Address: 1152 Moo 4, Mawittiyalai Rd, Pak. Nakhon Ratchasima City, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30000 Thailand
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About this School:
- David Whitlock reviewed 3 years ago
- last edited 3 years ago
I taught at Sarasas Witaed School in Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) for one month, what I discovered there both shocked and disappointed me, greatly.
First, a few facts about this school:
1.) Sarasas Witaed School in Nakhon Ratchasima is privately funded, meaning it is not affiliated with the public education system; therefore, the school is free to set its own standards for teaching, testing and grading; these so-called “standards” are a joke.
2.) SWS identifies itself as a “Catholic” school, although the vast majority of students attending are not Catholic, they’re Buddhist.
3.) SWS likes to promote itself as a “bilingual, international school”, unfortunately, they don’t qualify. According to the Office of the Private Education Commission, which oversees the operation of every private school in Thailand, only three schools in Nakhon Ratchasima are officially designated as meeting “international standards” for education:
St. Stephen’s International School, Khao Yai Campus
Wesley International School
The Adventist International Mission School – Korat
Over the course of my first week at SWS, I gradually began to realize there are “special duties and responsibilities” only foreign teachers must abide by, for example, “greeting duty”. From 7:30 am to 8:30 am you will be required to stand outside in sunny, 90 degree humidity and “greet” families as they walk into the school each morning; you will complete this task wearing a white, long sleeve dress shirt, necktie and black dress pants. Visit any McDonalds in Thailand and look at the big, goofy, Ronald McDonald clown standing by the front door for a better idea, if you work at this school that will be YOU! Thai teachers and administrators are, of course, exempt from greeting duty. Why? Because Sarasas Witaed School is more concerned with selling its “foreign” image than actually providing students with a quality education. Female Thai and Filipino teachers working at SWS are considered “inferior” to their white, male colleagues; therefore, they are paid far less and discouraged from making any unnecessary appearances outside their classrooms.
Another potential problem you will face at this school is working without proper legal documentation. On the first day, the [this did not comply with Thailand defamation laws and has been censured] will sit you down and offer you a job right away; however, when you ask for a written contract and the paperwork for a Thai work visa, your request will be deferred over a “probationary period” on the pretense that your contract and visa paperwork will be given to you after your probation has ended. The true purpose behind this little arrangement is to hire you without a Thai work visa as a form of coercion. Once you begin working and receiving paychecks from the school there is an official record that you have accepted employment and financial compensation. Then, if you ever decide to leave for another job because half of your salary has been deducted for “visa expenses”, you will be reported to immigration for working without a permit, a criminal offense that carries a 5 year prison sentence and a fine as high as 100,000 baht upon conviction (“Alien Working Act” BE 2551: Chapter 6, Section 51). The school receives no penalty of any kind because of its “financial connections” with the right people.
Regardless of your citizenship, do not break the law in Thailand under any circumstances or you will be prosecuted. Accept no cash, paychecks or any other form of financial compensation without a written contract and proper legal documentation from your employer.
Have you ever walked into a beautiful restaurant and sat down at a lavish dining table only to discover the quality of the food was horrible? That’s what Sarasas Witaed School in Korat has to offer, a beautiful, towering façade with appalling classroom management, shoddy course materials and inaccurate testing. Walk into any classroom at SWS and you’ll notice over half the students are either asleep, goofing off or playing games on their cell phones. Why does no one seem to care? The answer is simple: every student receives a “pass” whether they study and participate or not. In fact, the school cares so little about the success and failure rate of its students, final exams are printed with missing words, gross misspellings and multiple choice questions that offer no correct answer! Apparently, whoever wrote such dismal examinations didn’t even bother to read the course material beforehand; otherwise, the answers to the questions would match the information from the textbooks. Once again, it’s not about “competency” it’s about “image over substance”.
I was one of the lucky few who saw through the BS and left quietly to avoid trouble. I apologize to all the other teachers who stayed on longer and found these things out the hard way, I apologize to all the parents who are being ripped off on a daily basis and most importantly, I apologize to the handful of bright, hardworking students who receive no real incentive or appreciation at this school.
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