Thailand’s Education Minister has announced plans to recruit up to 10,000 native English-speaking teachers. Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan says the ministry wants improve Thai students’ English-language proficiency “as soon as the situation is safe to do so”. He also noted that the Ministry also wanted to source up to 10,000 Chinese teachers as well.
He noted that there are already 7,000 foreign teachers (teaching English) working in Thai schools.
“But this is not enough… another 10,000 are required. The cabinet has earmarked funds for their recruitment.”
The ministry has already approached embassies of several native English-speaking countries so they can help source teachers who can teach English to Thai students. The minister is also intending to groups smaller, and geographically close, schools together and combine resources in rural areas to provide better and more centralised services for students.
“A large number of native English-speaking teachers are necessary as we are working on upgrading the education system. One of the countries we are talking to is Canada which sends many teachers to Japan,” he said at an International Schools conference this week according to Bangkok Post.
“Foreign teachers must have some professional training to qualify for the job. A language teaching certificate is preferred.”
“Ideally, this should have started already, but due to the pandemic it’s been delayed. As soon as the situation is safe and secure enough, we will invite foreign teachers here.”
Over recent decades English has been a part of the curriculum in all Thai schools but often taught by Thai teachers whose knowledge of the language was also limited (and often parodied, mostly by themselves)…
The minister says the aim is to “improve students’ proficiency in English, boost their confidence and equip them to seek further knowledge”.
“Thai teachers will also be able to learn and benefit from native English speakers.”
The minister has developed a plan to upgrade English-language lessons from pre-school up to secondary levels.
“The best time to learn a new language is from soon after birth to the age of seven. It is easier for young children to learn a second language. For vocational students, it’s also important to boost their English proficiency as Thailand has set a target to be an investment hub for foreign investors.”
Minister Nataphol has also signalled that the ministry is also planning to recruit 10,000 native Chinese-speaking teachers to teach Chinese at Thai schools as well.
“Chinese is also one of the most important languages to learn, indeed it’s the most spoken language in the world.” (Mandarin has the largest number of native speakers in the world)
With China emerging as a global power, it is becoming increasingly more important for our future workforce to know the language.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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