Tag Archives: Education

It’s not soon enough to declare English the second language for teaching in schools.

It is a well-known fact that there is a paucity of decent Thai teachers well versed in English. It is going to be a tough road and take some time for Thailand to attain its goal of improving its citizens’ English skills. Still, it is better than doing nothing. To achieve that goal, Thailand needs a large number of native English speakers who are qualified and experienced, as well as good Thai English teachers who can assist foreign teachers and impart a rudimentary knowledege of the language to students. Futhermore, the people who are in charge of drawing up the school curriculum need to allow foreign teachers to exercise their own teaching ability and methods to an extent, without being hindered by an overly restrictive Thai teaching methodology. From my experience of studying English in the UK, lecturers are permitted to choose what kind of stuff and material they want to focus on. In the classroom students are encouraged to participate actively in the learning process. They are able do this because classrooms are not overcrowded with too many students. I could go on and on about this issue, but I’d rather leave it at that for now. The most important thing is that the country needs to create an environment where people can familiarise themselves with the language on a regular basis. Otherwise, learning without having the chance to use the knowledge gained in the real world is like pouring water into a sieve. It will be a waste of time.

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Filed under Education, News, Thailand

Student debt and so what?

Nikki left university half way through her course as she felt the amount of teaching she was getting didn’t justify the fees.” says the BBC. Oh dear! How sad! Bless her!

I do not get her and some other British students at all. I do not understand what they have to moan about, especially when the cost of their study at university is far less than international students – those who are not UK or EU students – have to pay for the same course. The tables highlight the fees charged by different universities for overseas students studying arts and science courses, compared with UK and EU students. All overseas students studying at UK universities are expected to make a full contribution towards the cost of their education, unlike a Home/EU student who is subsidised by the government. On average, foreign students, including myself, have to pay course fees of between £5,500 and £12,000 per year depending on the university and course, and we have to pay it upfront without delay. That was the case several years ago. I would not be surprised if the fees for foreign students have gone up in the past few years.

I just do not get the native kids at all. Why do they need to whine about something that we foreign students do each year without complaint? I suppose it is just they way they are or maybe it is in their psyche.

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Filed under British people, Education, UK

Student initiation ceremony

I did not know before that student initiation ceremonies take place in some universities in the UK. According to the news by the BBC, “students were filmed with bags over their heads, drinking and vomiting, some dressed in Nazi uniforms”. I wonder what the British public would make of student initiation ceremonies in Thailand, when first year students in Thai colleges and universities are welcomed. During these ceremonies, senior students happily take the opportunity to humiliate those new arrivals. And yet, from time to time, this pointless ritual turns into the kind of tragic event where unexpected things happen; such as when a new student who was unable to swim was forced to go into the water by the senior students and consequently drowned. In another case, a first year male student was ordered by an older student to stick his genitals into a bowl of water containing chopped chilli, after his back had already been burned by a lighter in the hands of those who were in charge of this bizarre ceremony. Here is the full story on a Thai newspaper website.

As for my experience, I did not have to go through or do things as bad as these students and was not forced to participate in this pointless ritual either. But I took part in it anyway as a bit of a laugh. I had to do things to ridicule myself; for example, I had to put red lipstick on my lips and then had to pass the slimy red substance on to one of my male classmates. Who knows, he might have secretly enjoyed the intimate same sex action! But when those sophomores or the older students forcibly tried to make me do things that I did not appreciate, I just simply refused. It was just as easy as that for me and my friends to rebel against this initiation ceremony because we could. But some of my friends who were at a different college told me that they had to do some nasty stuff i.e. male students had to take off their clothes except for their underpants, while the first year female students were ordered to gently rub the backs of these almost naked boys in order to see their reaction. Even worse, some of the first year male students had to suck red Fanta, a fizzy drink out of a clean, unused sanitary pad as a kind of humiliation. To me, this was a bit too much and over the top. I was surprised that some of them could endure this sort of treatment by the seniors.

Personally, I do not see the necessity of this student initiation ceremony. It is so frivolous and I think this ritual should be abandoned for good unless it is only for a laugh.

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Filed under British people, Education, News, Thailand, Thai_People, UK

Answer this question

Who would you like to be the next Thai Prime Minister?

A. Another puppet of someone who is currently in exile in the UK.

B. It does not matter who that person is as long as he or she is approved by the PAD.

C. Just pick any Thai citizen on the street since it seems to me that whoever gets the job is not going to be taken seriously anyway.

D. Nobody deserves to be the next PM as, according to Thais, they tend to think that the country can survive without a leader.

It is blatantly obvious that this is just me being sarcastic about this whole political fiasco. Whoever is going to be assigned the job is going to endure a lot of unavoidable difficulties. I wish that person all the best!

Talking about multiple choice questions, this is a type of test that many Thai students have to do. As you can see this kind of query does not came across as something that encourages pupils to think logically and methodically. They are already given the possible answers, all they have to do is to pick the right one. Sometimes, students have no idea and just pick an answer blindly. They just do it for the sake of completing the exam, just in case they are lucky enough to randomly get the right answer. It is also easy for teachers to give the students this sort of exam since it is very easy for them to mark the exam papers. Rarely, students will be given an essay test, except in some Thai elite schools. This illustrates how poorly the Thai education system is planned and managed by those responsible. In all probability it is deliberate in order to suppress kids’ mentality which is rather a shame.

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Filed under Education, Politics, Thailand, Thai_People