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Foreign prisoners to teach English in Thai prisons

Some of the estimated 2000 foreign prisoners in Thai prisons could be mobilised to teach English to other prisoners as part of a new joint Ministry of Justice/Labour Ministry plan to retrain inmates for jobs when they leave prison.

The idea was proposed at a July meeting between Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin and Labour Minister Chatu Mongol Sonakul, at which an agreement was signed between the two ministries, aimed at tackling unemployment among former prisoners.

Some 80-90 per cent of inmates who were retrained in 2019 have already found work. While still in prison, inmates received certificates enabling them to practice as carpenters, construction workers and electricians. The two ministries have a target of 1,840 prisoners to be trained by the end of financial year 2020.

The Corrections Department has already been tasked with selecting prisoners “with the potential to teach other inmates,” according to the Bangkok Post.

Image courtesy of Library
Matt Salusbury
Matt Salusbury
MATT SALUSBURY, news editor and journalist, has worked for EL Gazette since 2007. He is also joint Chair of the London Freelance Branch of the National Union of Journalists and co-edits its newsletter, the Freelance. He taught English language for 15 years in the Netherlands, in Turkey, in a North London further education college and now as an English for Academic Purposes tutor, most recently at the London School of Economics. He is a native English speaker and is also fluent in Dutch.
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