Education program ends September, 1,964 teachers face layoffs

FILE PHOTO: Laying off 1,964 teachers in September may cause an education shortage.

Nearly 2,000 maths and science teachers are calling upon the Education Ministry to help them avoid layoffs in September. The teachers were hired in 2018 under a special project by the Office of the Basic Education Commission to improve maths and science teaching standards in Thailand. Now 1,964 teachers may face unemployment if action is not taken.

The OBEC had planned to cut funding to this project, essentially rendering the positions redundant and leaving a few thousand teachers unemployed. After recently being briefed on the plan, these nearly 2,000 teachers filed a petition with the Education Minister today asking for action to avoid the coming layoffs. The president of the People’s Sector Network Against Corruption rallied on their behalf, joining the teacher group’s representatives in filing the petition.

The president of the PSNAC and the group of teachers argued that the layoffs resulting from defunding the program would be detrimental to the quality of education students will receive in Thailand. They also mentioned that many schools would experience a lack of available and qualified teachers.

Facing layoffs of the 1,964 teachers at stake and only a few months to reach a resolution, the teacher group submitted the petition along with several proposals to try to resolve the issue. They requested that the OBEC put off the plan to hire new maths and science teachers until after Thailand recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The teachers also asked the OBEC to simply reconsider and withdraw the planned layoffs for the teachers in light of the current economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus. Finally, they proposed an extension of the current education program so instead of an end date this September, it would be continued until September 2023.

Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong was reported to have received the petition against the teachers’ layoffs and pledged to request that the OBEC revisits and revises its decision.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.


  1. No point in appealing to the Thai government for help about this.
    They want the majority of kids to be dumb and stupid.they generally send their own kids to expensive private educational institutes which tells you everything you need to know.

  2. Most of the Government school are not capable to provide a good education here but also some private are on the same level for that, just showing off by appearing better .
    The only school which provide a decent education are the international school which are far too expensive….

  3. This article is a bit confusing. They’re laying off 1,964 math and science teachers and later in the article it says they plan to hire NEW math and science teachers.

    So are the current teachers effective? Why are they hiring new ones? If the results of the current program are disappointing then by all means fire and hire new ones. If it’s just to save money then it’s a mistake.

    Thailand has ambitious plans on becoming a technology hub. Not with the current education system. Most countries in Asia run circles around Thailand let alone the rest of the world.

    I’m in agreement with you Thailand is the land of endless plans and not much real follow through. They’d be better served to have fewer realistic plans that they can execute.

  4. Someone mentioned International Schools…… I took a sabbatical for a year from DoDDs and taught at a Thai Int’l School in P. Thani. I met many teachers from other international schools and found the level of farang teacher prowess in Thailand to be simply appalling. Most had Khao San Road degrees or a BS/BA in some academic subject but had never had a UK/US, et al government teaching certification. This coupled with incredibly exorbitant school fees proved to me that Thai parents are incredibly ripped off by these primary and secondary diploma mills. The only 2 I would have recommended were ISB and Harrow. Both which only the Thai elites (Read: CP, Red Bull, Central Group….) and Foreign Service families can afford. I find it hilarious that Thailand with it’s terrible PISA scores in Math and science wish to lay off STEM teachers of all people !!

  5. To lay off teachers may be a grave error. However,if the education system do not reform,it is the the detrimental to the future of the country.Many so-called international schools do not recruit qualified teachers,as most of them bsckpacker visitors to the country,who ran out of money to stay in the country.It does not matter where they come from,so long they are White farangs,they can act as English language teachers.In general,Thai kids do not show much interest in education,as the simply go through the motion of rote learning,as they progress through all failure is not recognised in the education process.

  6. What quality teaching all my years here, students from the English [prpogrammes of most Universities are unable to converse in English, many still need a calculator to add up or divide small numbers .
    There is in my book NO quality teaching taught here so their loss of jobs will have minimal impact

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