Tourist to Ajarn: The Filipino Teachers in Thailand

Eunice Barbara C. Novio


Most Filipino teachers in Thailand teach in anuban (pre-school), phraton (elementary) and Mathayum (high school). Few Filipinos are able to teach in the university level where professional development is highly esteemed in the academic community. The Filipino teachers are pressured to improve their teaching methods as well as seeking avenues to improve their professions to ensure that their employers will renew their contracts yearly.
This paper presents the professional development of the Filipino teachers in Thailand which they could not have if they remain in the Philippines. Filipino teachers are in demand due to their abilities to adapt to any work environment. The study explored the lives of five Filipino teachers working in elementary and university levels and their struggles to professionally improve themselves to ensure the continuous renewal of their contracts.
Furthermore, it also discusses the teachers’ reasons for migrating; the sources of recruitments and the status in terms of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) registration and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership; securing work permits and acquisition of teacher’s license and other requirements as prescribed by the schools/employers as well as the professional and labor-related concerns
both in the host country and the country of origin. Employing the life story method the author did questions, interviews via internet and review of related literature as secondary data. The questions were semi-structured which provided the respondents to reflect and dissect their situations in an open mindset.
To date, the Philippine Embassy in Thailand accounts Filipinos as more or less 16 to 17 thousand. There is no accurate data since the Filipinos move constantly. Thus, one of the problems cited by the Embassy.
The respondents are from Phitsanulok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram, Khampeang Pet and Nonthaburi.

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