Thais to target 10,000 teachers

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Education minister Nataphol Teepsuwan

Thailand’s education minister, Nataphol Teepsuwan, met ambassadors from unnamed “English-speaking countries” in February and requested that they find teachers of English and other subjects for Thailand’s education system, “from elementary to university level,” as part of an upgrade of “the entire education system”, according to the Bangkok Post.

The newspaper quoted Teepsuwan as saying Thailand’s schools currently have 7,000 “foreign” teachers among its workforce, but that “another 10,000 teachers are required.”

Mr Nataphol said government funds have been set aside for this upgrade, while unnamed “government to government cooperation programmes” are to manage recruitment of native-speaker teachers.

Having more foreign teachers may boost students’ confidence and give Thailand’s teachers the opportunity to benefit with more contact with native speakers.

While the English-speaking nations to be involved were not listed, Teepsuwan said “the accent of the teachers does not matter as long as they can make the lessons fun.” This would suggest a broad interpretation of “English-speaking.”

Image courtesy of THAI MINISTRY OF EDUCAT
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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.