The government will resume its project to recruit teachers for state schools after more than a year of delays caused by frequent changes of education ministers.
Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng said university students with a grade point average of 3 upwards were to be offered jobs at state schools under the 2014 Professional Teacher project, if they apply to join the programme.
Under the project, universities that provide courses in education would be selected to participate in the project and the students would have to apply through their universities.
Applicants in their third and fourth year of studies would then be required to sit an exam in four subjects: Thai language, English language, teaching and education-related laws, and critical thinking as designated by the National Institute of Educational Testing Service (Niets) and the Office of the Higher Education Commission (Ohec).
But because of the delay of the project, students in their last year at university would be given an opportunity to directly take the exam in the four subjects to qualify for a career in teaching as soon as they graduate from university.
‘Recruiting teachers when they are still studying in universities will encourage more people to study education. This way, we will get people who really have an intention to be teachers,” Mr Chaturon said.
The minister said many of the people who took up teaching as a career did so because they had struggled to find other jobs.
Piniti Ratanakul Ohec deputy secretary-general, said the number of students to be recruited under the project would vary according to the demand for teaching each year.
This year, there were 1,000 vacant teaching positions under the the Office of Basic Education Commission and another 140 under the Office of the Vocational Education Commission.
Surawat Thongbu, president of the Thailand Education Deans Council and dean of Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University’s Faculty of Education, said qualified experts and specialists in other fields were not barred from entering the teaching profession.
Those with non-education degrees could apply for teaching licences from the Teachers Council of Thailand.
Sompong Jitradup, lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education, said he supported the project to recruit teachers from among students studying education.
”Continuity is much required. The projects about teacher production have always been disrupted often by a change of education minister who comes with new policies,” he said.
He called on the Teachers Council of Thailand to be strict in issuing licences to people who apply to be teachers with non-education degrees to ensure the quality of those who enter teaching profession remains high.