What is a qualified teacher?

What is a qualified teacher?

It looks as though Cambodia will soon leapfrog Thailand and relegate them to the bottom of the SE-Asia English ladder.

This is a third-world country (the U.N. define any developing democracy as such) that pays low wages with no pay-rise in the ten years I've been here. Does Thailand expect the same standards for English teachers that they have in the west ? Apparently they do. Are they saying a native English speaker like myself with ten years teaching experience, a TEFL, a three year diploma and the necessary Thai-skills and temperament required to deal with disinterested, non-motivated students isn't qualified to teach basic English to little Somsak? Apparently they are.

As things stand, I hear from a recruiter that the authorities are visiting schools - government schools at that - and rooting out teachers who do not hold both a PGCE and a Bachelor's degree. What person with those qualifications is going to accept 30-35K a month to teach 50 kids in an oven? Maybe now schools will have to also pony up the other 10-15k they've been pocketing for each teacher they've employed.

A basic Bachelor's degree in Britain is a three year course - same as my Higher Diploma - but the MoE here doesn't see it that way. Even if I had a PGCE my qualifications are no longer acceptable, and being accepted onto a PGCE course is not possible because they don't recognise my three year qualification because it doesn't contain the word "Bachelor".

Who will fill these positions all over Thailand? How many people come to Thailand with both a PGCE plus a Bachelor's degree? Certainly not enough to fill the necessary number of positions. The well-to-do folk of Thailand who can afford to send their children to expensive International schools or top EPs aren't worried. Their schools will have employed the PGCE-holding Bachelor's\Master's degree-holders already ... but what about the vast majority of schools who will suddenly find that there are no teachers to fill the void? Thailand hasn't thought this through very well at all.

My twin daughters - whose father's career is now in serious jeopardy - returned home the other day with their first homework from Anuban 1. It contained the number '1' which had to be coloured in ... and above it were two mangos. Two. And I'm the one not qualified to teach.

Concerned in Chonburi


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