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stament

Ministry of Education Schooling Governance

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Clearly there is governance and structure around the Thai curriculum that must be taught in Government schools. I assume Private schools teaching Thai must also adhere to these rules or do they?

 

What about International and bilingual schools are they also governed by MoE or do they fall outside this?

 

Interested to know what standards, framework and governance schools are subjected to so that I can try and understand some of the differences that seem to exist.

 

Thanks 

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Interesting question.

 

I work in a British international school, but I am not fully clued up on all of the governing side of things.

 

OPEC (Office of Private Education Commission) seem to be referred as the company who control international / private schools in Thailand. In my experience, I have never known them to visit the school in any capacity with regards to teaching and learning. As I assume all the staff at OPEC are Thai, I very much doubt what they can do that is beneficial to a western managed international school and most likely have their name there just for the sake of it. 

 

ISAT (International Schools Association of Thailand) is who most international schools are members of. In theory, they don't 'govern' the school, but promote certain standards, guidelines etc that schools adhere to and they do make key decisions such as recently with the pollution and the coronavirus.

 

We are a member of CIS (Council of International Schools) who act like an OFSTED body that come to monitor and inspect the school every 4 or 5 years (I think). A thorough report has to be submitted to CIS every so often to outline strengths and weaknesses and what new policies are being put in place. However, a CIS visit is absolutely nothing like an OFSTED visit in the UK. 

 

The Thai Ministry of Education probably have to stamp a piece of paper somewhere along the line for international schools, but as far as I am aware, have no control over what actually goes on day to day. I believe the only thing they do stipulate is how many hours a week that the students must learn Thai (2 hours for non - Thai students and 3 hours for Thai students is usually the norm per week). 

 

 

Edited by BobbyL
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53 minutes ago, BobbyL said:

Interesting question.

 

I work in a British international school, but I am not fully clued up on all of the governing side of things.

 

OPEC (Office of Private Education Commission) seem to be referred as the company who control international / private schools in Thailand. In my experience, I have never known them to visit the school in any capacity with regards to teaching and learning. As I assume all the staff at OPEC are Thai, I very much doubt what they can do that is beneficial to a western managed international school and most likely have their name there just for the sake of it. 

 

ISAT (International Schools Association of Thailand) is who most international schools are members of. In theory, they don't 'govern' the school, but promote certain standards, guidelines etc that schools adhere to and they do make key decisions such as recently with the pollution and the coronavirus.

 

We are a member of CIS (Council of International Schools) who act like an OFSTED body that come to monitor and inspect the school every 4 or 5 years (I think). A thorough report has to be submitted to CIS every so often to outline strengths and weaknesses and what new policies are being put in place. However, a CIS visit is absolutely nothing like an OFSTED visit in the UK. 

 

The Thai Ministry of Education probably have to stamp a piece of paper somewhere along the line for international schools, but as far as I am aware, have no control over what actually goes on day to day. I believe the only thing they do stipulate is how many hours a week that the students must learn Thai (2 hours for non - Thai students and 3 hours for Thai students is usually the norm per week). 

 

 

Do they also stipulate the number of school days in a year as there seems to be sooo many national holidays which I understand but there are also a lot of non public holidays such as teachers day, teacher training, etc, etc. 

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4 minutes ago, stament said:

Do they also stipulate the number of school days in a year as there seems to be sooo many national holidays which I understand but there are also a lot of non public holidays such as teachers day, teacher training, etc, etc. 

Good point. Yes, ISAT do I believe. 

 

We do 180 days teaching plus 5 days INSET. It should work out approx 37 weeks at school and then 15 weeks holiday.

 

We hardly get any of the Thai national holidays as that would mean we don't fulfill enough teaching days. We were open this Monday as usual and have only had one national holiday so far this academic school year for the King's Birthday in December. We have one more off in May. Songkran falls in our Easter break. We obviously don't get any of the non - public holidays apart the scheduled school ones. 

 

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4 hours ago, BobbyL said:

Good point. Yes, ISAT do I believe. 

 

We do 180 days teaching plus 5 days INSET. It should work out approx 37 weeks at school and then 15 weeks holiday.

 

We hardly get any of the Thai national holidays as that would mean we don't fulfill enough teaching days. We were open this Monday as usual and have only had one national holiday so far this academic school year for the King's Birthday in December. We have one more off in May. Songkran falls in our Easter break. We obviously don't get any of the non - public holidays apart the scheduled school ones. 

 

You must have long school breaks to make up 15 weeks. Christmas, Songkran, Easter and 2 half terms I presume.

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35 minutes ago, stament said:

You must have long school breaks to make up 15 weeks. Christmas, Songkran, Easter and 2 half terms I presume.

They're similar holidays dates to the UK, just slightly longer at Christmas and in the summer (July and August) holidays. I think it works out at 14.5 weeks this academic year.

 

  • October and February half terms are 1 week each
  • Christmas is 3 weeks
  • Easter is 2.5 weeks
  • Summer is 7 weeks

There is an optional summer school for two weeks that staff can volunteer to do that is paid extra. Therefore, if you do that then your summer holidays are 5 weeks, but you earn more. 

 

All in all, the holidays are the best thing about teaching IMO. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 2:27 PM, BobbyL said:

Interesting question.

 

I work in a British international school, but I am not fully clued up on all of the governing side of things.

 

OPEC (Office of Private Education Commission) seem to be referred as the company who control international / private schools in Thailand. In my experience, I have never known them to visit the school in any capacity with regards to teaching and learning. As I assume all the staff at OPEC are Thai, I very much doubt what they can do that is beneficial to a western managed international school and most likely have their name there just for the sake of it. 

 

ISAT (International Schools Association of Thailand) is who most international schools are members of. In theory, they don't 'govern' the school, but promote certain standards, guidelines etc that schools adhere to and they do make key decisions such as recently with the pollution and the coronavirus.

 

We are a member of CIS (Council of International Schools) who act like an OFSTED body that come to monitor and inspect the school every 4 or 5 years (I think). A thorough report has to be submitted to CIS every so often to outline strengths and weaknesses and what new policies are being put in place. However, a CIS visit is absolutely nothing like an OFSTED visit in the UK. 

 

The Thai Ministry of Education probably have to stamp a piece of paper somewhere along the line for international schools, but as far as I am aware, have no control over what actually goes on day to day. I believe the only thing they do stipulate is how many hours a week that the students must learn Thai (2 hours for non - Thai students and 3 hours for Thai students is usually the norm per week). 


Most of these points are correct, though I would add a few clarifications:

  • OPEC is the department of the Ministry of Education tasked with--as you observed--oversight of private and international schools. They coordinate with the Office for National Education Standards & Quality Assessment (ONESQA) in ensuring that schools under their purview meet standards. However, within the last two years there has been a shift to allow this to be a process guided by the overseas accrediting bodies, whose findings are then confirmed by ONESQA's report. It's unclear as to whether this will continue to be the process in the future.
  • Since ISAT is an organization for which membership is voluntary, it does not have the power to make decisions in respect to closures. Member schools must follow directives from OPEC and in turn the Ministry of Education, just as was the case for the current quarantine for students/families who have traveled to countries identified as high risk due to the spread of COVID-19.
  • All other overseas accrediting bodies follow their own processes for quality assurance, and many are actually quite intensive, including CIS. The final reports from their visits often exceed 100 pages and cover multiple aspects of the school, including academics, culture, governance, operations, etc.
  • International schools are granted a specific license that distinguishes them from other private schools and requires that they include particular points in their charters. Additionally, they are also still required to abide by all of the regulations in the Private School Act.
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