The Philippines has always been recognized as one of the countries in Asia, which have the highest quality of English speakers; being a country where English has been the language of instruction for many decades since the Americans came to the shores of the Philippines in the early 1900’s.
Our neighbors in Asia have always known the fact that when it comes to the English language, Filipinos are bar to none in the Asian region. Thailand has recently announced it’s ‘English-for-all’ program, wherein the Thai government will seek a number of English teachers from the Philippines. Philippine education secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones has recently met with Thailand Minister of Education Dr. Teerakiat Jareonsettasin on the recently proposed memorandum of understanding on the government to government hiring of Filipino teachers. They have met at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) to discuss the details of the plan. The program was planned in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on a side meeting initiated by Dr. Jareonsettasin, during the 10th ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting last October 2018.
The program will involve a myriad of Philippine agencies that will ensure the safety and well-being of the expatriate teachers. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Agency (OWWA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are some but not all of the organizations that will be involved in the program.
There are currently, thousands of Filipino teachers residing in Thailand, working in different schools all over the Kingdom. However, some of these teachers do not have proper qualifications or work visas, as such, are prone to abuse and problems. Some teachers have even been found to have no qualifications and has been one of the causes of driving down the salaries. Filipinos can usually expect to earn between 24,000 to 45 thousand pesos per month as their starting salary, however, some who teach illegally most especially in the provinces expect to earn around 24,000 pesos only. Those who are lucky or who are very qualified to teach in international schools earn between 50,000 to 100,000 pesos per month.
Dr. Jareonsettasin has emphasized the quality of Filipino teachers and their ability to blend in well with Thai culture. The minister has also expressed big plans for competent teachers from the Philippines, and that the current project aims to place the newly hired teachers in the Eastern Economic Corridor Government schools which will cover almost three provinces close to Bangkok.