BANGKOK – Education Minister Gen Dapong Ratanasuwan yesterdaythat the Education Ministry plans to bring about 10,000 retired teachers back into the education system on a part-time basis over the next year to solve chronic teacher shortages.
Teachers will be rehired at small primary and secondary schools in some rural areas nationwide, and some vocational colleges.
Speaking at a briefing on the ministry’s performance over the past year, Gen Dapong said 189,795 teachers will retire between this year and 2025, which will worsen the problem.
Most of them are working at schools under the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec).
They are teaching foreign languages, Thai language, sciences, and mathematics, Obec’s secretary-general Karoon Sakulpradit said yesterday.
Gen Dapong said retired teachers joining the project will be paid up to 15,000 baht a month on top of their retirement benefits.
“We expect about 1,100 retired teachers will be re-employed next year and the number will reach 10,000 by 2017,” he said.
Gen Dapong said the ministry will also bring back the “Teacher’s Heir” or Kurutayad project to alleviate teacher shortages in parallel with the plan to rehire retired teachers.
The Kurutayad project involved sending students with a GPA score of 3 or above for teacher training. Upon graduation, the students are required to return to their hometowns to teach at local schools.
“We hope we will be able to produce about 4,000 teacher graduates under the Kurutayad project each year,” he said.
“If we are able to reach that goal, we will have about 40,000 teacher graduates teaching at schools nationwide by 2025,” Gen Dapong said. A source at the ministry said more than 40,000 new teachers graduate each year.
However, he said many of them failed to pass exams to take up teaching jobs at government schools, while some graduates studied in subjects that did not meet market demand.
Answering how he rated the ministry’s performance this year, Gen Dapong said he was satisfied with it, though he said much work remains to be done.
The five core education offices which come under the ministry are Obec, the Office of the Education Permanent Secretary, the Office of the Vocational Education Commission, the Office of the Higher Education Commission and the Office of the Education Council. He gave them all a “pass” grade.