Thailand is sinking fast. Drowning in its woeful ability to act now, think later - especially at the MOE.
I have been teaching here for some time now. I love it, the kids I teach seem to love my teaching methods. They respond well, interact and enjoy learning English. I love Thailand. I have many Thai friends. I have taken the time to learn Thai, unlike most. I have a wonderful girlfriend, someone I cherish and want to spend the rest of my life with. Everything was perfect - until recently. Simply because I have a fake degree. OK, so I don't have a BA in flower arranging or a PhD in bed testing. I do posses a HND and could go home and complete a top-up degree, which would be another year and about 7,000 GBP. So how do I afford that on 30,000 baht a month? OK, I borrow the money from my family, go home and study for a year. I'd be a 40-year-old sitting with a bunch of kids only slightly older than the ones I am currently teaching. Great. And then what? Come back and teach them all about Design. After all, I would then have a degree in it! No, of course not.
So how does a degree really benefit non-native speaking students? Frankly, it doesn't. What DOES benefit the kids, are native-English speakers, who have good command of written and spoken English and, MORE IMPORTANTLY, the desire to teach - passion, warmth... and a sense of humour! The kids love to have fun. Obviously, non of this matters at the MOE. They are looking for Cambridge and Yale graduates who are willing to teach for 50 pence a year. Yeah, that will happen. I'm sure there are many, many excellent 'teachers' with Master's degrees in lightbulb changing, but there are just as many excellent 'you are no-way teachers' who don't posses these really 'relevant' bits of paper. I'm sure, one day, the police will raid my school and I'll be hurled into the back of a van and escorted to jail, fined and then off to the airport - along with many others who are excellent teachers with families and a real passion for teaching, but have no degree.
I am all for criminal record checks, anything that will keep vermin away from kids. But losing 50% of good teachers simply because they don't posses a degree that doesn't have anything to do with teaching is, well, stupid! Then again, I'm sure that no paedophile, murderer or drug pusher has ever been to university! Just for the record, if you do think that I'm a scumbag who conned his way into teaching with a fake degree, my school told me to go to Kao San Road and get one.
So, come and get me, Mr. Policeman. Ruin my life, my girldfriend's life, and the lives of thousands of families out here. Not to mention the kids, who may have to go without learning English in a non-farang zone.