The day of reckoning

The day of reckoning

re: There is Hope (Ajarn Postbox 24th July) " I am proof that if a government school is happy with you they can bypass hurdles to employ you. You have to be lucky, and liked! Today I was made aware of the new law, i.e. must have a degree in teaching. We all know that will create a shortage of farang teachers in Thailand."

The bad news is that your tenure will likely be short lived. Worse news is that they "can" get English speaking teachers with degrees to replace you. Don't get too complacent sitting there and you better get on with upgrading your qualifications or you may find the door quickly shut in your face in the near future.

re: The Grass is Greener (Ajarn Postbox 21st July) "I live and work in probably the most enigmatic country in the world, but after all of the necessary checks have been made, then one is treated with respect and not with contempt"

If people have the necessary qualifications and work as professionals then, in my experience, they are usually treated as such - even in Thailand.

re: Let's Wait and See (Ajarn Postbox 19th July) The English programs are falling apart - more likely because of the previous teachers and employment practices rather than a tightening of the rules. If a shortage of unqualified teachers results from the crackdown then in the longer run it will be a good thing. The song and dance that has been sung here over the last few years ( "shortage of teachers", "English education dying," etc. ) is no different than was sung in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and other countries when they clamped down.

At the end of the day there was no shortage of qualified teachers (degrees + TEFL) and their systems continue to improve (7 of the top 10 ranked countries (PISA scores 2012) are now in Asia and notably the UK (26th overall) and US (36th overall) are not in the top 10).

As far as "teachers" getting stranded outside the country because of paperwork to apply for their non-b ... faxes/e-mail attachments are easy enough to do and couriers work overnight across the region if originals are needed. It's not that hard to get the paperwork correct or get something sent in when necessary (even if it means a day or two delay). Again, in my experience, if the "teacher" is properly qualified there usually is no issue with the non-b application at a foreign consulate or embassy.

Kudos to immigration and the TCT for tightening it all up. I hope they don't backtrack simply for the sake of convenience.

To those affected teachers... there is no surprise here. This story was written on the wall years ago. If you are qualified then get your license and don't worry. The paperwork is pretty simple for those with their Thai license.

For the rest, if you failed to to anything to upgrade your qualifications you have nobody to blame but yourself. You've had 12 years (this all started back in 2002). The day of reckoning is fast approaching. The degree is now what the high school diploma was a generation ago. The days of the "tourist teacher" with a high school completion, fresh face and a TEFL cert are now facing a mass extinction event (globally).


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