Hi guys, we have visited a few primary schools offering Thai programs in Chiang Mai and enrolled our daughter, Dangmoo, into P. 2. Here is our experience with some of the schools before registration.
Regina Coeli College
Sarasas Witaed Chiang Mai School
Ambassador Bilingual School
Montfort College Primary Section
Dara Academy, amid its long history, seemed to have descended into a mediocre private school whose only purpose is money. We went to the school on the morning of the first day, I believe, of its registration for Academic Year 2020. Immediately after driving into the school, we started to worry about our daughter's safety. The cars parked everywhere despite there were some car parks that were obvious but signposted unclearly. Arriving at the administration building, we inquired a staff member behind a pane of glass pretty similar to those in many Thai bureaucratic institutions about registering our daughter as a new student. The man was too handsome to answer our questions immediately, but all too eager to talk to his female colleagues. After a while, he turned to us and spared a look of a typical Thai bureaucrat. My wife was not happy, but was willing to cooperate, and asked him the question again. He said yes. She then asked if we could see the curriculum and, perhaps, a sampler timetable. The man responded briefly, "Go pay a 300 baht registration fee first." There is a word in Chinese spelled 装逼, trans-literally, to pretend to be the big boss, used to describe someone who is pretentious out of his league. That man there, standing behind the glass, was among the 装逼est staff in educational institutions I have seen. in Thailand. Imagine him teaching your children! Dara Academy might still have a good name on a recent ranking of best Thai schools, but the reality is harsh. I will not entrust my child's education into a place where staff are arrogant and the only concern is money.
Satit Bilingual School of Rangsit University, despite the grandeur of its modern buildings, rare in Northern Thailand, is nothing but one that is taking advantage of the good Cambridge brand name. The young lady who received us spoke adequate English and started to point out her school was Cambridge accredited. She seemed to care about it too much, and would come back to it every few seconds. I would later understand that since she had been hired as a beautiful vase who happened to speak adequate English, her knowledge about education was minimum, and the Cambridge brand name was her panacea for all bitter questions. She continued to introduce to us the Cambridge iGCSE and A-Level programs, but failed to realize we came for Grade 2 in primary school, despite that I reminded her three times that our daughter did not come for those programs. I asked her what primary educational programs the school offered, and she did not have the answer. She went back to her panacea and said, "All our textbooks are published by Cambridge and in English," as if everyone should kowtow to a foreign brand and foreign language. After a while, she was either too impatient or intimidated by my questions, and said the most unbelievable thing out of the mouth of a sales representative, "Since you come from China, can I ask someone who speak Chinese to talk to you?" It appeared then that my fluent English substantiated by my MA in English education in London and 9 in IELTS Speaking was irrelevant. She left, and a woman who spoke Chinese came and still could not give me the name of the primary school program More creative than her ill-informed, poorly-trained colleague who obviously had emotion regulation issues, however, she said their primary school program was called "Cambridge International Program". I want to congratulate the University of Cambridge since they have selected such an innovative partner, but will never pay the outrageously overpriced THB 500,000+ for something that is barely international and remotely education.