According to experts, students will never exceed the quality of their teachers but why are the teacher applicants in Thailand protesting about English test requirements? Why are hundreds of potential educators crying “no” to the requirements of the Office for Higher Education (Ohec) on “Teachers for their Hometowns” score?
One of the standardized English tests called the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) requires a score of at least 400 out of 990. According to Ohec, if the soon-to-be teachers do not want to take TOEIC, they have the option of TOEFL, IELTS or any widely recognized English competency test. The minimum scores of the qualified teachers will be used as the benchmark. For example, in the TOEFL the score must not be lower than 40.
However, teachers are complaining that the score is too high to achieve even if the requirement is not even half of the total score. The “Teachers for their Hometowns” project is planning to recruit education students in their final year to fill in the vacancies in the local schools at their hometown. Candidates are planning to urge Ohec to lower the minimum TOEIC score to 250 instead of 400.
On their Facebook accounts, many candidates have lamented that they have repeatedly taken the TOEIC tests but still failed to reach the minimum score. According to the candidates, the test fees are expensive and they have to travel to Bangkok to take the exams. They want the TOEIC exam to be replaced by English training.
On the other hand, the potential teachers did not gain the sympathy they were expecting. Netizens commented on social media that the teachers are pathetic and must strive harder to gain passing scores. One comment said that high school students can make a score of more than 400 meaning that they can easily outclass their teachers.
Those who want to improve their English competency have the option of TOEIC with The Smart Tutor that will design a course suitable to the requirements. Aside from teaching, the TOEIC scorecan be applied globally in multinational corporations, hotels, general banking and finance companies and flight agencies.