In reply to Mr.Dee and his pop at Dr. John Smith (Ajarn Postbox 23rd November). I am not sure what nationality Mr. Dee is, and while this digresses from the original theme it does in a way stand along side the topic. As Mr. Dee pointed out there is a large number of activities going on by Thailand to assist the Philippines. Well done Thailand for that and you should be commended for doing that. Now if we look at the generous, gift giving and welcoming side then this is where Thailand regarding English seriously lets itself down.
Thailand is actually heading for its own disaster for no other reason than the governments and various other peoples attitude to foreigners. Sadly the word that has to be used is racist, Thai people, and I direct this at owners and operators of agencies and schools who are racist and ageist beyond understanding. I know of countless teachers overlooked because they are too old e.g. over 35 in some ridiculous cases.
I know excellent teachers who because of their skin colour are not allowed in a school because "the parents want a white face" so actually I will amend my previous statement and include all the racist Thai parents out there. The simple question for Thailand should be do you want to learn English or don't you? If you don't then please avoid running around the world crying when you can't trade with anyone because when you call them they don't speak Thai.
Don't moan when your left with nothing other than low paying labour jobs which will be more likely than not. Yes, Thailand is generous in some areas but in others it is a very racist and ignorant country which is going to affect how it develops over the coming years. Everyone goes on about the ASEAN community but I fear this will pass Thailand by, certainly for a good few years. The government need to get across that quality of teaching is more important than colour.
I agree that English teachers should be fluent and regrettably that does mean that they will more than likely have to come from one of the main four English speaking countries. By the same token I would not expect to go to another country as an English speaker and try and teach French or German. I wouldn't consider my pronunciation good enough to do justice to the language for any students I ended up teaching.
I do think that the government should go down the route of introducing into the labor act some stipulations about age and race. This purely to be fair to all those who want to help Thailand.
We have to face the true reality that a lot of the teachers here are in their latter years and are quite capable of contributing to the education system. It should not matter at all whether your teacher is white, black or pink with yellow polka dots. What should matter is can they speak English and do they know their grammar? Sadly, a lot of the newbies don't.
Anyway a little off the topic of helping the Philippines but really a valid point I think. By all means point out what Thailand has done but don't make out Thailand is all goody goody because it is far from it. Lose the racism and ageism Thailand and some of your troubles will be over. Obviously your next big job is reform the education system and get the humble farang in positions within it to help with the transition from Thailand non Asean and non English speaking country to Thailand land of smiles, land of hope, land of new beginnings and proud member of the ASEAN community and proud to be an English speaking country. Rant Over.