In reply to Kevin O’Donnell (Unemployable at age 60, Postbox 23rd March 2011) I am coming up to your age and yes, the opportunities are a little thin on the ground. You ask if there is any way out of this dilemma and again yes, there is.
Firstly and I say this with respect, look like a teacher and not like someone’s favourite uncle – ditch the facial hair! Secondly, you ‘are’ in demand even at 60 – try China! Seriously, the hours are minimal, the students extremely well disciplined and behaved and on a one year contract I’d be surprised if you couldn’t expect to save in the region of 150 to 200k baht. Like you, my home is in Thailand but I doubt whether I’d ever punish myself by working there again. Also, the vast majority of Chinese schools and universities have no objection to you bringing your spouse with you for the length of the contract, (not girlfriends).
Thailand; it is you who will suffer as your children become the poor educational relations of Asia. You are already near, if not at the bottom of the educational Asian league table. While you concentrate on your classroom ‘activities’ and the young ‘20 somethings’, (or the ancient 40’s), your education system collapses around your proverbial ears! It all looks so nice; everybody pretends they’re happy and the relative few are making a lot of money out of it, so why change? In the end Thailand, as disillusioned foreigners leave, your tourist industry collapses and the current crop of teachers grow older and are replaced by smiling backpackers, or recession refugees happy to join the treadmill for their 30k pay, you will stay a developing country.