• English for Thais 1

English for Thais
Sponsored by

Inspiring children through fun, interactive learning and enhancing the employment prospects of the next generation.

Initiated by the Ministry of Education, ‘English for Thais’ is a simple, strategic approach that complements the work of the Ministry of Education to transform public education. ‘English for Thais’ is seeking the financial support from international businesses to fund the placements of native-English language Teaching Assistants (TAs) in Thailand’s public schools.

Due to our extensive network contacts and reach across the country, ‘English for Thais’ is the perfect vehicle for corporations to raise their CSR profile and promote a positive brand image within the high-society and international communities living in Thailand.

Donations to the ‘English for Thais’ programme are tax deductible as the project sits under Junior Achievement Thailand, a registered charitable organisation in Thailand.

The information in this section provides a quick overview of the challenges in Thai education, how the government is working with the private sector and civil society to address these challenges, and how the international community can help to deliver real sustainable change and reduce inequality in education throughout Thailand.

The Challenges in Thai Education

  • Thailand is a middle-income country but huge disparities remain.
  • The benefits of economic growth have not been equally shared between all children.
  • Schools are poorly resourced, particularly in the regions and remote areas.
  • This map highlights the disparities between the cities and the regions through the English exam results for grade 6 students (age 11) in 2017.

Quality of Teaching

  • Thai English teachers often instruct in Thai only.
  • Teacher-centred lessons focus on reading and writing to pass exams, while many teachers still instruct in Thai in their English lessons.
  • In 2017, the Ministry tested their English teachers on English-language proficiency and only a handful achieved working English. Teachers’ own level of English pronunciation and grammar can, therefore, be very low.

Transforming Thai Public Education

  • Through its Pracharat policy, the Thai government is promoting collaboration between the public and private sectors and civil society – a whole of community approach.
  • Together, the Ministry of Education and Pracharat (Thailand’s 12 leading corporations including True, Thai Beverage, Central Group and Bangkok Bank) have identified 1,246 magnet schools across the 72 provinces.
  • Magnet schools are public education schools that provide innovative curriculum and teaching methods to their pupils.
  1. Each school meets the World Bank’s Fundamental School Quality Standards.
  2. They present the perfect opportunity for us to provide training and resources that will benefit the children, staff, connecting feeder schools and wider community.
  3. The ministry has committed THB1 Billion to transform the resources of these schools.

Pracharat Corporations

For their part, the private sector has identified 10 strategic steps for transforming the education sector.

  • These include initiatives such as helping the schools to improve transparency through enhanced record keeping, data management; training principals and teachers in business administration to improve the management of the schools; and installing technology such as high-speed internet and ICT equipment and media in every classroom.
  • However, for step 6, improving the quality of English education, a gap remains. Their current efforts have been disjointed and ad-hoc. The companies have appealed to the international community for support.

The Perfect Fit

  • While the government and Pracharat are working hard to upgrade the hardware of these schools, the expat community has the software to plug the gap in teaching standards, particularly in English lessons.
  • We can use our resources to make a positive contribution, to up-skill and inspire the next generation.
  • We have the networks and resources to promote the programme internationally, and recruit and train quality English-language TAs.
  • Why this fits so well: We are leveraging the skills and resources of different sectors, including national and international corporates, international schools in Thailand and a network of universities across the six native-English language countries.

Partnering Teaching Assistants with Schools

The Project Management Team in Bangkok will plan is responsible for marketing and recruitment channels for TAs as well as managing school relationships and volunteer placements.

    • Each TA will be partnered with one magnet school. They will work a minimum of 2 hours per week across 3-5 magnet schools in the area.
    • Each partner magnet school will have English teachers who have been trained at the British Council English-teaching boot camp.
    • Our TAs will complement and enhance the public-school curriculum and generate sustainable positive change. This includes:
      1. Inspiring the next generation: Teaching children as young as 6 years old through fun, interactive student-centred games and activities that promote critical thinking.
      2. Investing in the schools/teachers: Working together with the public-school teachers, we will learn and improve together, reinforcing what they learned through the British Council.

Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities

We see this structure, with the private sector providing core infrastructural support and funding, as essential to ensuring the long-term success of the initiative and protecting it from any political ambitions.

Donations to the ‘English for Thais’ programme are tax deductible as the project sits under
Junior Achievement Thailand, a registered charitable organisation in Thailand.

As the programme grows, a team of three staff will be employed to manage the recruitment of each additional 50 TAs and the respective school relationships. This includes overseeing the end-to-end experience of TA training and placements. We have calculated that 20 corporations funding 24 TAs each (1 term per TA) would be enough to cover 1,200 magnet schools for the whole year.

Branding and Publicity

1. COMMUNITY ONE TERM:
Sponsorship of 12 Teaching Assistants for 4 months:
Would cover up to 60 magnet schools for one term across a couple of provinces.
• Budget required: THB750,000 (= THB125 per child for 1 term)
• Impact:
o 12 TAs placed with 12 partner magnet schools (1 term each)
o Up to 60 schools reached
o 3,840 teaching hours (4 months)
o More than 6,000 children inspired
o 120 Thai English teachers up-skilled

2. COMMUNITY TWO TERMS
Sponsorship of 24 Teaching Assistants for 8 months:
Would cover up to 60 magnet schools for the whole school year across a couple of provinces.
• Budget required: THB1,400,000 (= THB233 per child for 2 terms)
• Impact:
o 24 TAs placed with 12 partner magnet schools (1 term each)
o Up to 60 schools reached
o 7,680 teaching hours (8 months)
o More than 6,000 children inspired
o 120 Thai English teachers up-skilled

3. REGIONAL ONE TERM
Sponsorship of 50 Teaching Assistants for 4 months
Would cover up to one-fifth of Thailand’s magnet schools.
• Budget required: THB2,980,000 (= THB119 per child)
o TA living allowance 50 x THB40,000 = THB2,000,000
o TA travel 50 x THB10,000 = THB500,000
o Placements Team 3 staff (6 months) = THB480,000
• Impact:
o Up to 250 schools
o 16,000 teaching hours
o More than 25,000 children inspired
o 500 Thai English teachers up-skilled

Branding and Publicity

1. Day One.
When the project begins, our team will sit down with your CSR team to discuss branding and tone of message for our joint marketing and communications strategy designed to gain maximum exposure for the programme and your support.

2. The Launch.
When the programme begins we will host an initial press conference for Thai and English-language media hosted at the Ministry of Education by the Secretary M L Pariyada Diskul.

3. Clear Branding.
‘English for Thais’ is a charitable initiative that is managed and supported by the expat community living in Thailand. While the programme aims to complement the work of the Ministry of Education and Pracharat, its operations and branding will retain an independent status. All website, social media and published promotions associated with English for Thais will clearly present the sponsor’s support for the programme in our promotional banners/footers.

4. Ongoing Marketing Campaigns.
Suggested joint marketing campaigns for consideration:

• Thai celebrity social media campaign: a Thai national celebrity who is fluent in English visits a school to teach English to a class with one of our TAs. Our concerted social media campaign would involve the celebrity posting a series of videos across their social media to their millions of followers. The videos would present shareable snippets of primary school children who have mastered English pronunciation in only a few months.

• A social media campaign that shows some of our children learning English that is important in the workplace. This would take place at the school and could involve recognisable faces from your staff or marketing campaigns teaching the children English.

5. Reporting.
We will provide your company with quarterly updates on the work of the sponsored TAs and the progress of their respective schools. This includes photographs, stories about the children’s learning experiences, and any relevant English-language exam results or statistics.

Marketing Reach

Our digital channels will clearly promote the partnerships of each corporate sponsor. The national public relations and marketing efforts will include Thai and English-language media.
The international exposure includes our core group of stakeholders:

• The 12 Pracharat corporations, including: Bangkok Bank, Thai Beverage, Siam Cement, Siam Commercial Bank, Mitr Phol Sugar, Thai Union Group, PTT, Central Group, Berli Jucker, Charoen Pokphand Foods, CP and True.
• International schools in Thailand.
• Partner universities in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and USA.
• Endorsement of the ambassadors of each of the above countries.
And locally through:
• Ministry of Education Thailand and partner agencies.
• The magnet schools and their respective communities.

‘English for Thais’: Delivering Lasting Benefits to the Entire Community

• Equality: A strategic approach that aims to improve access to quality and inspiring English education for all.
• Education: Enhancing the English-language proficiency and life skills for the children of Thailand which complements and enhances the current curriculum.
• Employment: Investing in Thailand’s remote communities and helping the tourism industry to thrive. This offers children life choices in higher education or employment.
• Economy: Locally, fluency in English will help local communities to thrive in tourism services. Investing in the next generation of workers will also help Thailand to be economically competitive in international business and trade.

For more information visit www.jathailand.org or e-mail jathailand.info@gmail.com


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