Teachers in Bangkok mark Teachers Day by making 7 demands of government


Teachers in Bangkok have marked National Teachers Day with a 7-point manifesto that calls for reform of the education system. National Teachers Day was first celebrated in 1945 and is held every year on January 16.

Yesterday, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha marked the day with the slogan, “Develop teachers, develop children, learn for the future.” However, from a Nation Thailand report, it would seem teachers are done with empty rhetoric. The Bangkok Teachers Club says fixing the education system and improving the standard of the country’s educators can only happen through reform, not slogans. They used the occasion to call for change, submitting a 7-point manifesto to Parliament.

Nation Thailand lists the 7 key demands as follows:

1. An education budget that covers classroom equipment so teachers do not have to pay for it themselves.

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2. A set salary for classroom support staff, to maximise the time teachers spend with students rather than being distracted by other duties.

3. A reduction of unnecessary tasks and assessments for teaching and learning, to allow teachers to devote themselves fully to lessons and curriculum-based experiences.

4. Stable and clear steps of advancement in the teaching profession, so that teachers do not lose opportunities along the way. Widen the criteria for teacher development from academic standing to other characteristics.

5. Boost teacher numbers to address shortages.

6. A halt or reduction of unnecessary “on-the-job” training for professional teachers after they have completed intensive courses at teacher-education institutes.

7. Adequate housing for teachers or reimbursement of rent to reduce the burden of accommodation expenses.

Reform of Thailand’s education system is an ongoing topic, dominating the headlines during anti-government protests last year. Hundreds of school students frequently took to the streets, rallying outside the Education Ministry in Bangkok on one occasion, calling for reforms.

Students complained about bullying and harassment from teachers, outdated regulations (including what type of hairstyle was acceptable), and an outdated teaching system that discouraged critical thinking.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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