51 replies to this topic
Posted 2010-02-22 14:52:14
Hello Chiang Rai! I will be sending my kids to school in Chaing Rai this year, and wanted to ask if anyone knew of a good Thai School that has an English Program as well. I'm not interested in the International Schools, or any schools that have affiliations with a specific religion. Just a school that is well respected within the Thai community. I'd also appreciate any contact details and an idea on their location to Chaing Rai City Centre, although I suspect it may be located within the city itself. Any help would be greatly appreciated
Posted 2010-02-22 15:44:05
What age are they? If Matayom then Samakkhi or Tessaban 6 are very good, if Pratom then Mareeruk or amec are very good. During recent government inspections mareeruk was classed as the best pratom school in the whole of CR province.
Posted 2010-02-22 16:04:21
Hello and many thanks for your quick reply.
I have a 5 year old and a three year old. I was looking for a school that was fairly central. Does Amec teach a Thai curriculum? Do you have a preference based on experience or knowledge from others?
Posted 2010-02-22 16:14:26
The 5yr old would probably start Pratom 1 in May with the 3yr old at Kindergarten/Anubaan. Best option would be to visit the ones you are interested, have a look around, meet the management/teachers and see which one you prefer. I believe AMEC has an English Program while Mareeruk is bi-lingual with all subjects in both Thai and English. I do have a preference but it's extremely biased for one obvious reason!
Posted 2010-02-23 07:19:49
I have recently moved here from Bangkok.
I have been looking to move for the last but have not found a decent school. I am British and my wife is Thai.
Having spent quite a while looking at schools for our 6 yr old son, I feel I can help you with my findings.
Amec is one of the worst schools I have ever come across. Employs the sort of teachers that only exist in Thailand.
Piti Suksa, rated by some seems to be ok. Although I do not like the fact that classes are mixed with different ages.
Flc, is taught by unqualified volunteers, and their Christian faith is fill on, if you know what I mean.
Mareeruk, is a girls school, so have no idea.
The big decision to move, was the introduction of an International School. Their web says it will open in August 2010.
As my son was previously at one in Bkk. Judging by their prices, it would seem its pretty cheap. Or is that I am used to paying lots in Bkk?
Posted 2010-02-23 09:38:18
I'm not sure how, but I've messed something up on this editor
Edited by robinhoodlum, 2010-02-23 09:50:22.
Posted 2010-02-23 09:47:44
Many thanks for your reply, it was very useful. I just went to the CRIS site and saw the school and its progress. Looks impressive, do you have an idea on a cost per term? Also did you get to find out anything about the people who will operate the school?
Do they also teach Thai here too? I don't plan on moving back to the UK, so Thailand will be their home and first language so to speak. Tim are you still living in Bangkok till the school nears completion? How did you find the rental situation up there, I was planning on renting till I could find some land and start on my house.
Posted 2010-02-23 12:14:55
I've done some checking around, and it seems alot of the schools in Chiang rai have some kind of religious element to them, for example the CRIS school (Chiang Rai International School) also seem to be the CRICS school (Chiang Rai International Christian School) and the mareeruk school is also called St Mary's School.
What I am looking for is a good Thai School, (that adhere to the standard customs and culture of Thailand) with programs in English. Are there any Thai people reading this that know of a Thai School with a good reputation amongst Thais in Chiang rai?
Posted 2010-02-23 14:07:28
i think the new wisanusorn www.wisanusorn.com near koolpunt is the best
i've had children in mareeruk for 2 years until anubarn 2
they have 58 children in one class 1.5 year to 3
they have 38 children in one class from 3 to 6 years
the teachers are all thai and some english so i think this is not worth the money
i hope this helps
Posted 2010-02-23 14:09:12
Hi.I have also done some research on this and I've found that for a Thai school with an English programme and non religious there are the following
1.The montessori school ( expensive). www.pitisuksa.org/
2.AMEC www.amecschool.in.th a Bi-Lingual Thai school
4.Anuban Chiang Rai ( near Tessaban market)
Mariruk is a private christian school as is the CRICS www.flcschool.com
Santi Vithaya another christian school also has an English programme..
Posted 2010-02-23 15:02:41
i think the new wisanusorn www.wisanusorn.com near koolpunt is the best
Wow, those classroom numbers sound nasty. Also mixed classes is not ideal. Given how rurul Chiang Rai is, the level of English amongst the Thai students is well lower than in Bangkok. For my son who is considered advanced, I cannot wait to get him into a decent school which can push him to his potential, rather than excel at the lower end of a Thai school.
Posted 2010-02-23 15:06:39
I am already in Chiang Rai since Christmas last year. I will find out more info for all.
The Semester fees are on the website already. Last time I checked they were.
I am finding the rentals easy and cheap. We can get a decent sized 2-3 bedroom house for around 7500-10,000 Baht per month. Enough for a family. Just gotta have a look up here.
I have some land already in the town. Just gotta sell my place in Bangkok before I can build here.
Posted 2010-02-23 15:29:17
Mareeruk is a private school and is also called St Mary's but there is no religious bias at all, most of the students are actually Buddhist with a few Christians and Muslims. No one religion is focused on any more than any others and (unlike many of the other schools mentioned in earlier posts) religion is actually hardly focused on at all. It is a mixed boys/girls school with class sizes ranging from 20-40 all being the same age for that grade. Teachers are mainly Thai, many of whom are very good at English, with three Filipino, a Japanese and an English teacher.
They follow the Thai curriculum and most subjects are taught in both Thai and English, the English books used are Sarasas. Students also have the opportunity to take part in many activities such as golf, tae kwon do, football, basketball, music and dancing. Like I said in an earlier post, recent government inspectors visited many schools in Chiang Rai and put mareeruk through as the representative from the whole of Chiang Rai province to a national competition. However I don't imagine any parent would enroll their child into a school after only reading opinions on an internet forum so you will be able to form a better opinion when you next come to CR and visit the schools you're interested in.
Edited by skybluestu, 2010-02-23 15:31:23.
Posted 2010-02-23 15:39:57
are you a teacher there?
Edited by dindong, 2010-02-23 15:42:11.
Posted 2010-02-23 15:50:42
Many thanks Tim,
You are correct they are on the CRIS website, I overlooked them. The costs per term are reasonable and the facilities look good, but I've been scared off by the religious aspect, it seems the people running it are really focused on schooling for missionaries who are working in Northern Thailand. The bit that did for me was finding a video on a staff recruitment website, which gave a run down for the school, then went on to mention that the school would be open to other Thai and Non Christian children and that this was an evangelical opportunity to share the word. Its those words that kind of scare me about schools in CR, its tough to get through to just education and a healthy tolerance towards all religions without the need to "evangelicalise" a child.
I find that the Thai Buddhist school best suits this purpose, and while I see many things about Buddhism that I disagree with, its certainly a religion that doesn't scare me
The schools so far I can identify has having some kind of shadow religion attached to their curriculum is: (please correct me if I am wrong)
mareeruk = st Marys roman catholic school
Chiang Rai International school = Christian Missionary school
The montessori school, www.pitisuksa.org = some other kind of missionary based school
The schools that are Thai and offer the Thai curriculum with additional English are
2.AMEC a Bi-Lingual Thai school (is this a christian school?)
3.Tessaban 7 (any contact details welcome)
4.Anuban Chiang Rai ( near Tessaban market) (also any contact details welcome)
Again many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to contribute, this really is a fantastic help. I have a feeling there will be alot more like me in the coming years coming to make a new life in chaing rai. If any of you know of a financial guru called Marc Faber (who lives in Chiang Mai) then you'll know why!
Thanks again and any additional info most welcome.
Posted 2010-02-23 15:51:25
Yes. And the vast majority of G6 students who are about to leave have been accepted into the Matayom school of their/their parents choice whether it's for normal classes, an English Program or a Science/Maths Program. But I'm not on any sort of commission and we have more applications than we have space for so this is not a hard sell, I just thought I was in a good position to give facts about this school and correct some of the info posted previously.
Edited by skybluestu, 2010-02-23 15:53:25.
Posted 2010-02-23 15:56:42
many thanks skybluestu for you comment regarding Mareeruk, and as you rightly say a visit to the school is a must and I will of course do this when I get up there in a couple of weeks. But I do find comments such as yours very valuable, it gives me a chance to get a feel of a place before I visit, and of course its hard to tell what really goes on in any school except by talking to those that already have children there.
It really is perhaps the most crucial element in any family relocation, and ideally i would like not make wrong decisions and start yanking them around =different schools due to lack of due diligence.
Thanks again for the info
Posted 2010-02-24 13:45:56
Just found out this new school is nothing to do with missioneries. That is Chiang Rai International Christian School ( CRICS) or called FLC. We should not get confused they are definitely not the same.
Chiang Rai International School or CRIS is not open yet and I have just spoken to them. They advise the owner is Korean.
Oh well, better go and have a looksy at the school, and then can definitely get a feel for it. For me, I don't mind which religion is taught as long as son gets a decent education. He was top of his class in Bangkok, now since moving, he's lost his confidence and has gone so far backwards, its depressing.
Edited by chiangraitim, 2010-02-24 13:51:30.
Posted 2010-02-24 15:12:02
Thankyou for sorting out the difference, I'm not sure how but I seem to have been led from one sit to another in error anyway thanks again for sorting that out. I would be very interested to hear about your experiences if you go to have a look at the place, maybe find out more about who is operating it.
I agree, I too am not bothered by this issue of religion, as long as it is not forced upon those that are too young to understand. An understanding of peace, love and respect for others exist in all religions, these are the elements I am happy for my children to be taught.
Posted 2010-03-02 13:13:31
If you want a Thai school, look at Sankhong school, one of the Tessaban schools or Anuban Chiang Rai. The only way to get a feel is to walk into each one and talk to the principal. I was impressed with the staff at Anuban Chiang Rai and they are opening an English Program in May for 1st graders.
It looks like the Chiang Rai International School is going to be a very Christian school. Take a look at their mission statement:
http://www.chiangrai...out/mission.htm Too bad, Chiang Rai really needs a good international school, not another one that is trying to save souls!
Chiang Rai International School
C - Creativity and Confidence
R - Responsibility
I - Integrity
S - Spiritual Growth and Social Awareness
CRIS strives to educate our students, in a loving and caring Christian environtment, to become globally enlightened citizens, who are able to bridge the gap between the East and the West and are ready to welcome the exciting challenges in our Chiang Rai International School.
Posted 2010-03-02 20:48:03
I took a look at Tesaban 7 (in front of Suwanraya) last week and was pleasantly surprised.
My wife called and they said they had closed admissions there for next term however for some reason my daughter had decided that she liked it when driving past. (playground toys and uniform I think) and so I decided we should take a look anyway, and see if it was worth negotiating over, but when we strolled in there, there was no talk of admissions being closed being a problem, and a quick interview for my daughter in English, (very simple) a few simple forms and we were in.
I was quite impressed when they showed me around. Children we encountered in the corridors were polite and respectful without any prompting, and looked happy, and they have an abundance of pcs. musical equipment, bikes and toys for the students recreation. The fees are PRESENTLY exceptionally cheap compared to some of the other Chiang Rai schools at about 10,000 a term plus about 5,000 to start for uniforms and books etc (less than half of what we pay for a kindergarten in Pattaya!) but I believe they have plans to become a full international school so I guess these may rise sharply in the future.
They presently teach just under half of the curriculum in English (British), (English, Maths, Science and one other I forget) with each class having both a Thai and farang (or Filipino) teacher.
Posted 2010-03-04 16:28:08
I'm moving up to Chiang Rai in June to work at the new international school. I visited the site last week and whilst there's still a lot of work to do, the facilities will be first rate when they're completed. I'll be working as head of physical education and we'll have a 25m pool, seperate kindergarten pool, a gymnasium that will host basketball, futsal and badminton. There's an outdoor football field and two mini tennis courts. There's plans for a ballet room but I can honestly say that I won't be teaching that class! I'll be implementing a house system to improve opportunities for both athletic and academic competition. We also hope to compete with other local schools in football and basketball.
I know the owner is big on food and has hired a good chef to make sure there will be a top international spread on offer everyday. The classrooms are going to be pretty high-tec with computer access and interactive white boards. The tuition fees are the lowest I've seen for an international school and everybody that I met was super nice and professional.
I think there will be a good mix of Korean, Thai and western kids that make for a good international feel. All in all, I'm excited to be working there!
Posted 2010-03-04 17:56:56
Good luck for the future Nick, I wish you success personally and professionally in Chiang Rai.
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