While I think that Thailand’s move toward teacher licensing is a positive thing for students, it seems to me that the TCT’s implementation of the new ‘provisional permit’ (to replace the old ‘waiver’ letter for not having a teaching license) will have disastrous effects on the availability of foreign teachers, especially NES, in Thailand, with only 2½ years before AEC 2015 begins. In my opinion, this implementation is ill-timed.
If I’m correct in my assumption, when a foreign teacher’s current ‘waiver’ letter expires, then that teacher must meet the requirements for the new ‘provisional permit’ if the teacher doesn’t possess a teaching license. This conversion process will probably take another year or so, given that some 2-year ‘waiver’ letters have probably been issued earlier this year. The ‘provisional permit’ states that all foreign teachers must have a degree. Consequently, non-degreed foreign teachers cannot be hired at primary and secondary government schools, except for the 10K program (I think).
Many non-degreed teachers will soon leave for China, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. My school is losing a competent non-degreed NES (whose ‘waiver’ letter expires the end of August) before Term 1 ends. An agency has supplied my school with 5 different foreign teachers for M2’s two MEP classes, and Term 1 hasn’t finished yet. Where is the continuity in learning? How does this help the students prepare for AEC 2015?
There are some competent non-degreed NES teachers in Thailand, and their exclusion from being job applicants increases the current serious depletion of available NES in Thailand. Teacher agencies are having a difficult time finding NES for EP and MEP programs because of the implementation of the ‘provisional permit’, so this situation will only be compounded in 2013 when more ‘waiver’ letters expire for non-degreed NES.
If Thailand wants its students to learn English by 2015, then Thailand must increase the supply of NES, not decrease it.