The Education Ministry is calling on foreign embassies to help find native speakers who can teach English at Thai schools.
Nataphol: 10,000 teachers needed
Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan said on Friday that he had met ambassadors from English-speaking countries and asked them to find teachers who can teach English and other subjects in English to Thai students, as part of government-to-government cooperation programmes.
"The aim of the discussion was to seek cooperation from embassies. A large number of teachers are necessary as we are working on upgrading the entire education system," Mr Nataphol said.
He said there are currently some 7,000 foreign teachers in Thai schools, but this is not enough, adding that another 10,000 teachers are required. He said the ministry has earmarked funds for their recruitment.
The aim of the effort is to improve students' proficiency in the English language, boost their confidence and equip them to seek further knowledge, he said, adding that Thai teachers will also be able to learn and benefit from native English speakers.
The minister said he has also come up with a plan to upgrade English-language lessons from elementary to university levels, with the aim of cutting down on the number of foreign teachers in the next three years.
Mr Nataphol added that foreign teachers must have some professional training to qualify for the job, adding that a language teaching certificate is preferred.
He also said the accent of English teachers does not matter as long as they can make the lessons fun.