By SUPINA NA MAHACHAI
A Bt100-million budget has been set aside for about 1,100 teachers to take part in English language training in English-speaking countries during the upcoming summer vacation.
Deputy Education Minister Sakda Kongpet yesterday said 1,137 teachers across the country would be chosen to take part in the training in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
“This move is aimed at preparing them for the Asean Economic Community [AEC],” he said.
Sakda said 675 would be selected from teachers under the Office of Basic Education Commission’s supervision, or three from each educational service area office; 231 would be chosen among teachers under the supervision of the Office of Vocational Education Commis-sion, also three from each pro-vince; and the remaining 231 would be selected under the Office of Non-Formal and Informal Education, again three per province. “They will have to travel abroad in April and will be trained for a month. The teachers will have to stay with host families in those countries. The Education Ministry will select the host families for them. Each of them will be given Bt100,000 to pay for expenses while staying in the foreign countries, but they have to pay for their air fares,” he added.
Sakda said the project would also offer exchange opportunities for those countries to send their teachers to stay with host families in Thailand in order to enhance their language capability.
In a wider move, the ministry will provide 30-hour English language training to people in other occupations. It targets training more than 4 million people in total ahead of the AEC’s implementation in 2015.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Suchart Tadathamrongvej is encouraging schools to seek eligible English-speaking foreigners to teach English, with the ministry giving them Bt10,000 per month to hire each teacher.
The minister said schools should not wait for the ministry to search for foreign teachers, as he wanted them to make direct contact with “sister” schools in English-speaking countries.
After they find eligible foreign teachers, they have to report the number to the Office of Basic Education Commission, the Office of the Education Council and the Office of Non-Formal and Informal Education in order for the ministry to set the overall budget for hiring them.
Suchart added that he would help ease the regulations concerning the need for licences for foreign teachers.