Do foreign teachers need a degree to teach in Thailand?
The official requirement is going to be a degree in education. Officially it is a yes you do need a Bachelor’s degree.
So that is going to be a requirement to renew a teaching license or a work permit. Does that mean that teachers without a degree got to go home? May be. The real problem was that Thailand let almost anybody teach, mostly people from the “native” countries and many of them may have not been to school themselves yet teach in Thailand. The government is finally getting its act together and is going to up the ante for teachers without a bachelor’s degree.
So what now? Why are they needing a Bachelor’s Degree now?
It is great to know that finally some standards may be applied to teaching and teachers in Thailand. The ministry of education may enforce this requirement by 2015. Currently you can teach in Thailand legally without a bachelors degree! yes you can.
Is this good news for “non-natives” who are usually better educated, experienced and speak English. Most non-native teachers especially those from Philippines have been teaching here in Thailand for ages and are well received by the students. Some teachers from India also teach in Thailand. The pressure to prove their ability to teach is definitely higher on the “non-natives” so usually they are better suited to teach.
The bad news may be for the under qualified less experienced natives. I actually met a guy who was a hustler from the US who has no Bachelor’s degree and makes several errors. Another guy was a teacher from South Africa with horrible English language skills.
Types of teachers in Thailand
Does having university education make you a good teacher? Hell no, it is a measure applied to gauge talent. So the nearest alternative is a TEFL certificate from one of the numerous institutions. (we recommend a TEFL course from UniTEFL).
Teachers are usually classified as “natives” meaning anybody from USA, UK,Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Everybody else is “non-native”. So the big deal is that Thai employers generally believe they are getting a better teacher in a native and the non-natives are cheaper alternatives. Then there are Backpacker teachers who want to make a quick buck and move on.
Within the natives are the backpacker types, the unemployable in their own countries because they are older or less skilled.