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Best Schools in Ubon Ratchathani for Our Children?

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Hi guys and gals,

So, I am living in Ubon with my family and it won't be too long until i have to send my daughter to school, so i thought i would start thinking about it.

I hope to get some first hand accounts about the schools in Ubon: either where you have sent your kids, or perhaps you work (or have worked) there.

I am interested in the education of course, but actually more interested in the social aspects of the school. How are our mixed race kids treated there? Is bullying common among the kids? How do the teachers treat the students?

And if it's a fee paying school or program, any details on the rough cost would be great. wai2.gif

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Ok I will go first. I sent my son to the YES school in Ubon for 2 years. The reason we chose this school was that the English Program (EP) syllabus was 50 percent taught in English and 50 percent taught in Thai. My son had 4 years at an Australian primary school and his English was great but he only spoke Issan and couldn't read or write thai. In the first year the teachers were very helpful and he quickly gained a good grasp of thai, both written and oral. It all started going down hill after that.

As my son could read, write and speak English quite well he was continually roped in to participate in English speech competitions with other school in Ubon. He always placed quite high in these competitions. The school quickly took claim for teaching him good English. It got to the stage that he was often missing his own lessons so he could represent the school in these competitions. He was placed there to learn written thai and there he was being paraded as their English speaking wonder boy. Wifey wouldn't let me go into the office to vent my frustrations.

Enough of that rant. He was in a class of 6 or 7 kids. It seemed in the last year he was there that the teachers were always being used for other tasks apart from teaching. So the kids were often left alone in the classroom for the teaching period then given homework to be done at home. Most days he was getting about 2 or 3 hours of homework but was sitting around most of the day doing nothing during the school periods.

The school are supposed to have native English speaking teachers to teach the English program lessons. There were a few native English speakers but the others came from all over the place like phillipines, Germany, India, Ghana, France etc. It was ok for my son as he could already speak English well. The other students would have had major problems with the varying accents.

I chose this school as opposed to the religious based schools as I didn't want him to be brainwashed with Christianity like the religious schools in Australia. We removed him from this school and he is now back in Australia getting a far better standard of education. For the high school fees that we were paying I expected more that what we got. The facilities there looked good, the uniform is nice but there was no substance in their level of education for my liking.

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Thanks for the very detailed report!

Yeah, i would hate for my kid to be used in competitions like that, just so the school can look good.blink.png

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Youth Exchange School is considered the best by most foreigners in the area. Plenty of mixed race kids there and a handful of foreign teachers. I call it "the least bad" school. We used it for pre school and it was ok. Not sure what grade you'll be starting your child in. If it's preschool, PM me and I can answer more questions for you. Good student-teacher ratio and I could tell there was some learning happening. I wasn't thrilled when I found out they were making him take part in Buddhist ceremonies against our request but what do you expect in Thailand. I want to say it was 3,000b/month for preschoolers but I can't find a receipt. The fact they place such a heavy emphasis on the exchange program and winning contests bothers me. It's their main selling point when you inquire at the school. We win this and this and this contest. Yay? To me it seems like a typical Thai school but in a prettier package.

Benjamamaharat supposedly gets kids into Thai colleges but that's more because of the school's name than quality of education. I know a family that commutes from Mukdahan 3 hours away every week just to increase their kids' chances of getting into a good university in Bangkok. The student-teacher ratios are ridiculous I've heard.

We'll either be making arrangements for home school after 1st grade or moving to Bangkok or Chiang Mai near a better school. Likely a mix of both. I'm not letting my kids be poster children for English competitions.

http://www.yes2.ac.th/

Edited by ubonrthai
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Just noticed the Youth Exchange School updated their "vision statement" after the coup.

"To develop an awareness of students to be proud of being Thai, posse moral and virtue, understand Thai democracy, and enrich with academic knowledge. To emphasize students with foreign language, be able to use modern technology, with aesthetics and perfect health."

cheesy.gif

Edited by ubonrthai
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Let's start with Ubonwittayakhom, in the center of Ubon, located at Sapphasit Road. This is a s called "World Class Standard School", but it might only look good from the outside. There're strange teachers, who hit kids. No gossip, I've seen it with my own eyes.

The kids there have two hours of English a week, taught by foreign teachers, two others by Thai English teachers. The school once had a good reputation, when they had some experienced teachers from Europe and one from the States. But that's already past.

Times are changing. They never understood that 25 K for an experienced teacher will never attract what they're looking for. Now they've got five Filipinos, who're pretty hard to understand.Their English writing skills are unbelievable, if you know what I mean. One Cameroonian woman and another guy from an African country. Please forget it to send your kids to that school.

YES seems to be constantly looking for teachers and they do have more non native English speakers, than they'll tell you. I've met the German lady who works there at a speech competition, where we had to be judges. She's a "real" English teacher from Germany and knows what she does.Would your daughter have her as her English teacher, it would be great. But.....................................

I've also met some other guys, I wouldn't like to have as a teacher for our son, to be perfectly honest. I was there for a job interview, but when i read my responsibilities, I had to tell them that I needed more time to think about it. I wanted to have a copy of the contract to show it to my wife, i said. Actually, i wanted to post it on a teaching forum, of course not mentioning the name of the school. .

They wanted me to teach for them and phoned me too often, even when I had told them that nobody would sign such a contract, teaching science to grade one, M6 EP, but also ordinary program. And being a homeroom teacher in grade four...and and and...

Next school would be Anuban. The EP seems to have a good name, that's all. A European, non native English speaking guy who seems to know all about nothing,does everything that really good and experienced native English teachers are badmouthed and leave school after s short period of time.

You really pay very good money for a questionable education.One term must be between 23 and 25 K.

The ordinary program is taken over by an agency.Always new backpacking guys, or those who can't make it at a good school, are the norm. They're planning to hire English teachers now directly. But that depends on the director/assistant director and head of the English department.

They also use non-native English speakers in the EP. Their excuse that some Filipinos are "only" teaching subjects, not English" is a joke. How can you teach science in English, if you're not even able to have a decent conversation with a native English speaker? Too many lies.

Then we get to Assumption. I've met quite a few guys who taught there. Not making any assumptions now, but I wouldn't pay good money for my child's education. They're always seeking teachers, which shows a lot how satisfied those guys were, before they quit their positions.

Oh and last but not least Benjama. The ordinary program is really too crowded, only their good name seems to attract many students, similar to an Anuban school. The ordinary program is also occupied by an agency, not worth to put your child in there. 55 kids in a class makes teaching impossible.

They also have an EP, which seems to be a completely different world. My ex- assistant director has his boy in M.4 and I had to tutor him for quite a while. I couldn't believe it that a guy who went through 10 years of EP programs, first at Anuban, then Benjama, didn't understand easy English.

I found out that he wasn't the only guy who didn't understand his English teacher. His words were that the majority in his class wouldn't understand their English teacher from India. But he wasn't really from India, he must have changed his resume in a way that he'd lived in the US for quite a long time.

There's a Chinese school which seems to be okay. Others on this forum might know more details to help you out finding details about this institution. It really looks good to me, but their native English speakers are not always very native, I've met some at a competition and from all I've heard it seemed to be okay.

Another school is the catholic one. A private school with only Thais and Filipinos as English teachers, who receive 14 K/month, but housing is free.Seems to me that all the Filipinos there come from the same family, when listening to their English.

Was there because of a competition and couldn't communicate with them at all. The school is tidy and would be great with the right English teachers.

If you're not religious, it doesn't matter. Just tell them that you don't want your child to be taught about faith. Most of the Filipinos in Ubon belong to the "7th Day Adventists" and I know of some who wanted to teach their beliefs to Thai kids.

Then some other smaller schools i don't really remember their names.

Others from Ubon might know more. Best of luck finding the right school for your daughter.

Edited by lostinisaan

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Just noticed the Youth Exchange School updated their "vision statement" after the coup.

"To develop an awareness of students to be proud of being Thai, posse moral and virtue, understand Thai democracy, and enrich with academic knowledge. To emphasize students with foreign language, be able to use modern technology, with aesthetics and perfect health."

cheesy.gif

Your post really made me laugh........keep them coming, please.-facepalm.gif

Edited by lostinisaan

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Ok I will go first. I sent my son to the YES school in Ubon for 2 years. The reason we chose this school was that the English Program (EP) syllabus was 50 percent taught in English and 50 percent taught in Thai. My son had 4 years at an Australian primary school and his English was great but he only spoke Issan and couldn't read or write thai. In the first year the teachers were very helpful and he quickly gained a good grasp of thai, both written and oral. It all started going down hill after that.

As my son could read, write and speak English quite well he was continually roped in to participate in English speech competitions with other school in Ubon. He always placed quite high in these competitions. The school quickly took claim for teaching him good English. It got to the stage that he was often missing his own lessons so he could represent the school in these competitions. He was placed there to learn written thai and there he was being paraded as their English speaking wonder boy. Wifey wouldn't let me go into the office to vent my frustrations.

Enough of that rant. He was in a class of 6 or 7 kids. It seemed in the last year he was there that the teachers were always being used for other tasks apart from teaching. So the kids were often left alone in the classroom for the teaching period then given homework to be done at home. Most days he was getting about 2 or 3 hours of homework but was sitting around most of the day doing nothing during the school periods.

The school are supposed to have native English speaking teachers to teach the English program lessons. There were a few native English speakers but the others came from all over the place like phillipines, Germany, India, Ghana, France etc. It was ok for my son as he could already speak English well. The other students would have had major problems with the varying accents.

I chose this school as opposed to the religious based schools as I didn't want him to be brainwashed with Christianity like the religious schools in Australia. We removed him from this school and he is now back in Australia getting a far better standard of education. For the high school fees that we were paying I expected more that what we got. The facilities there looked good, the uniform is nice but there was no substance in their level of education for my liking.

A good post and very true. A couple of years back, when i worked for an agency in Bangkok.

After a seminar an employee of the agency drove us to the Isaan, a French dude and a German were planned for a school in Ubon,

I jumped out in Sisaket, even before we reached my house, as i couldn't get anymore.

The German guy constantly spoke German to me, which i found pretty rude. When I'd told him to speak English that all the others can understand what he's saying ,he replied that he couldn't say that in English what he was trying to tell me in German.

The French guy was always talking about the English "gay", who lived in the apartment in Ubon before, where he was planning to move in.

After three hours listening to his speech, I was so fed up and said to him:

" Listen dude. I don't want to hear your gossip about the English gay man anymore. How do you know if he's gay, if you haven't met him before?

And even if he's gay, that's not your problem, please mind your own business. Nobody cares what your sexual orientation is."

Then a long silence and the Frenchman said: " Oh, sorry. I meant guy, not gay. I've never met him, so i don't know if he's gay."

The perfect example in my eyes how difficult it can be to understand a "teacher,"

Even if you're in the same business for many years.

How should kids understand that?

Edited by lostinisaan

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Certainly sounds like I did the right thing taking my son back to school in Australia. I actually was debating whether to change schools in Ubon but they all seem to be of a similar standard. Good to hear some input from others in the same situation that I was. Good luck

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Why this big hang up about learning English at these Ubon schools? I wouldn't even worry about English. if one of the parents is a native English speaker learn at home, read English books and watch English movies. The whole English programme is a farce in most schools. Send your children there to learn Thai, incorrect right-wing history, some science and some math. Forget the English programs. Just go through the Thai program.

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A Chinese Thai friend of mine does exactly what the poster above says. He and his Thai wife speak Chinese and English at home, and let the kids learn Thai at school. His English is very good, he spent a lot of time in the US.

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looked good, the uniform is nice but there was no substance in their level of education for my liking.

in other words sums up thailand pretty much.

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Why this big hang up about learning English at these Ubon schools? I wouldn't even worry about English. if one of the parents is a native English speaker learn at home, read English books and watch English movies. The whole English programme is a farce in most schools. Send your children there to learn Thai, incorrect right-wing history, some science and some math. Forget the English programs. Just go through the Thai program.

I think the emphasis on English stems from a need for Thailand to boost its English levels prior to ASEAN coming into effect. Apparently Thailand is way behind the eight ball in relation to their competency of English language. Having said that employing teachers from non English speaking countries who aren't trained specifically in English to teach English in schools doesn't work.

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I am probably a bit biased in that I taught English at the Assumption EBP for four years and enjoyed it. My daughters attended there from P2 to P6 and did very well. I did have a few disagreements from time to time with various heads of department and a couple of directors. Everything was always discussed and you win some, lose some but overall it was better than several other schools that I have worked at over the last 14 years. Religion was never forced on the students, even by the adventists. Fees for the EBP run at about 17k per term plus books and uniforms. Only major gripe I have about the place (as with many schools) they can't get out of the mindset that a NES is only worth 30k as a starting salary. It does go up by a grand a month each year and there is a 20k bonus at the end of each contract. Eleven weeks holiday plus public holidays was tough to put up with.

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