Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Construction of the new international school with a Chinese-language curriculum is good news for Phuket. [See front page story, current issue of the Phuket Gazette. Digital subscribers click here to download the full newspaper.]

The school will provide an important new option for parents who want to position their children to tap the potential of the world’s most-populous nation and its robust economy.

Educational options in Phuket have grown in leaps and bounds over the past two decades with the introduction of four international schools using English-language curricula, and a fifth under construction in Kathu.

The desire of Phuket parents to provide international-standard education for their children, one with strong emphasis on learning a foreign language, comes as little surprise given the rank failure of the Thai government education system in this regard.

Despite the obvious need for English-speaking staff to meet the needs of Phuket’s large and fast-growing tourism economy, management at most state-run schools continues to labor under a bureaucratic mindset that promotes rote learning and parrot-like regurgitation over independent thought, crowd control over creativity.

Despite the talk of "brain-based learning" – is there any other kind? – during the Thaksin years, and similar buzz-speak by successive governments, little has changed at the Ministry of Education, the nation’s largest and most unsuccessful employer.

Fortunately for Phuket, the private sector has been able to step up and fill much of the vacuum in educational opportunities in the rest of the nation outside of Bangkok.

Like most segments of the Phuket economy where free market forces are allowed to prevail, private education has flourished over the years to the point where the province now offers the widest range of educational options in the South, including bilingual programs, tutorial schools, TEFL training schools and more.

Given Phuket’s growing population, infrastructure development and increasingly international outlook, it comes as little surprise that the island is developing into an education hub, assisted by the pollution and traffic in Bangkok, Thailand’s traditional seat of higher learning.

The trend is not restricted to Phuket proper, but also extends to nearby parts of surrounding provinces. One notable development came in October when Chulalongkorn University announced that its prestigious Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration would open a satellite center in Phang Nga, just over the bridge, for Thai and international executives.

Not to be overlooked is vocational training, where Phuket is lucky to have no fewer than six colleges that attract students from around the nation.

The vocational sector of education is important if Thailand is to avoid the current 'brain drain' confronting so many western countries. In the United States and Europe, for example, there are legions of unemployed people holding advanced degrees – but no one knows how to fix a broken toilet.
– Phuket Gazette

1

It looks good according to your article, but really it's the blind leading the blind.

Posted by LiveSteam December 12, 2010 11:59:49AM

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2

I read with interest: "...state-run schools continues to labor under a bureaucratic mindset that promotes rote learning and parrot-like regurgitation over independent thought, crowd control over creativity." This is what happens to the majority of children. Wouldn't we gain more by changing the education system for the masses?

Posted by tim in phuket December 12, 2010 12:13:04PM

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3

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket December 12, 2010 12:57:36PM

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4

I read with interest: "...state-run schools continues to labor under a bureaucratic mindset that promotes rote learning and parrot-like regurgitation over independent thought, crowd control over creativity." This is what happens to the majority of children. Wouldn't we gain more by changing the education system for the masses?

Posted by tim in phuket

We would, but this would necessitate the private sector taking hold of education and changing it nationwide. The government is not going change it, nor will they allow others to change it.

Posted by Warren Butler December 12, 2010 01:30:30PM

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5

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson December 12, 2010 01:35:29PM

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6

Many of the people with advanced degrees are absolutely worthless. The ones I saw in action couldn't teach a fish to swim. I saw a Danish guy who was a high-school dropout with a fake degree totally control a classroom full of Thai children. That's impressive!

Posted by Kevin December 12, 2010 02:03:03PM

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7

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson

My comment had nothing to do with students nor their vocations. It was all to do with the quality of their education.

Posted by Kru Phuket December 12, 2010 02:09:56PM

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8

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson

Do you think the people who do these menial jobs are all from Phuket? There are masses from the South, as well as the North and Northeast of Thailand who work here in these jobs. The reality is that they are gradually being replaced with Burmese workers, as they are cheaper and can tolerate longer working days. And many Thai people don't want to do these jobs anymore.

Posted by Ian December 13, 2010 06:58:58AM

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9

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson

Do you think the people who do these menial jobs are all from Phuket? There are masses from the South, as well as the North and Northeast of Thailand who work here in these jobs. The reality is that they are gradually being replaced with Burmese workers, as they are cheaper and can tolerate longer working days. And many Thai people don't want to do these jobs anymore.

Posted by Ian

No, these people are not all from Phuket. The story says: "Not to be overlooked is vocational training, where Phuket is lucky to have no fewer than six colleges that attract students from around the nation."

The Burmese do not attend these vocational schools, but it might be good for them and for Thailand if they did.

Posted by Art Anderson December 13, 2010 09:01:01AM

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10

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson

Do you think the people who do these menial jobs are all from Phuket? There are masses from the South, as well as the North and Northeast of Thailand who work here in these jobs. The reality is that they are gradually being replaced with Burmese workers, as they are cheaper and can tolerate longer working days. And many Thai people don't want to do these jobs anymore.

Posted by Ian

No, these people are not all from Phuket. The story says: "Not to be overlooked is vocational training, where Phuket is lucky to have no fewer than six colleges that attract students from around the nation."

The Burmese do not attend these vocational schools, but it might be good for them and for Thailand if they did.

Posted by Art Anderson

But many are already well educated on a vocational as well as other levels. They are not only working in construction; you can also find them at garages, repair shops, as order takers in restaurants and in resorts at various levels.

Posted by Ian December 13, 2010 09:25:41AM

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11

These international schools on Phuket are all good, even excellent in direct comparison with what the MoE provides. But try to afford their exhorbitant prices – with 2 kids it is a burden only to be taken by relatively wealthy parents. Then again, for wealthy parents it has never been difficult to educate their children.

Regular folks, that includes me and my family, are left out in the rain. There are no affordable good schools, not in Phuket or anywhere else in Thailand.

Posted by Mike December 13, 2010 12:05:45PM

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11

These international schools on Phuket are all good, even excellent in direct comparison with what the MoE provides. But try to afford their exhorbitant prices – with 2 kids it is a burden only to be taken by relatively wealthy parents. Then again, for wealthy parents it has never been difficult to educate their children.

Regular folks, that includes me and my family, are left out in the rain. There are no affordable good schools, not in Phuket or anywhere else in Thailand.

Posted by Mike December 13, 2010 12:05:45PM

Reply

0    0

10

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson

Do you think the people who do these menial jobs are all from Phuket? There are masses from the South, as well as the North and Northeast of Thailand who work here in these jobs. The reality is that they are gradually being replaced with Burmese workers, as they are cheaper and can tolerate longer working days. And many Thai people don't want to do these jobs anymore.

Posted by Ian

No, these people are not all from Phuket. The story says: "Not to be overlooked is vocational training, where Phuket is lucky to have no fewer than six colleges that attract students from around the nation."

The Burmese do not attend these vocational schools, but it might be good for them and for Thailand if they did.

Posted by Art Anderson

But many are already well educated on a vocational as well as other levels. They are not only working in construction; you can also find them at garages, repair shops, as order takers in restaurants and in resorts at various levels.

Posted by Ian December 13, 2010 09:25:41AM

Reply

0    0

9

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson

Do you think the people who do these menial jobs are all from Phuket? There are masses from the South, as well as the North and Northeast of Thailand who work here in these jobs. The reality is that they are gradually being replaced with Burmese workers, as they are cheaper and can tolerate longer working days. And many Thai people don't want to do these jobs anymore.

Posted by Ian

No, these people are not all from Phuket. The story says: "Not to be overlooked is vocational training, where Phuket is lucky to have no fewer than six colleges that attract students from around the nation."

The Burmese do not attend these vocational schools, but it might be good for them and for Thailand if they did.

Posted by Art Anderson December 13, 2010 09:01:01AM

Reply

0    0

8

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson

Do you think the people who do these menial jobs are all from Phuket? There are masses from the South, as well as the North and Northeast of Thailand who work here in these jobs. The reality is that they are gradually being replaced with Burmese workers, as they are cheaper and can tolerate longer working days. And many Thai people don't want to do these jobs anymore.

Posted by Ian December 13, 2010 06:58:58AM

Reply

0    0

7

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson

My comment had nothing to do with students nor their vocations. It was all to do with the quality of their education.

Posted by Kru Phuket December 12, 2010 02:09:56PM

Reply

0    0

6

Many of the people with advanced degrees are absolutely worthless. The ones I saw in action couldn't teach a fish to swim. I saw a Danish guy who was a high-school dropout with a fake degree totally control a classroom full of Thai children. That's impressive!

Posted by Kevin December 12, 2010 02:03:03PM

Reply

0    0

5

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket

Regarding vocational schools, you're right: laughable is not the right word. Imagine Phuket hosting 3 million international tourists a year without a strong corps of people who can fix the toilets, repair the generators, install the cctv systems, maintain the swimming pools, ensure the safety of the elevators.... Better to respect these people, don't you think?

Posted by Art Anderson December 12, 2010 01:35:29PM

Reply

0    0

4

I read with interest: "...state-run schools continues to labor under a bureaucratic mindset that promotes rote learning and parrot-like regurgitation over independent thought, crowd control over creativity." This is what happens to the majority of children. Wouldn't we gain more by changing the education system for the masses?

Posted by tim in phuket

We would, but this would necessitate the private sector taking hold of education and changing it nationwide. The government is not going change it, nor will they allow others to change it.

Posted by Warren Butler December 12, 2010 01:30:30PM

Reply

0    0

3

For all the MoE's faults, of which some are unforgivable, the notion that private education is somehow automatically better needs further clarification. Remember Dulwich College? That ended well, didn't it? Some private schools employ teachers who've never earned proper teaching qualifications in the West. PIA and Head Start are relatively new, so we can only hope they live up to their promises. And please, let's not include the vocational schools. 'Laughable' isn't the right word.

Posted by Kru Phuket December 12, 2010 12:57:36PM

Reply

0    0

2

I read with interest: "...state-run schools continues to labor under a bureaucratic mindset that promotes rote learning and parrot-like regurgitation over independent thought, crowd control over creativity." This is what happens to the majority of children. Wouldn't we gain more by changing the education system for the masses?

Posted by tim in phuket December 12, 2010 12:13:04PM

Reply

0    0

1

It looks good according to your article, but really it's the blind leading the blind.

Posted by LiveSteam December 12, 2010 11:59:49AM

Reply

0    0

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