When we arrived in Cambodia on May 1, we didn’t really have much planned other than to see the famous temples of Angkor Wat. We took a few days of rest and relaxation after we said our goodbyes to our friends visiting from home and saw the temples at a leisurely pace. We quickly noticed the poverty present everywhere we looked, but also noticed how friendly and humble the locals were. Before we knew it, we were signed up for 2 weeks of teaching with the Cambodia English School of Higher Education Organization (CESHEO) thanks to the wonderful website HelpX.


CESHEO was founded by Rady Rure in order to provide free English education to the children of Cambodia. An English education is a ticket out of poverty as it opens up so many employment opportunities for the future. As a child, Rady was unable to afford to attend school, so…

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Education reforms critical for the Thai economy, says World Bank – The Nation

Education reforms critical for the Thai economy, says World Bank


THE NATION June 4, 2015 1:00 am

ONE-THIRD of 15-year-old Thais are “functionally illiterate”, the World Bank said yesterday, and suggested that the country reform its education system partly through merging and optimising the networks of more than 20,000 “non-isolated” schools nationwide.

Speaking at the release of its “Thailand Economic Monitor” report, the bank’s country director for Southeast Asia, Ulrich Zachau, said slowing export growth evidenced in Thailand since 2012 was a “long-term trend” that had to be tackled by structural reform, raising the skills and productivity of its labour force.

“The single most important thing for Thailand is to improve its education and skills outside Bangkok,” he said.

Finance Minister Sommai Phasee, who presided over the event, said he very much agreed with the World Bank that education and human resources were critical to the future of the Thai economy and its political stability.

“I dare not speak up in the Cabinet because there are three ministers responsible [for education and skills], and all are soldiers,” he said. “We are still not walking on the right track and we are still walking slowly” in these areas.

The World Bank’s latest report forecasts that Thailand’s gross domestic product will grow by 3.5 per cent in 2015, primary due to lower oil prices, increased tourism receipts, and higher pubic spending. It projects that Thai exports will continue to grow slowly this year, by 0.5 per cent in US dollar terms.

Exports grew by an average of just 1 per cent annually from 2012 to 2014, a remarkable drop from the 13-per-cent average growth recorded from 2006 to 2011. The report said the decline was partly due to eroding competitiveness amid slow productivity improvements here relative to other countries.

World Bank human-development economist Dilaka Lathapipat said almost one-third of Thai 15-year-olds were functionally illiterate as defined by their lack of the skills needed to manage daily living and employment that requires reading skills beyond a basic level.

Severely under-resourced

Small village schools are also severely under-resourced, making it difficult to deliver quality education because of inadequate teaching materials, physical infrastructure and less experienced teachers.

“The problem is particularly acute for small village schools, which face teacher shortages and have less than one teacher per classroom,” he said. Hence the World Bank will soon submit a formal recommendation to the education minister to consider merging and organising networks of smaller rural schools to enabling them to optimise the effectiveness of good teachers and bringing better teaching to all classrooms, Dilaka said.

World Bank senior economist Kirada Bhaopichitr said a merger of smaller schools could be implemented because 85 per cent of the 19,864 small schools in Thailand (those with 20 or fewer students |per grade) are less than 20 |minutes’ travel away from other schools.

Unlike a plan by the previous government simply to dissolve small schools, an idea that faced a lot of opposition, Dilaka said the World Bank would suggest that the government delegate to local communities the task of considering proper solutions for their own areas, while the government would focus on providing incentives for encouraging the optimisation of their schools’ networks.

Not all of the smaller schools have to be closed since they can organise a network of nearby schools, including larger ones, to share teachers and resources.

The government can provide incentives such as providing transport or travel allowances.

According to the World Bank’s study, Thailand could drastically reduce the number of classrooms with less than one teacher per class, from 110,725 currently to only 12,600, simply through merging its 9,421 “non-isolated large schools and 16,943 non-isolated small schools” and halving their total number to 14,252 schools.

“Otherwise, in a bid to increase the number of teachers per class in schools upcountry to be on par with Bangkok’s, we would have to recruit 160,000 more teachers,” which would be very difficult to do, Dilaka said.

via Education reforms critical for the Thai economy, says World Bank – The Nation.

ASEAN (The Association of South East Asian Nations) is the political and economic organization of 10 Southeast Asian countries. This year, in 2015 it is the aim of the ASEAN nations to establish AEC, The ASEAN Economic Community, with full economic integration between the 10 nations. Despite this integration having an economic focus it’s impact will reach all areas of society, including education. This move towards integration has seen the rise of what is being coined -The Glocal Student’ – with ASEAN nations leading the way with this fast developing trend.


Glocal Student – What does it mean? A glocal student is a student who has global aspirations but chooses to stay and study in his or her local environment. The Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company have predicted that by 2020 there will be 100 million people with middle class spending patterns across the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Will glocal students from this emerging regional demographic represent the future of transnational education? Transnational education is basically education for students studying in a different country or region than the awarding institution. This is now a very popular way to study both in and outside of the ASEAN community because of these key advantages: – It is more affordable – lower English language requirements – regional economic initiatives The motto of the UN is currently – ‘Think globally, act locally’. The UN agree that in an economic community students should be educated as international students with the ability to compete globally, even if they have been trained locally. Asia’s Economy & The Rise of ASEAN


Right after the global financial crisis more people have been turning to Asia and admiring their booming economy and range of business opportunities. The ASEAN countries are home to 600 million people, with a combined nominal GDP of US$ 2.1 trillion in 2012, predicted to grow at an annual rate of 5.5% in 2013. Higher Education – The Role Higher education in the ASEAN nations is going to play a key role in easing the economic integration. The ultimate goal is to set up a Common Space of Higher Education in Southeast Asia. Individual ASEAN governments have increased public investment in universities to support the ASEAN Higher Education Area, and the region’s burgeoning knowledge economy. Measures have been set up to strengthen the performance of Southeast Asian universities across a wide range of indicators such as teaching, learning, research, enterprise and innovation. At the moment Singapore is the only ASEAN country whose universities are operating at the forefront of Asian higher education. But if Asia continues on its current path and emerges as a genuine competitor to the West in the coming years, the increased financial power of a unified ASEAN could start to have a major impact on global higher education. And glocal students in the region would be among the foremost beneficiaries.


The education system in Thailand is vastly different from that in the western world. Students can start school from a much younger age and are usually graded through a series of multiple choice exams. Scouts is compulsory and integrated into the school day. The Thai education system divides opinion and those who can not accept it do not last long as a teacher here. Those who work with it, focus on helping their students progress and develop and don’t get caught up in the system consequently have a very enjoyable experience teaching the youth of this great country.

Preparing for Scout Camp!

Preparing for Scout Camp!

The Thai education system has been split into 3 levels since 2001. However, recently a 4th level has emerged..Nursery (Boribaan).

Level 0 – Boribaan (Nursery)

  • 2-3 years old

Level 1 – Anubaan (Kindergarten)

  • KG1 to KG3 – 3 years to 5 years old

Level 2 – Prathom (Primary)

  • P1 to P6 – 6 years to 11 years old

Level 3 – Mathayom (High School)

  • M1 to M6 – 12 years to 18 years old

Kindergarten is optional in Thailand, however all students must attend school from Level 2 – Prathom.

Students can finish school after grade 9 (M3) if they wish. If they want to continue studying and work towards going to university then they must series of government tests. (O-NET, A-NET,). Graduating from M^ is the equivalent to finishing A-Levels in the UK or SAT in the US.



Grades are given on a scale of 1-4. 1 being the lowest (but still a pass, and 4 being the highest).

Fun times!

Fun times!

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