Gain an impression of a school day in Thailand. Maybe you have time to sit in an English class. Teachers and students generally welcome the visit of a foreigner, or 'farang' (long-nose).
In Thailand, schooling is compulsory for nine years. The school year, which starts around May 15th and ends in March of the following year, is divided in two semesters. Inbetween, there are three weeks of holidays in October. Before they enroll in primary school, many children attend pre-school classes from the age of two or three years onwards.
Classes take up to 50 students in some place. The teaching style often still is very authoritarian, which may also have to do with the large number of students in the classes. Parents who can afford it, send their children to private classes on the weekends and during holidays, where teachers work with small groups and thus also earn some extra money.
By walk, by schoolbus or shared taxis Or sharing a motor-bike by three or four – this is how students of the surrounding villages make their way to school. Each school has its own school uniform, with different colors for each grade.
School starts at 8:00 a.m. where students and teachers alike gather in the school courtyard to fly the national flag and sing the national anthem ceremonially. Then, after important issues of the day are being read out aloud, the teachers walk the students to their classes.
At about 3:00 p.m. classes are over. About the same time, when children pour off the classrooms to catch their bus or shared taxi, mobile cooking shops await the hungry at the portal. The students may buy some sweets and snacks with their pocket money and boost their energy after a tiring day in classes.