May I take your bags, sir?
PATHUM THANI: The Phuket tourism industry, long hampered by the difficulty of finding English-speaking staff, will be glad to know that help is now on the way – straight from the slammer. Inmates at a prison in Pathum Thani are now being offered three-month English language courses to help them prepare for life on the outside, said a senior official from the Corrections Department. The pilot scheme has been launched in the hope that it will prevent prisoners returning to a life of crime. As well as studying English, inmates can take various occupational classes and will soon be able to study Mandarin and Japanese, or learn how to become tour guides. So far the project has attracted 200 inmates, most of them serving time for minor drug offenses. However, concerns have been voiced about whether the project will reform criminals, or whether it will simply give touts, con-men and drug dealers more tools for taking advantage of naïve tourists.
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