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Thailand a ‘must-go’ destination for teachers

Thailand has developed into a ‘must-go’ destination for teachers from overseas, according to a recent survey of almost 200 educationalists from schools across Thailand. The survey, conducted by Regents International School Pattaya, revealed that almost nine out of ten (88%) teachers would recommend teaching in Thailand to a friend or colleague and well-over six out of ten (63%) could picture living in Thailand long-term. The findings were published just days ahead of the Bangkok Teachers Network (BTN) annual conference, which took place at Regents on 9 November 2013, with over 600 teachers attending this year’s event.

The attraction of Thailand’s international schools clearly has much to do with the quality of life enjoyed by expat teachers. Over nine in ten (92%) of those surveyed felt that teachers were highly-regarded within Thai society and a similar proportion agreed or strongly agreed that they enjoyed a good quality of life in Thailand. A large majority (83%) agreed or strongly agreed that they felt safe living in the country. About half (46%) of all respondents lived and worked in provincial Thailand and the remainder in Bangkok.

Not everything is rosy, however. The proportion of teachers who felt that in Thailand they could find the educational resources they required to do their job (36%) was less than those who felt they could not (41%). The same was true when it came to the question of sourcing professional educational services, such as well-qualified music tutors.

The BTN findings come on the back of a recent survey by HSBC Bank. In a survey of 7,000 ex-pats worldwide, Thailand topped the bank’s Expat Experience League Table, with more than seven in ten Thailand-based ex-pats (76%) saying they found integrating into the local community easy compared with the global average (66%), and around half (54%) agreeing that they socialise more with their expat friends compared with elsewhere in the world (39%).

Principal of Regional International School Pattaya, Mike Walton, who is also Co-Chairman of the International Schools Association of Thailand (ISAT) Accreditation Committee and a former Chairman of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia, commented: “I have been Principal of Regents for nine years and it is no surprise to me that my colleagues enjoy living and teaching in Thailand. This is such a rich, welcoming and rewarding culture for students and staff alike and, in my experience, both Thai and foreign parents are highly supportive of what goes on in school.”

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