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BANGKOK 18 October 2018 21:46
CardSenseJimmyBond

What is the best government school in Bangkok?

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Owing to a change is circumstances I will have to pull my young child out of international school.  This is not actually too regrettable, as both myself and my wife had concerns, specifically how our child was beginning to compare himself to his much richer friends and feeling bad about his life.  

 

I have long taken an interest in Thai education and am aware of the pros and cons of both it and international schools; even if we were in a better position, we still wouldn't necessarily want him to continue in an international school.

 

We would like to send him to the best government school available in Bangkok, with my wife strongly preferring an English program.  I am aware the very best schools might still charge (and obviously they would for EPs).  

 

Does anyone have any (up to date) advice?

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Posted (edited)

You will probably get better recommendations if you specify what part of Bangkok you are located in or can easily commute to.

 

Also, a bit of info about EP programs:

   Many schools are offering EP programs now.  They usually cost 30K per term or more.  Some can be close to 100K per term, when you add in the cost of food, uniforms, field trips, extra classes and so forth.

   In addition to EP programs at government schools, there are private schools in the same price range that are either all EP or have large EP programs. 

   When you look at an EP program or school, I would ask a few questions, such as:

1. What percentage of classes are taught in Thai and what percent in English.  Usually, a full EP program will have English, Science Math and often Health taught in English, with Thai, Social Studies, P.E., Thai Dance, Art, etc., taught in Thai.  Some schools have a mini-EP program which just means extra English classes.

2. Where are the teachers from?  Some schools hire all Filipinos or Russians or Africans to save costs.  Others will have NES teachers for English and have non-NES teachers for Science, Math, etc.  Due to Thailand's rising cost of living, stagnant wages and stricter immigration rules it is becoming increasingly difficult for schools to find NES teachers with BA/BS degrees, so many schools are hiring non-NES teachers now. (Non-NES teachers often do an excellent job as subject teachers, but unless their English is really excellent I would not want one to teach English as a subject due to pronunciation and grammar issues.  Of course, some NES teachers have those same issues!)

3.  How long have the teachers been with the school?  Expats tend to come and go, so teacher turnover of up to 50% is not unusual, but higher rates of turnover are often a sign of a poorly administered and disorganized school.  If the school says "our old English teachers were all bad, we had to fire them all and we've hired good ones", run away!  The school probably refused to pay them during the school break or something like that. 

4. Try to talk to one or two of the foreign teachers privately.  Do the classrooms have projectors, A/C, speakers?  Is there adequate communication between Admin and the foreign teachers?  All of these things affect the quality of the education that the students receive.  

 

 

Edited by otherstuff1957
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The area where you live will largely dictate which school you choose. You have more choice if you live in inner Bangkok. EP schools can range from 100K (or less) to over 500K a year (yes, that much). MUIDS charges 550K in total from M4, for example. 

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