THE number of Thai-English schools in the country has risen to 331 in response to growing demand. And 60 more schools are seeking approval for plans to run an English programme or mini-English programme.

While students of current bilingual programmes have demonstrated satisfactory qualities including fine academic performances and self-confidence, the rising popularity of bilingual schools has raised concerns as to whether the quality will drop.

A key concern is that the pool of qualified native English speakers in Thailand is very limited. This is partly because remuneration packages for teaching foreigners are much higher in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.
Foreigners who agree to accept a lower wage for teaching jobs are often underqualified.

'We have found that hundreds of native speakers have used fake certificates in applying for teaching jobs,' St Stephen's International School director Wannasarn Worakij disclosed.

He expressed concerns at the quality of foreign teachers at a recent seminar.

English class demand ups fears