Thailand’s Education Ministry will offer jobs to 10,000 Post-Covid-19 Teachers to man smaller classrooms post-Covid-19 lockdown. The new jobs come as classes are being split for new social distancing rules.
Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan said class sizes will be reduced for social distancing purposes. The pre-pandemic ratio was 20:1 students per teacher. When schools re-open on July 1, the ministry hopes to reduce that ratio to 7:1. “So, the ministry has to recruit more teaching staff,” he said. Licensed primary-education assistant teachers are being offered jobs although they will be hired on a temporary contract, Mr Nataphol said. Part of the problem that prevents them from gaining permanent status is that they will be required to teach in a province outside of where they registered for their license. The ministry has allocated 540 million baht to finance the hiring of 10,000 assistant teachers. This will also help spur employment, the education minister said.
On the first day the Education Ministry online school program many poor children missed out as they had no access to a smartphone or internet to access for online classes. Many Thai children have found themselves unable to begin their new school term. The problem has become a hot topic among netizens especially after cases emerged in Nakhon Ratchasima province of children prevented from joining online school. Samran, 54, said that her grandsons are studying in Prathom 2 and Prathom 6, but their family is so poor that they cannot use the internet. Samran was upset that her grandchildren couldn’t attend online school. Meanwhile, Pat, 60, said that her four grandchildren are studying in Prathom 1, 4, 6 and Mathayom one. But also had no way of starting their online school semester. She said that since the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown, her family has barely had enough money to eat.
The education gap dividing the haves and the have nots threatens to become worse as online school starts. Many students live in remote areas of the country and do not have access to the internet. A survey Conducted by Kasetsart University, found of 678 public and private school teachers in 67 provinces, 66 % of students do not have access to a computer, the internet or even electricity. Furthermore about 36% of students don’t have a smartphone. The teachers concluded that only about 45% percent of students nationwide had the ability to attend online classes.