4 Lessons Learned Upon Switching from a Local Government School
International schools in Thailand are no longer exclusive to the moneyed – ex-pats and diplomats. They now accept local kids who form the vast majority of the population of students in the fast-growing sector. And some are now insanely affordable too!
Owing to the deteriorating standard of education in the public sector, coupled with the good tidings promised by the foreign curricular, many native kids are switching to international schools in droves. For them, beautiful, state-of-the-art campuses, highly trained teachers, and modern classroom and extra-curricular facilities, plus exemplary academic performance, is the way to go.
From kids who made the switch, the following are their findings
• International schools differ in terms of teaching regimens, facilities, and whatnots
Thailand’s list of international schools now stands at over 170, many of them found in Bangkok. But while many have ultra-modern facilities, some only have the very basic of them - swimming pools, manicured lawns, and a gym.
Inexpensive ones have been around for quite a while, especially the not-so-recent Christian-sponsored and NGO-managed international schools. You’ve got to remember that higher tuition fees essentially means better facilities – not better academic performances. Always make your selections wisely!
• Majority are locals
The boom that’s international schools has led to many native parents making the switch. You walk into any facility and instantly notice Thai kids being the majority. Many of the parents send their little ones to international k-12 international schools to escape from the relatively inferior Thai syllabus that never teaches in English.
These schools are also a perfect environment for them to socialize with international students, network, and build connections and inherently have a broader scope. It is the right foundation that a kid who would love to conquer the world in the future.
• Focus on Academics and Extra-Curricular Activities
The local Thai syllabus is criticized mainly because it is pegged on performance alone. Kids study to pass exams and may never really get a good grasp of the actual coursework.
In international schools, especially those pursuing American, British, and IB curricular, education goes beyond what’s taught in class. They study much more than just Math and Science and even get graded for extra-curricular activities like athletics, swimming, coding, and art and design. That’s why almost every child is confident in going to college and later becoming a success in life.
• Teachers are many and friendly
In an international school, teacher-to-student ratio matters a lot. To ensure that teacher-student interaction is maximized for better academic performance, schools employ more educators. They also ensure that teachers are amiable, sociable, and creative enough to create better, all-rounded students.