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School funding challenge for bilingual curriculum

Maya Taylor

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School funding challenge for bilingual curriculum | The Thaiger
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The secretary-general of the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), Amnat Wichayanuwat, says plans to introduce a bilingual school curriculum at all grade levels have thrown up an obstacle for meeting funding requirements.

The bilingual curriculum plans were announced by the Education Minister last week in an effort to improve English proficiency among the Thai population. It’s hoped to have the curriculum in place from kindergarten level at more than 2,000 district schools from the beginning of the 2020 academic year.

However, the OBEC secretary-general says one of the conditions under which schools can qualify for Mini English Programme (MEP) funding, is by showing that Ordinary National Educational Test (O-NET) scores have consistently improved for at least three years.

Amnat says it’s simply not possible for schools to meet this requirement.

“This is impossible because these schools haven’t even started with the new lessons. To launch the MEP classrooms efficiently, we will therefore adjust the qualification and submit it to the Provincial Schools Admission Committee for consideration.”

Amnat says OBEC will reinstate provincial English Resource and Instruction Centres to help determine the curriculum. He draws attention to the need to examine English language proficiency in both teachers and students and work on areas that need improvement.

“And there will be an English proficiency assessment using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages standard. This will expand the opportunities for education and create equality among educational institutes.”

Thailand was recently ranked 74 out of 100 on the English language proficiency index, with its ranking continuing to drop for three years in a row.

See earlier story HERE.

SOURCE:nationthailand.com

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Bangkok

Bangkok’s Ying Charoen wet market reopens after fire

Jack Burton

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Bangkok’s Ying Charoen wet market reopens after fire | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Coconuts Bangkok

Most of the Ying Charoen market in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district reopened after fire destroyed about 160 stalls. Earlier estimates put the number at around 50 stalls. No injuries were reported. The blaze in the 30 rai compound reportedly began at a bakery at about 3am and quickly spread to nearby stalls. It took firefighters about 2 hours to control the flames.

Officials say about 200 vendors have been affected. They are being allowed to sell their goods in the market’s car park for the time being. About 10% of the market structure was damaged and remains cordoned off, as 70% of stalls reopened. There were about 1,500 stalls trading at the 65 year old market, the area’s oldest.

One of the structures damaged was a gold shop, whose owner estimated damages would exceed 1 million baht.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Economy

Thai nightlife grapples with “new normal”

Jack Burton

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Thai nightlife grapples with “new normal” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: People.com

Thailand’s nightlife scene is grappling with a ‘new normal’ as changes upon its recent reopening see facemasks joining the normal bikini wear in red-light districts across the Kingdom.

After being forced to close for more than 3 months in order to stop the spread of Covid-19,bars, karaoke venues and massage parlours are in the latest category of businesses allowed to reopen under new conditions, now that Thailand has gone more than a month without any community transmission of the virus.

The reopening means a return to work for hundreds of thousands of people in the nightlife industry who have struggled to survive. “Bee,” a 27 year old dancer, who goes by her stage name at the XXX Lounge in the Patpong district, said:

“I lost all my income. I’m glad that I can come back to work in a job that I’m good at. I’m ok with the mask because it’s one of the precautions.”

All customers must have their temperature taken before entering, and must give a name and telephone number or register with the Thai Chana app. Inside, everybody must sit at least one metre apart, and 2 metres from the stage. But one British expatriate questioned the need:

“You can take a BTS train in the morning with 200 people on a packed train but then you come into a bar and still have to sit 2 metres apart.”

The government has staggered the reopening of public places over several weeks with schools, colleges and universities officially resuming yesterday.

Despite a low death toll (58 out of 3,173 infections- a relatively low number even within the region), Thailand’s economy is expected to sink further than any other in Southeast Asia, with the number of foreign tourists expected to drop 80% or more this year.

At the Dream Boy club in Bangkok’s Patpong Soi 1, bare-chested men with face shields tried to entice the few passersby off the street, but many businesses remain shut and those who have opened are only seeing a few customers.

“There are bars all over Bangkok that have been open for 10 to 15 years and now they are closed and they are not coming back.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Old Bangkok market damaged by large fire

Jack Burton

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Old Bangkok market damaged by large fire | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

An old Bangkok market was reportedly damaged by a large fire early this morning, taking over 20 fire trucks and at least two hours to put out the blaze.

Ying Charoen Market, in Bangkok’s northern Bang Khen district, saw vendors fleeing the flames and taking their merchandise with them after firefighters were called to the scene at 3 am. The fire, which took down the areas’ oldest market, reportedly left no injuries due to the market being closed at the time. Investigators this morning are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

A 33 year old market employee, said the fire destroyed about 50 stalls in a part of the market selling miscellaneous goods. The market, which is made of wood, has about 1,500 stalls in total. He said it was the first fire at the market in its 65 years of being open.

Old Bangkok market damaged by large fire | News by The ThaigerOld Bangkok market damaged by large fire | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Coconuts Bangkok | Nation Thailand

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