Living in Bangkok?
Education in Bangkok
From Pre-School Kids to Post-Grad Students
The Thai education system includes twelve years of free education. Nine of them are mandatory. Around the age of three, lots of Thai kids start attending pre-school, which is not a part of obligatory education in Thailand, though. Parents also have to pay for nurseries or kindergarten themselves.
From around age six to eleven, children in Thailand go through six years of primary education or prathorn. This is both free and obligatory, just like the following three years of lower secondary (mattayom stage one). During nine years of compulsory schooling, children receive education in several core subjects (maths, Thai, science, social studies, religion and culture, health and PE, arts, career, technology and foreign languages).
After that, many Thai kids go on to upper secondary school (mattayom stage two) until the age of 17. This often prepares them for university entrance exams. Other students simply go for three to five years of vocational training instead. They learn, for example, about home economics, commerce, business, or tourism.
An Ambitious Education Policy
Thailand’s government is taking out measures to ensure the highest literacy rate possible among its population. Right now, 6-7% of the adult population are still illiterate. Furthermore, efforts are made to strengthen especially poorer rural schools outside the Bangkok Metropolitan Region.
In 2009, the government spending on education accounted for a sum equivalent to 4.1% of Thailand’s GDP. Due to the economical struggles of the past few years, the proportion is currently not quite as high.
However, many public schools in Thailand suffer from underfunding and a bad student-teacher ratio as a result. This disadvantage, combined with the language barrier of having Thai as the only language in the classroom, leads to most expatriates selecting an international school for their children.
Opportunities for International Education
There are a number of fee-paying private international schools with usually good to excellent academic standards and modern facilities in the city of Bangkok and its metropolitan region. This list includes international schools in Thailand, most of which are located in the Bangkok area.
There are indeed quite a few schools catering to various expatriate communities and nationalities. Your choice of school is most likely to be influenced by the language of instruction, the curriculum, and the diploma course it offers. The availability of international schools should influence your choice of accommodation as much as the location of your workplace.
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