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Reformers seek 300% pay rise

THAILAND

EDUCATION reformers within the Thai government are pushing for a 300 per cent increase in teachers' salaries as part of a long-overdue drive to improve the quality of schooling.

The move is one element of a package that includes lengthening teacher training from four to five years and upgrading the qualifications students would need.

New graduate teachers currently earn as little as pound;100 a month. In some remote provinces, devoted teachers earn even less after they have helped pay or school repairs or bought poor pupils meals and books.

The Office of the Educational Reform Commission says that teaching standards must be raised if the country is to keep pace with globalisation.

The Asian economic crisis has led to soul searching among educators and criticism from industry and investors at the country's failure to produce skilled workers who can think for themselves. Teachers have traditionally taught by rote and view questioning from their pupils as criticism.

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