Thai Ministry of Education asks embassies to help find English teachers

the Bangkok Post Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan said “a large number of teachers are needed as we work to modernize the entire education system” following the meeting.

English First’s English Proficiency Index currently ranks Thailand in the 74and place out of 100. Levels of English are slightly higher in cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai and lower in the south and northeast.

“[The proficiency of] about 75% of English teachers [is] below B1”

The British Council in Thailand said News from the PIE that the lack of English proficiency in the country is exacerbated by the proficiency of “about 75% of English teachers [being] lower than B1” and an often “traditional and non-communicative” pedagogy.

From 2016 to 2018, the British Council worked with Thailand on a professional development program to help 17,000 teachers improve their English skills.

However, the Thai government seems to be particularly focused on hiring foreign teachers. There are currently about 7,000 foreign teachers in Thai schools, but another 10,000 are needed.

Foreign English teachers in the country come from a variety of backgrounds, with some being graduates who come to teach for a semester or two, while others are professionally qualified teachers at international schools and universities.

Three years ago, Thailand released a report on how it plans to modernize its education system covering the period 2017-2036, in which it promotes broad reform of the current education system as the country prepares to “overcome the middle-income trap to developed country status within the next 15 years”.

He particularly noted his work with organizations such as the UN and ASEAN, in addition to cooperation with other countries, as showing his intentions to “raise the quality of education and personnel towards the standards international”.

“The Ministry of Education has emphasized proactive action to build strong relationships with Ministries of Education in other countries, both regionally and internationally,” the report adds.

The British Council further said discussions regarding teachers were at an early stage and ongoing.