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About gerryBScot

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  • Birthday 07/07/1958

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    ex-small town west central Thailand, now in China

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  1. Varee - International school

    Seconded......unless you have lots of dosh and can afford to enter your kids into one of the big name schools which have all the trimmings.
  2. Suggestions for increasing Listening Skills

    What might help is to try to find audio 'recordings' in Thai which have an accompanying text in Thai. Perhaps you could engage the help of a Thai friend who could transcribe the recordings in Thai for you, perhaps conversations. Then when you have a written script and audio recording, work on the written script first, making sure you know the meaning of everything; write out the text. Finally listen to the audio ... go back and do this as often as necessary and build up a supply of texts and recordings.
  3. Stolen PP Chiang Mai UK Citizen

    Also you'll need to go the embassy in BKK to collect the ETD; though I think you can apply on line. You may have to book an appointment to collect the ETD so I would suggest you act now. You may also need to attend an immigration office to get a replacement entry stamp put in your EDT. The whole process can be quite a rigmarole.
  4. Varee - International school

    I don't know how the licensing/regulation works in practice but it seems that anyone can call their school an international school. No surprises that smart investors are on to this because they understand that they can charge huge fees for an 'international' curriculum. ($20,000 US pa is commonly the lower end of the scale charge for sending your children to this type of 'international' establishment...though let me stress I do not know what Varee charge). And there are carpet baggers coming into schools simply as investors expecting to cash in quickly with little regard for any ethical considerations. Many schools of this type will say they are seeking accreditation with the International Baccalaureate (IB) etc as evidence of their future intentions - it is therefore interesting to note that IB or equivalent accreditation does not currently feature as part of Varee's goals ... although this may be something they will address in the future. However Varee's website claims "Cambridge" accreditation, a statement which is pretty meaningless on its own and to the uninitiated, ( ie prospective parents trying to secure a decent education for their minions) is designed to mislead - in the sense of suggesting approval and/or quality. Let me stress I am not challenging Varee's right to say it is Cambridge accredited, I am sure it is, but simply saying it doesn't amount to very much. Critically 'Cambridge accreditation' does not actually provide any means of assessing any aspect of the school's quality or performance . It simply is a descriptor - it means this school can teach the Cambridge curriculum and can enter students for Cambridge exams. As far as I know the 'accreditation' process is little more than a desk top review, as opposed to a detailed inspection following an extended process of continuous assessment over two years, as in the case of the IB. The proof of the pudding will be the performances of those students when the IGCSE candidate students take the exams; that is if the school enters them. Perhaps further down the line some parents will learn their children have not made adequate progress and so will not be entered. Ouch! There is sadly a lot of cynicism in all of this but this is the niche market in which I work and over the last few years I have seen things going down in schools that once would have been unimaginable to me. On the matter of unruly children in a school as per @Robert Schueller, it is always evidence of poor leadership and management, if there is a distinction between the two. It's actually quite simple to stop students galloping around a school. It needs management support. In these types of schools, however, let us call them aspirant international schools, cash is king and usually nothing will be countenanced by school owners and their managers that might result in a parent taking a child away from the school. At $20,000 US a pop this is big money. (One student probably pays for 3/4 of a teacher.) Staff on the ground quickly sense this so they turn a blind eye and the students continue to maraud around the school. Of course the students clock this rather quickly as well and soon learn that they can do whatever they want. I really don't know whether this is indicative of what's happening in Varee but it does sound familiar.
  5. Racism in Schools

    It's really simple. You appoint teachers on the basis of ability, experience and qualification. You have a pay scale which stipulates where new hires start on the basis of previous experience etc; you go up that pay scale as you progress. In the world of Thai education few schools have a published pay scale, there are no rules ... it's part of the answer to the recurring question as to why the system is so bad.
  6. Racism in Schools

    * Deleted quote edited out* The exclusive responsibility for the state of these programmes is the school's administration. They hire and fire, or don't fire as the case may be. They are the same people who appoint white folks to jobs on the basis that they can stand up and a noise emanates from their mouths when it is open... ideal candidates for teaching!
  7. Racism in Schools

    @ozmeldo .... well good to know the Klan is alive and well in Thailand!
  8. Spot on MikeyIdea. On a recent trip back to Thailand while driving along the Pra Rama II highway from Wang Manao into Bangkok I think I went past three huge Sarasas schools and I must say, having directly experienced their approach as a teacher a few years earlier, I was surprised to see them apparently in such vigorous good health. I am amazed, though hardly surprised, to read that Sarasas is now branching out into the international sector. As I recall it their mantra was: we are a Thai school, for Thai parents and children, promoting Thai culture and values..... etc - at the time, being relatively new to Thailand, it was personally shocking to encounter such xenophobia, even in a provincial, bilingual school. Not exactly the foundation of international-mindedness, one of the key values underpinning international education! However they do like money and there is a huge amount of money in international education, especially of the type that can lead to entry to the world's top universities, so no surprises they are going that way. I got out of Thailand to get my my family out of the Thai education system. We are both teachers and have two young kids. We are now in China, in the snow right now, but one year on, no regrets, from anyone's perspective.
  9. Racism in Schools

    As a general rule racism does not solve racism. That includes stereotyping and generalising about groups of people on the basis of nationality or ethnicity. You are entitled to your opinions, but you're overstepping the mark when you describe these as rules. You can't expect some Filipinos teaching in Thailand to be anything other than disillusioned when they might be educated to Masters level, board registered and highly experienced teachers who are working with illiterate back packers earning double the money. Most of the ones I know conduct themselves with dignity and are happy to be working and earning. At the risk of upsetting the racists who will chime in about Filipino teachers' English language ability and the merit of their academic credentials, I will say some of the best teachers I know are Filipinos and so are some of the worst. In truth I am surprised this problem does not manifest itself more often in Thailand. Personally I think the way Filipinos are treated is appalling. I also think teachers in general are treated very poorly in Thailand too, all of which starts to help understand why the education system is so wretched.
  10. Racism in Schools

    Bottom line, he signed a contract, you signed a contract. If he doesn't like the terms of his contract, too bad. It's exclusively his problem. What can you do about it? Likewise it's not your responsibility to fix his resentments. If the teacher has broadcast his feelings and those can now be said to be known to the school administration, then it is up to those people to deal with the situation. I wouldn't complain or comment if they don't do anything. Just get on with the job. Avoid this guy like the plague. Get on with the PGCEi and get out.
  11. Guangzhou (CAN) Airport

    check this out for info about the airport. it says you can exit on transit visa if you have a booked seat, presumably meaning you are ticketed the whole way through from Thailand. However some of these airlines don't ticket you the whole way and require you to collect your bags and check in again - I experienced this with C Southern on the Shanghai - BKK route via Kunming - pain in the a**.
  12. People break contracts every day of the week. It doesn't follow they are bad for doing so. Circumstances change. Progressive employers recognise this and are usually happy to enter into a negotiation process to facilitate early release from contractual obligations. Who really wants to hold some one to a contract if they don't want to perform that contract? If the OP wants to do the right thing then s/he could attempt to negotiate their way out and could offer, for instance, to pay a part of the other side's costs. However if this route is taken, and agreement is reached the OP, as part of the deal, should formally cancel the WP and visa and obtain a release letter and testimonial from the employer by which they formally discharge the OP from all contractual obligations. I advise this as ....errrr, circumstances change, don't they, and the OP may find he wants to stay in Thailand and work somewhere else. If s/he has broken contract, getting another WP might be potentially problematic. But this is pie-in-the-sky stuff - typical school administrators and the wider society don't do negotiation, as we know. But this is the route to go down if the OP wants to do the right thing.
  13. As far as I know it costs 1900 THB to extend the visa and lots of paperwork the most difficult bit being a confirmation from the local education board that they are happy for you to be a teacher. The likelihood is one of the admin goes to the education office and gets them to sign the letter - it's a standard format sort of thing. Not exactly burdensome ...
  14. What is a 'normal' drinker?

    Part of my journey into alcoholism was the drink diary. It didn't work for me. I was getting so drunk I couldn't fill it in and couldn't even remember what I had drunk.