Would it mean betrayal to my very own country where I am a licensed teacher or allegiance to my host country which is now asking me to be licensed?
Time really flies so quickly that I almost did not notice that I have been teaching here in Thailand for more than three years already and I really need to get a license for teaching here that long and, maybe, longer. It’s been three years and my temporary two-year teaching license granted through my present school would expire soon. Whether I like it or not and whether it would mean betrayal or allegiance, I have only one thought rumbling in my mind: GET LICENSED!
To be a licensed teacher in Thailand, one must have at least bachelor’s degree in education or qualifying units in teaching. Aside from that, a foreign teacher needs to be abreast of the culture of his host country that's why twenty-hour training on Thai language and culture is needed for licensing. The licensing for foreign teacher in Thailand has been imposed years ago but it’s only this time that the Ministry of Education (MoE) became strict into it. It’s actually one of the agenda in Thailand’s National Education Act of 1999.
In the peak of its implementation, the said policy has stirred controversy among the flocks of foreign educators especially to those who could be hardly qualified for licensing. Some said that it’s another money-making venture while others pessimistically complained over the needed seminar and even the specified professional subjects to be taken for non-education degree holders. I even looked at it negatively once especially when I learned that it was inconsistently implemented all over Thailand. But now, I hope that this is for real and this would even help in the development of English language education in the country. In the end, the policy has a very bright purpose within.
So my judgment, I should get licensed. It’s great to be a licensed teacher in you home country and in your host country as well, isn’t it? This is actually one of the best things that a teacher could have anywhere he would decide to work. I hope everything would work well during the licensing process. I will be confirming soon my attendance in twenty-hour training on Thai Language and Culture to be conducted by the Private School Teachers Association of Thailand (PSTAT). I’ll be looking at it as a new learning experience as I am hoping for another teaching contract with my school next school year.