The Thai education system

The Thai education system

Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana admits that the Thai education system is unsatisfactory and behind other countries in the ASEAN region. To tackle the problem, the ministry has drawn up some measures to restructure the system.

Education Minister Phongthep reveals that Thailand, each year, spends up to 20 percent of its annual budget on education, like other developed countries which spend a large amount of money on education and focus on human resource development. Despite a tremendous amount of money Thailand has put into its educational system, the minister says the result is still unsatisfactory. However, he says the ministry has drawn up some solutions to the problem such as changing students’ and teachers’ perspectives by urging them to think and analyze instead of memorizing known as “rote learning”.

The minister further reveals that Thai students desperately need to improve their English language, especially the listening and speaking skills, in which Thai students are far behind those students in other ASEAN countries. The ministry will, therefore, bring in more English-speaking teachers to teach Thai kids. Mr Phongthep adds that there are both crisis and opportunity for Thailand in entering the ASEAN Community. Therefore, Thai students need to learn all aspects about ASEAN and turn that crisis into opportunity for the sake of the country.

So can someone please tell me why if he realizes that the Thai education system and standards are well below par and need to change. Why is he bringing out new rules stating that if you do not have ED or education on your degree and do not try to better yourself you will not be allowed to teach in Thailand?

I have a PhD how can you get higher than that in computer science and a masters degree as well as being a native English speaker. I am also qualified in teaching TEFL and special needs children with learning disabilities and i have been a teacher for over 10 years, 3 of which have been in Thailand. If the minister for education enforces this silly rule, a huge portion of the teachers already here will be affected and he will damage the education system even further than it is now. Where is the logic in what he is doing because I can not see any at all.

Lets face the reality of the situation here in Thailand....Thai students are only taught grammar in schools and universities which does not teach you how to speak and the level of English speaking is very poor even in the best schools. I am sure you will agree that the processes which we have to follow already to just work here are very expensive, arduous and difficult for everyone who teaches here as it stands today.

Maybe if he supported the foreign teachers more by making it easier instead of making things even harder than they already are and change the stupid no fail policy for students he would do more good.
The no fail policy only damages the education of students because they have no incentive to learn and they play the system because they know they will not fail.

I like teaching in Thailand but if it gets any harder i will not stay here it is just not worth the hassle and i wonder how many other professional teachers will do the same. I think he should focus on more important issues so that Thailand will not be at the bottom of the ASEAN education list, instead of making things worse as he is doing now.

Maybe if he asked the foreign teachers what their views were he would have a greater understanding of the difficulties we face as teachers here and how things could and should be instead of cutting the throats of the professionals who want to see Thai children learn and improve their rational though processes and reasoning skills as well as their standard of education.

So come on Mr Thepkanjana get with your own program and look at the real problems here instead of causing more. Try to be the cure not the disease.

Thanks for reading....

Dr John Smith

Read more letters

Send your letter to

Featured Jobs

NES /Non-NES Teaching Positions

฿34,000+ / month


Fun Native English Teachers for May 2023 Start

฿42,000+ / month


English Program (EP) Teachers for April Start

฿42,000+ / month


Elementary Teacher (40-60K)

฿40,000+ / month


ESL Teaching Jobs in Hanoi

฿770+ / hour


Biology and Math Teachers

฿71,000+ / month


Featured Teachers

  • Mbake

    Cameroonian, 22 years old. Currently living in Cameroon

  • Seth

    Ghanian, 44 years old. Currently living in China

  • Teboho

    South African, 33 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Edson

    Filipino, 28 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Rolann

    Filipino, 24 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Febloutz

    Filipino, 29 years old. Currently living in Philippines

The Hot Spot

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?