By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Thailand met at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) recently to discuss the employment of Filipino teachers for the “English for All” project of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones shared that the inter-agency meeting on the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the government-to-government hiring of Filipino teachers was initiated by Dr. Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, Thailand Minister of Education — during a side meeting last October 2018 at the 10th ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
Briones explained that the MOU aims to “improve and promote” the international professional exchanges between the two countries to uphold teachers’ protection and welfare, as well as to “facilitate the recruitment, entry, and exit” of Filipino teachers to and from the Kingdom of Thailand in accordance with the provisions of Thailand and the prevailing laws and regulations of the Philippines, pursuant and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the different Philippine government agencies such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Agency (OWWA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and Commission on Higher Education (CHED), among others.
Meanwhile, Briones stressed that Filipino teachers teaching in Thailand is already an “existing situation.”
“It’s not a plan, it’s not a policy proposal, it is an existing situation and if we can think, we can agree on a better way by which we can protect the Filipinos and at the same time, the Thai government, because it’s not able to regulate and it’s not able to keep track of all Filipinos who come,” Briones explained.
Briones noted that many Filipino teachers “usually come to visit and they end up teaching in many other places so that we minimize opportunities for abuse, which may happen every so often.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Minister of Education of Thailand M.L. Pariyada Diskul underscored that they have big projects with teachers from the Philippines who are very highly regarded. “Your teachers are very diligent and blend in well with our culture,” she said.
“We want to recruit Filipino teachers to be placed in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) government schools, which are the three provinces in the eastern side of Bangkok to upgrade the English competencies of the children in that area,” Diskul explained. “I hope this will be the beginning of many other projects to come,” she added.
Briones, on the other hand, expressed her gratitude for the “milestones and initiatives” set by Thailand to “strengthen ties by helping Filipino teachers who are working and are planning to work in their country.”