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11.06.2024

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION IN THAILAND - STEPS TO THE UNIVERSITY

The content of the article:

  • Ty's kindergartens
  • Prathom and Mattayom — primary and secondary level
  • Public schools: who can study in them
  • Thailand's International Schools: the British and American Education system
  • Colleges are the main focus 

 

Over the past year, Thailand has entered the top three most popular countries for buying real estate from Russian citizens. For most of them, the Kingdom has become not just a tourist destination, but rather a desirable place to "stop" for a longer period. In this regard, many people travel to the country in full force, with all members of their family. And accordingly, questions are immediately asked: “What is the education system in the Kingdom? Public or private institutions? How does Thai education differ from European education?" We continue our column "The education system abroad".
Basic education in Thailand includes:

  • preschool education, 
  • general primary and secondary,
  • secondary vocational
  • and higher education.   

 

Preschool education is not considered compulsory in the country, although it is very welcome. Children in such institutions immediately try to teach two languages — Thai and English, as well as teach the initial skills of interacting with computer technology, reading, writing and instill a desire to play sports (in kindergartens, swimming is most often). All kindergartens, including nurseries (from one and a half years old), are paid. The cost depends not only on the level of the institution itself, but also on the educators (whether they speak English) and the education system they adhere to. Kindergartens are considered the most affordable, where education is traditionally conducted in Thai and in accordance with the state education system (the cost is about 16,500 baht per year). Kindergarten with English as the language of instruction, but according to the Thai system, will cost more (about 60,000 baht per year). The most expensive will be preschools for children of foreigners, billings, whose education is in English and according to the British education system. As a rule, these are private and international kindergartens, the cost of which is quite high — up to 165,000 baht per year.  
If kindergarten can still be skipped, then from the age of 6, kids begin compulsory attendance at primary school, which is called Prathom and is divided into 2 types: up to the third grade, this is the junior primary Prathom, and from 4 to 6— the senior primary Prathom. The assessment system in most schools is similar to the American and British letter system: from A to F, where F is an indicator of a low grade. But in some schools, a 4-point system is used, where 1 is an indicator of poor academic performance. In elementary school, children do not have homework, but in the classroom, teachers try to actively test all students for knowledge of the material. After graduating from Prathom, children take an exam, on the basis of which they are transferred to Mattayom Secondary School. Secondary school is also divided into 2 types — Mattayom 1,2,3 (compulsory secondary education) and Mattayom 4,5,6 (optional stage of study, but necessary for further admission to university). In public schools, the emphasis is on basic subjects, while physics, chemistry, and biology are combined into a common subject — “science”. In physical education classes, children can choose to practice Thai boxing, and in art classes they have the opportunity to learn the basics of Thai folk dance, which is actually quite difficult, and not everyone can master it. 
The entire academic year is divided into two semesters: the first begins in early May and ends in October, and the second lasts from November to March. 

In all institutions, regardless of status, compulsory school uniforms have been introduced, approved by the school's administrative council. Most often, this form consists of casual clothes, sports uniforms and uniforms for team games or scouting trips. And despite the fact that public schools for children of the local population (or if at least one of the parents has Thai citizenship) are free, parents pay for uniforms, textbooks, field trips, meals.
The Mattayom of the second stage adds career guidance and economic subjects, as well as classes aimed at unlocking the potential of each child.


In private schools, in addition to the basic subjects, another foreign language is additionally introduced — more often Japanese or Chinese. At the same time, all foreign languages in such schools are taught directly by their native speakers, so that children better learn the specifics of the language, accent and dialects. Physical education classes in private schools are also very diverse: you can choose tennis, swimming, martial arts. Commercial schools with international training are more focused on further student admission to higher education, unlike the same state schools, where you can graduate with a certain professional orientation (similar to Russian technical schools). The main disadvantage is that all private schools are very expensive, not everyone can afford them. Therefore, if parents see that a child is doing well in certain subjects while studying at a public school, they try to find good tutors for him to enter the university. At the end of each school year, Thai students take a mandatory exam, the results of which judge where the child has “gaps" and what to pay attention to. At the end of Mattayom 6, the total score of such testing is taken into account when entering the university, along with entrance exams.
Another important condition is that in both private and public schools, students are instilled with a Thai culture of behavior: they are taught how to greet each other correctly and respectfully, how to talk to the older generation, how to be tolerant. In addition to the requirements for school uniforms, great attention is paid to the appearance of students — no colorful coloring, piercings, tattoos, bright manicure. The hairstyle, up to grade 11-12, should generally comply with the Thai standard for both boys (short haircut) and girls (square to the shoulders). In some government institutions, mobile phones are even banned during classes. 
Can foreign children enroll in a public school? No problem! But keep in mind that few of the teachers in such schools speak English. Upon admission, you will definitely be asked if you have your own place or not. And if you own a property, it greatly simplifies the process of your child's admission to public school. What's for the older guys? Are there any interesting institutions for them as well? It should be noted that compulsory education in the Kingdom lasts only until the 9th grade, then teenagers can choose a professional direction with which they want to link their future career. Today, such areas as medicine, science and technology, and mathematical disciplines have become the most in demand. As a foreigner, your child will have fewer requirements if he goes to a private international school. They teach lessons in English. If he still plans to study at a state institution, then initially it is necessary to master the local language, since all school subjects are taught exclusively in Thai. All the best international schools in Thailand are located in major cities — Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket. Here are some of them:


Regents International School — Pattaya. (entry level — from $28,775 per year, senior program — IB and GCSE — from $33740 per year) The cost of the academic year includes accommodation, study program and meals. Located far outside the city, children are offered full board (accommodation all week or flexible board — stay overnight for 1-2 days).
Russian Russian migrants in Pattaya have schools called “Knowledge” and “Diplomat” (education in Russian, according to the Russian program. The school helps with the annual visa) The disadvantage is that schools do not have Russian accreditation, so to confirm the results you need to go to Bangkok and attach yourself to a school at the Russian embassy).
British International School — Phuket. A school with an excellent British education. He prepares according to the IB program, more than 90% of students enter higher education institutions without problems not only in the Kingdom, but also in prestigious European universities. (elementary school — from $31,000 per year; IB program — from $37,000 per year)
International School Bangkok is an international school in Bangkok. According to the ratings, it is one of the most prestigious among foreigners from all over the world. (tuition starts at 569,000 baht for junior classes and 1,034,000 baht for seniors).
NIST International School is more modern, the training is conducted according to the British and American system. Upon graduation from this school, you can get an international IB diploma. (tuition starts at 587.100 baht for primary school and 1.057.500 baht for senior level)

 

Colleges in Thailand are aimed at obtaining secondary specialized vocational education. After completing them, you can get a certain profession: to become a manager, cook, technologist, mechanic, etc. Programs in such institutions are aimed at obtaining a working qualification, but foreign students are not issued student visas to study at such a college. However, if desired, foreigners can also study remotely, the main thing is to complete all courses on time and pass the certification exams.
If the child plans to go to university, then it is advisable to finish 12th grade of school.
Students can also get higher education at various types of universities: public, private and international. Tuition is paid for everyone (both for foreigners and citizens), but in some universities the tuition is cheaper than in private schools. When choosing a faculty, applicants carefully consider their choice, since it is not customary in the Kingdom to change their specialty during their studies. The admission rules, again, are the same for everyone — foreigners enter on the same terms as Thais. The only important condition for international students is knowledge of two languages: Thai and English. International universities, where education is conducted only in English, are also popular in Thailand. And although the payment for a semester in them is quite high, nevertheless, in comparison with European countries, it is much lower. 
The most famous such universities, whose diplomas are valued internationally, are located in Bangkok and Phuket. We will talk about them in the next article on the education system in higher education institutions in Thailand. 
And you can find out about secondary education in Germany in the article published on our website.

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