Volunteer Chinese Teachers Program Ushers in A New Milestone in Thailand
People's Daily Online, Bangkok, June 1st, by Sun Guangyong—The Hanban representative office in Thailand worked with the Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC) and the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC) of the Thai Ministry of Education to host a reception in Bangkok to welcome over 300 volunteer Chinese teachers sent by Hanban to teach at Thai colleges and vocational schools.
At this point, China has sent a total of 1,202 volunteers to teach at primary and secondary schools, vocational schools, colleges and universities and Confucius Institutes in Thailand. The number of volunteers sent exceeded 1,000 for the first time in 2009, and now it has exceeded 1,200 for 2 straight years. This number indicates not only another leap in the “Volunteer Chinese Teachers Program” in Thailand, but also a new milestone in the Sino-Thai cooperation in education.
Mr. Kamjorn Tatiyakavee, Deputy Secretary-General of OHEC, Ms. Pang Li, Hanban representative in Thailand, as well as representatives from about 100 vocational schools and colleges and universities and directors from 12 Confucius Institutes were present at the occasion.
In his welcoming speech, Deputy Secretary-General Kamjorn Tatiyakavee reviewed the development of the volunteer program at OHEC and stated that since the Thai Ministry of Education has developed their strategy and policy in regards to promoting Chinese education, Thailand has witnessed an upsurge in the number of Chinese learners in educational institutions at all levels. By March 2011, there have been nearly 700,000 Chinese learners in Thailand and over 260,000 Chinese test takers. As a result, the current number of Chinese teachers is a far cry from meeting the demands for learning Chinese.
OHEC developed the “2010-2015 Strategy Plan for Chinese Education Development in Colleges and Universities” in September 2010, which required that the number of Chinese learners in Thai colleges and universities should increase by 20% a year and the number of full time Chinese teacher should go up by 15% a year. Other requirements include paying attention to developing Chinese teaching materials and web-based educational systems.
By March 2011, Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters had dispatched over 50 Chinese teachers to Thai colleges and universities. In addition, the Hanban representative office in Thailand also recommended local Chinese teachers to study for their PhD degrees, so as to further improve teaching level of local Chinese teachers.
According to Ms. Pang Li, the Confucius Institutes in Thailand have already begun to further their development. She also said that the two sides have joined hands to carry out Chinese education programs and to train Chinese teachers, so as to provide the public with Chinese teaching services. Both parties have also worked together to launch exchange activities with regards to Chinese education and culture. Based on local conditions, various Confucius Institutes have also made great efforts to explore their own running models, striving to serve as a window for the Thai people to learn about Chinese language and culture and China, and thus are enjoying great popularity among local citizens.