Why there is a shortage of qualified teachers in Thailand

Why there is a shortage of qualified teachers in Thailand

Peelie is right, the damage to the education of Thai children is mostly the result of Thai action and policy, not the work of the "evil" unqualified falangs. You say that unqualified teachers like Raphaella could not get a job in another country?, Well, you know that is probably not true. Schools in Laos,Cambodia and many African countries and elsewhere would gladly accept a dedicated person such as Raphaela, and probably reward her with a better standard of living for her efforts.

Actually, I have worked in Germany, where private language schools accept unqualifed native speakers, so I would imagine that is true of many countries, given how officious the Germans are. However, the main point is how do unqualified teachers get a job in Thailand? They are employed by Thais. Any problems that you claim are due to unqualified foreign teachers are ultimately caused by them being recruited by Thais. If Thailand had the same systems as other countries, then the unqualified teachers would be rejected in the recruitment process.

Assuming Thailand adopted such a policy, it still is not going to attract many well-qualified experienced teachers. They are going to go where there is a better deal, ie higher pay, better conditions, reasonable holidays etc. Even 60k a month is not going to attract enough qualified foreign teachers to Thailand, partly because that would be reduced to 40k by the time the administrators and school owners get their cut. If you have studied 7 years to get your qualifications, as you say, would you really think 60k (or less) was a just reward for all that hard work?

Also, even if Thailand changed the way it recruits and only accepted qualified teachers for school positions, it is unlikely enough money would be spent on recruitment to attract qualified quality teachers anyway. The Thai mentality for the most part is driven by an over-riding desire to make and save money. If Thais can recruit locally more cheaply, they will do so. Moreoever, the misguided perception that youth and caucasion features equate to a good teacher means Thais often opt for someone on arbitary criteria rather than teaching qualifications and skills. That is the Thais fault, not teachers like Raphaela's.

They say countries get the government they deserve and I say schools get the teachers they deserve. As Peelie said "Isaan doesn't need more qualified foreign teachers, it needs to set realistic standards". Thailand, and Isaan in particular, does not have the financial resources to attract enough qualified teachers, so the schools there should be thankful that people like Raphaela are willing to put in the effort to help to meet the shortfall of qualified teachers.

Finally, of course unqualifed personnel in any field are undesirable and even a liability. The level of undesirability, however, is related to the level of expertise required to do a job. Given that half of a TEFLer's required skills are knowing his / her own language, then i would imagine that being qualified for the job with certification is not as crucial as it would be for say a dentist or an airline pilot. I think you are elevating English language teaching above its station. It is not a profession, it is a job requiring some skills, like a cooper or blacksmith, but dont equate it to a profession.

Bob the black poet


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