To get a teachers’ license in Thailand, foreigners must now first take a 21-hour course on Thainess and Thai education laws. Prof Dr Paitoon Sinlarat, who heads the Teachers Council of Thailand (TCT), says the course is mandatory for any foreigner who is interested in taking a teaching job here.
“We have required them to take this course because Thai culture and theirs are completely different,” he says. According to him, the course is a must even to foreigners who have already got a teacher’s license from their home country. “For those who have already been a licensed teacher in their homeland, they take just the 21-hour course. For those who have never got a license from their homeland, they must take a longer course,” Paitoon explains.
He adds that the longer course covers a total of 42 hours, with content spanning from Thainess, to Thai laws, to Thai education concepts, to Thai educational psychology, and to educational evaluation. Paitoon says in the past, only two universities were authorized to conduct such courses. However, the TCT has now decided to make these courses available at more facilities. “Other universities should contact the TCT now if they want to organize such courses.
They can even arrange the training in collaboration with schools,” he says. The TCT has made these courses on Thainess mandatory for foreign teachers despite loud complaints from international schools, which lament that the courses make it even harder to recruit foreigners to teaching jobs. To date there has been no mention of costs or the implications for existing teachers to undertake this requirement.