In reply to Jonathan French, "Who is really qualified to teach", Ajarn Postbox 26th February. The answer is in the word, 'qualified'. A degree is a requirement in your own country for any profession; what makes you think it shouldn’t also be a requirement in Asia?
I agree that education ought to be about quality; a degree alone doesn’t guarantee that, but what it does do is guarantee that the holder is in possession of some knowledge gained over a substantial period of intense study, against that of no formal education. I personally received my knowledge from people qualified and knowledgeable enough to give it, not from people who could manage a class, keep them happy and keep the money rolling in. To those of us who earned and received our degrees, I can assure Jonathan that we’re grateful it came from professionals and not from our ex local factory worker who came for a holiday and never went back.
Should we now be seeing the demise of teacher training colleges and Universities in favour of those who think formal education is an outdated requirement? Is the giving of education now to be seen in the light of changing the spark plugs on a car? It’s something you either can do, or something you can’t?
What does a teacher without a degree tell me? Nothing of any value. What it does suggest is that they are probably incapable of finding work within their own countries and if they did, it would probably be related to that of a checkout operator at their local store, or a factory labourer. What then makes people without an education, who are unable to teach in their own countries through lack of a formal education, suddenly become worthy of the title of educator in another?
To anyone working illegally, without even a degree, (or a fake one); I hope you’re removed as soon as possible back to your country of origin and try to do the same there! As an example; I’m not an engineer and so am not able to secure employment in that sector in my home country; completion of a 100 hour certificate should not enable me to obtain employment in that sector in another country either.
Jonathan’s statement that his friend is the Head of an English Department and hasn’t even got a formal education says it all. Where else but in a developing country would that be allowed? I personally find it reassuring that doctors, nurses, lawyers and others in professions aren’t allowed to practice with the equivalent of a three week certificate!
It is probably for these reasons that Thailand is tightening up on the people who educate their children and I wish them the best of luck.