of such courses.

 

I would propose that textbooks be produced that exactly mirror what is taught in the Thai curriculum. Anot some watered down version that is currently on offer in the market. I refuse to use them and write all my own material.

 

The Thai entrance exams should also be translated into English and then given to the students from English language programs. 

 

What they are proposing is absurd and is doomed to failure. 

 

 

I have a lot of friends in Education including several who have businesses involved in recruitment and teacher placement.

Many are dropping out of this business now. They say it's becoming very hard to recruit Western teachers apart from the expensive private International franchise schools, due to the low salary, extra work expected, large class sizes, often ineffective management and increasingly bureaucratic visa, extensions and work permit rules.

 

Many Western teachers are looking to other Asian countries where things are currently better.

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Doesnt matter what they do or who they hire the end result is the same. Proof being why pay a qualified native speaker 30-35K when you can get a Filipino teacher for 15-20K. How many education ministers and plans have they gone thru in the last 20 years ? Its just a money game sadly not education and not going to change any time soon either.

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On 3/16/2019 at 3:37 PM, StevieAus said:

Not sure where you live, but here in the North where I live we have great drinking water straight out of the ground and crystal clear.

Its far better than the water from the tap in Sydney for which we paid big money then had to filter to remove the chlorine to make it drinkable.

You are aware that no matter how clear the water is that is no guarantee for its safety to drink? All the really bad things like chemicals, pesticides, heavy metal's, parasites etc etc doesn't make the water any less clear.. 

 

Also if you can smell the chlorine in the water, its a sure sign that its been treated, and are probably safe to drink.

If you dont like the smell/taste, you dont need a filter. Just put it in an open container/jar/jug/glass, and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. The chlorine will evaporate quickly and leave no trace. Or keep it on your countertop if you prefer your water not chilled.

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13 hours ago, DavisH said:

Anyway, good luck getting fully qualified foreign teachers to work for 30-40K and teach subjects such as Physics, maths and chemistry to IB/AP level. Even if you get the teachers, 95% of students would not cope with the demands of such courses.

I have to agree. English programs would have to double or treble their admission fees to pay for qualified teachers. This isn't going to happen; get ready for a policy u turn.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/16/2019 at 7:24 PM, stubuzz said:

What is the test at Krusapa?

"The Test" was implimented around 8 yrs ago and shut down nearly as fast as the Thai Culture course requirement. Both were found to be flawed and expensive and nobody was signing up. Everyone just started getting waivers.

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On 3/12/2019 at 12:04 PM, Loaded said:

'TKT'

The Teacher Knowledge Test from Cambridge English.

Never heard of this before. Had something similar when taking finals for my B.ed so maybe that covers it.

 

I'm wondering if all of this will only effect new teachers and those on waivers or will it include those of us that have already jumped through and over the 1st 100 hoops and hurdles and we'll need to get our track shoes out of the closet again.

As for Kurusapa being established in the 90's, I'd like to see a link on that. When I moved here 17 yrs ago, the MoE was issuing Lifetime Teacher's Licences (I have one 🙂 ) and then someone decided there was more money to be made from foreign teachers and TCT was born and created the renewable 5 yr licence. I actually went through the Thai Culture course and am currently on my 2nd 5 yr licence. (they changed the rules on the lifetime licence to expire if you ever changed schools after it was issued)

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On 3/12/2019 at 11:57 AM, ozmeldo said:

Excellent. Very similar to thoughts banging around in my head. Standardize IP, EP and an international program (not Cambridge ICGSE imo is too difficult for most). No A levels. Avoid copying the Anglo system. Do it the Thai way.

 

I'm very worried about the Filipinos. I think many degrees will be manufactured, there will be corruption. Further, I find the accent horrendous and the pronunciation atrocious. Finally, I've had poor work experiences with them. I won't list them out but both personally and what I've known to go on in the classroom. I think on the Thai side they might be exploited as well.

 

Very worried about shonky TEFL diploma meaning something. Only 2-3 providers any real legitimacy in Thailand. After decades no clear standout educator.

I only speak based on my personal experience working with Filipinos in an English center in Beijing but I think that is extremely unfair. 

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On 3/31/2019 at 1:51 AM, thisisrascal said:

I only speak based on my personal experience working with Filipinos in an English center in Beijing but I think that is extremely unfair. 

It's quite possible that the Filipinos you were working with were on top of their game. Especially as they are teaching in China where NES are insisted upon so they'd probably had Education degree.

 

My experience has been the opposite. The students can't understand them, they constantly speak Tagalog in the office, their ouputs - writing and speaking are full of errors. They are known to teach not from the materials of the school but lessons that have been passed about, just random stuff, not matched to the grade. Sabotage efforts and speak negativity of those with "white skin". Far too much "free time" given to classes to literally do nothing but play and chat in Thai. Their vocab is weak. TOEFL scores are always below average. Filipino universities are horrible. I think only one has a QS ranking. Maybe that's changed. Finally, the complaining about salary. Men verbally abusing young Thai female students. This goes for those with "white skin" also, the 30-35k crowd. Don't go to a foreign country, sign a contract and then complain about the salary.

 

I have run into two exceptionally well spoken / written Filipino men. I've known some ok Filipino teachers in the classroom. Others that were well liked.

 

Yes, there are some horrible, lazy L1 teachers who are essentially functional illiterates, others and or substance and morals problems. That's a different kettle of fish. I'd fire 65% of this lot as well.

 

That's all I have to say on the matter. They get paid less because they're worth less - they accept it. Entirely their call as adults.

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