‘English for All’ project to hire more Pinoy teachers


PHITSANULOK, Thailand – The number of Filipino teachers in Thailand is expected to inflate once the ‘English for All’, a non-profit NGO project that aims to provide quality English learning to underprivileged and poor rural students in Thailand, will be implemented nationwide.

This was what Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom, project Co-Founder and Managing Director, told Pinoy Legacy on Friday, January 19 during the official visit of the Education Minister Dr. Teerakiat Jareonsettasin in Phitsanulok to personally benchmark the project.

Read: Former ASEAN General Secretary Dr. Surin Pitsuwan to visit Phitsanulok

English for All

Formally established in 2014, the project was launched in Kindergarten classes at Sapanteesam School in Phitsanulok province.

The ‘English for All’ project is very different from the English Program in large well-known schools in Thailand. This project is designed to provide opportunity for underprivileged children or poor families get English lessons from native speakers or foreign teachers.

Former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij, Director of ‘English for All’, said the beginning of the project was based on the idea of ​​providing opportunities for Thai children to develop their English skills. “The project aims that all Thai children participating in the program will be able to use English at a good level within 10 years,” he added.

According to Mr. Korn, the project is based on the belief that children need to learn English at a young age so the main requirement for the ‘English for All’ project is to start small. He said ‘the smaller the better’, and the emphasis on teaching is to communicate so teachers have to create a conducive language learning environment.

Since its launch, ‘English for All’ has gained nationwide attention attracting visiting educators and sponsors.

In 2015 and 2017 respectively, former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjaijiva and former ASEAN General Secretary, the late Dr. Surin Pitsuwan have paid the project a visit  to observe its efficiency.

Education Minister visits ‘English for All’ project

On Friday, Dr. Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, Education Minister of Thailand, announced that the government, in its effort to reform the English language education of the country, will adapt the project and is looking at expanding ‘English for All’ to at least 7,000 schools nationwide on the onset of the first term of the Academic Year 2018-2019.

“English for All is a very good project in line with the Ministry of Education policy,” the Education Minister said. “This will reduce educational disparity as it provides an opportunity for all levels to access equal education and help create a higher competitiveness”, Dr. Thirakiat added.

‘English for All’ to hire more Pinoy teachers
From Left: T. Deb, T. Ydette, T. Irene, T. Jane and T. Syrene (English For All Teachers)

Dr. Teerakiat said he plans to travel to the Philippines to forge cooperation with the Philippine Secretary of Education in recruiting quality English teachers to teach the children in the selected recipient schools.

Currently, the project has employed five Filipino teachers handling Kindergarten Levels 1, 2 and 3 and Grades 1, 2 and 3 English classes.

Babyjane Talagtag is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Our Lady of Fatima University in Quezon City. Although she graduated with a non-teaching related degree, Talagtag was hired by ‘English for All’ in 2015 because of her previous teaching experiences in the Kingdom. She is currently enrolled in a Teaching Diploma course to acquire a permanent teaching license in Thailand.

Syrine Malabon is one of the pioneer teachers of ‘English for All’ project. Malabon, from Bacolod City, is a holder of Elementary Education degree with specialization in Mathematics. She handles English, Math, and Science classes for Kindergarten 1 and 3 levels.

Co-founder and Project Manager in Phitsanulok Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom said the Filipino teachers have contributed greatly to the success of the project.

Filipino teachers are caring to the kids, passionate about their work and they also have the ability to bring out the best in their students,” Dr. Warong explained.

Filipino Co-Founder

The five Filipino teachers are not the only Filipinos in the project. Mr. John Patrick Benliro, a Filipino lecturer at Pibulsongkram Rajabahat University in Phitsanulok, has co-founded the project with former Thailand Finance Minister Mr. Korn Chatikavanij and former Member of Parliament (MP) for Phitsanulok Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom.

“This project started when Dr. Warong shared his idea that he wanted to see Thailand where all its citizens will be comfortable in using English,” Benliro said. “Dr. Warong believes that learning English should not be a privilege but a right of all. Hence, the name of the project is ‘English for All’,” Benliro added.

According to Benliro, the Minister asked him to be one of the project advisers before its full scale launch next term.

“Dr. Teerakiat asked me to come to Bangkok soon so we can discuss more of the project in terms of recruitment, training, etc., Benliro shared. “If all goes as planned, this would mean there will be more opportunity for Filipino teachers here in Thailand,” he added.

Benliro who hails from Puerto Princesa, Palawan is also a Co-Founder of The Pinoy Legacy and the blogger behind Khon Philippine. He has been a lecturer at Pibulsongkram Rajabaht University for 10 years.

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Lorenzo Caballes, Jr.
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Lorenzo Caballes, Jr.

Lorenzo is a full time English Language Teacher to high school students in Phitsanulok. He reads and travels for self-enrichment. He also writes at khunkrupinoy.com where he shares his struggles and joys of being a teacher in Thailand for almost a decade now.