The licensure for foreign teachers is now the talk of the town. The Ministry of Education is in no doubt enforcing its long delayed rules and regulations not only to Thai teachers but to foreign teachers as well. Some foreign teachers find its rationale disturbing and its procedure confusing; while others, as usual, simply have to go with the flow and hoping that this would bring better recruitment services and employment benefits to foreign teachers.
Here are some facts about the licensure for foreign teachers which might help you understand what’s exactly going on in Thailand’s foreign teaching industry:
Q: Who is responsible in formulating the regulations on teacher licensure?
A: The Teachers Council of Thailand which was established in 2003 by the Ministry of Education (MoE). It is comprised of the Board, the Professional Standards Committee, the Welfare Promotion for Teachers and Educational Personnel Committee, and the Members. Specifically, it is the Professional Standards Committee who drafted the regulations on teacher licensure. The office is located at 128/1 Ratchasima Rd., Dusit Bangkok 10300 with tel. numbers: 02-282-48262 and 02-280-6226. You may visit its official website: www.ksp.or.th
Q: When did the Teachers Council of Thailand (Professional Standards Committee) formulate the rules on teacher licensure?
A: 2004. And it is gradually being enforced to the foreign teachers since 2006. It is expected that all foreign teachers who have been working in Thailand regardless of their working years who intend to continue working as teachers should apply for teaching licenses at the Teachers Council of Thailand, and almost the same rules shall be applied to all incoming foreign teachers.
Q: Who should apply for a teacher license?
A: Those who are working in the public, private and International schools. Only those public and private instructors at the higher education level (colleges and universities) and non-formal education teachers in any learning centers (i.e. language centers) are exempted.
Q: What are the requirements in applying for a teacher license?
A: The Regulation of the Teachers Council of Thailand on Professional Practice License (2004) Clause 5 enumerated the qualifications and prohibited characteristics of the applicant. In summary (rephrased):
a. 21 years or older
b. education degree or with education units ( from 18-24 units)
c. pass the 20- hour Training on Thai Culture and Language, Professional Standards and Code of Ethics
d. application form ( the application form contains other required documents)
a. improper behavior or immorality
b. incompetent or quasi-incompetent
c. been sentenced to imprisonment in any case
Q: What if I don’t have any education degree nor education units?
A: Either take the 4-set professional education exam at the Teachers Council of Thailand or take a 24-unit of education subjects in authorized universities in Thailand or in any Ministry of Education (MoE) recognized universities abroad. The tuition differs depending on the university’s set tuition.
Q: How much is the testing fee for the professional education exam?
A: Each set costs 1,000 Baht. A total of 4,000 Baht for the 4 sets.
Q: Can I retake the exam?
A: Yes. You can apply for a retake until you have passed all 4 sets.
Q: Who are authorized to conduct the 20-hour training on Thai Culture and Language, Professional Standards and Code of Ethics?
A: One of them is the Private School Teachers Association of Thailand (PSTAT). The office is located at:
4/516 Sahakorn Village Soi 21, Serithai Rd. (Soi 57), Klong Kum, Bangkok 10240 Thailand
(+66-2-379-7239; +66-2-379-73-44 (FAX); +6686-7090873; +66-81-650-0047)
Q: When and where is the next training date?
A: The Private School Teachers Association conducts the training four times a month in Bangkok and in other provinces. The training usually takes three consecutive days. Call the office for more information.
Q: How much is the training fee?
A: Depending on the number of trainees, and the venue and food costs for three days, it may range from 3,500 – 6,000.00 Baht.
Q: What can I get after the training?
A: You will receive a CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION at the end of the training day when you have successfully passed and completed the training requirements.
Q: What are the training requirements?
A: 90% attendance, practical test, one on one interview, group skill/knowledge presentation and participation.
Q: How long am I given to complete the requirements in order to apply for the teacher’s license?
A: If you’re currently working in Thailand, you are given until 2009 to apply for the teaching license. Basically before your Non-B Work VISA expires.
Q: How much is the application fee?
A: 500 Baht.
Q: When can I get my license?
A: Upon application, the Teachers Council of Thailand will provide you with a letter stating that you have already applied for a teachers’ license. The permanent teacher license (license card) will take some time before its issuance. It expires after five years and it can also be renewed.
Q: What is the “temporary teaching license” issued by the Teachers Council of Thailand?
A: The Teachers Council of Thailand issues a two-year permission to teach while completing all the requirements for the teacher licensure. The applicant can get the letter of permission on the same day of application.
Q: What if I can’t complete all the requirements for teacher licensure in one year time?
A: You may appeal your case to the Teachers Council of Thailand and may get another one-year permission to teach. However, the Teachers Council of Thailand is decisive in having all foreign teachers apply for a teacher’s license until 2009.
Abel Morales Cadias