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11 กุมภาพันธ์ 2551
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A Hobby among Thai Children:


My family and I had been in Thailand for almost a month now. We're trying to settle down with our new life in our old place.... Well, things had changed quite a bit though.

We spent some of our saving money on renovating our house--- buying new home appliances, carpet/curtain installation, new furniture and so on.... Furthermore, we had to find a new school for our kids and I had to prepare my lecture....

So we had been pretty busy....

After a while, I noticed something pretty odd though (at least for me).... When I drove by a downtown area during weekends, I expected that there should be less people and vehicles in the area. However, it's totally different from what I thought. So I tried to see what was happening in those areas.

Noticeably, most of them were young teenagers, wandering around, in and out from buildingings to buildings.... So I looked for the signs and found my answer.... These were tutoring schools!!

Sometimes, when I called my close friends during a weekend, I always caught them up during their way to a tutoring school... Furthermore, even for my president's children, he said he had to bring his children to have some tutoring as well....

Wow, after I did some rough calculations in my heads, many of Thai children spent more than 60 hours a week for their "education" from kindergarten until highschool.... Totally, it would be 46,800 hours before they became a college student!!

Well, for me, that's enough to be awarded as a PhD graduate and might be sufficient to discover a major scientific breakthrough or invent a new invention into a patent!! Yet, we didn't have any of those comparable to what our children had invested their lives upon.

Are these "tutoring" helping and uplifting their lives into a higher standard?--- I didn't ask for what good that it makes for the country... just for themselves at this beginning.

At my kids' school, it also offered a wide range of "tutoring" in a packet... Well, since we planned to have many things to do as a family, I never signed them up to any of those. I still adhere with my lifestyle that we had done when we were living in the US.

For example, in Saturday morning, many of Americans would bring their children to play sports--- ranging from soccer, football, baseball, tennis and so on. In our case, we brought our sons to play tennis during weekends... and we still did the same here in Thailand.... But, there was no one bringing their kids to play at all in my neighborhood. Tennis courts we went were filled with adults or retirees....

Well, apparently, I would guess many of them were commuting from their houses to those buildings--- thinking about how to solve a math or physics problem and got a better score in the next Entrance Examination.... If my bold yet grim conjectures were true, I would change my career to a psychologist or a therapist in the next few years. I would make a bunch of money from possible distorted behaviors among Thai teenagers and young adults....

Presumably, commitsuicide attempts would be skyrocketing from such failures in many who could not attain accomplishment in this fashion....

Life should be so stressful..... Society should be injured and irreversibly damaged. Worst of all, the final painful results are yet to come.

Are we defining "happiness and life" in a harsh way?


Create Date : 11 กุมภาพันธ์ 2551
Last Update : 11 กุมภาพันธ์ 2551 14:48:07 น. 5 comments
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Sawaddee ka,

Glad to know that you are settle well.. so,your children get used to about Thailand?

When I was in secondary and highschool, I went to tutor a lot in order to prepare for entrace exam. It was so tired indeed when I was in high-school.

Enjoy life!

โดย: The phu IP: วันที่: 13 กุมภาพันธ์ 2551 เวลา:11:47:27 น.  


To the topic of "Tutoring Business in Thai Education"

This is the big money generating business among educators in Thailand. We are on the racinf track to win the seat into the creamy university in Thailand. Well, the admission system defines the ways of game to go. Kids need to win the first, at least 10% ranking, to go to the university admission. Because there are only some limited places for limited students to sit, so there is the opportunity for education business to run.

One more supporting factor to the growth of it, some parents are not capable to supervise their kids' education, epecially homework and assignment. This responsibility is falled into teacher. When the time to supervise each kid in the classroom is not enough, some more parent choose to 'buy' time from teacher for their kids.

As we can see, after school, some kids stay after school from 3.00-5.00 for extra class. This is what is teacher and parent have told by themself that the kids NEED to study. Well, some teacher complain that "these kids don't do well in the class. What should we do to them? " Parents ask teacher for advice "What could you help my kid, can you teach him again after school, I 'm willing to responsible for you time by paying extra tuition, only if you help my kid"

Some reasons for parent to choose extra class for their kids

- I don't know how to teach my kids.
- This curriculum is very different from mine.
- My career is not in education.
- I graduated lower that bachelor degree.
- I don't have time to teach them the homework.
- I have money to afford the better for my kids.
- This is the fastest and easiest way.

some reasons for teachers to run extra class business.
- This makes money very very well.
- Thing to teach is the same. Same topic, same material , same answer, same group of student. It doesn't cost much.
- My salary is not enough for my car expense, house mortgage, daily expense, loan payment, as well as, my kids' extra tuition bill !
- I still have some free time after working hour. This could be money hours.
- I want to help my poor needy students and their parent's request .

Some reasons for kids to study for extra class.
- My teacher doesn't teach well in the class.
- My friends do so, then I need to be with them, too.
- My parent tell me to do the best in study, don't worry to study, they will support me by making money to afford this.
- If I get top 10 in the class, I will get a new Play Station game!
- I need to get extremely high GPA to be in the medical school as my dream. (That my parent told me since I was young)

Finally, when each party's need has been met. The deal has made. Then, kids go to extra class as we see nowaday.


โดย: GSK IP: วันที่: 16 กุมภาพันธ์ 2551 เวลา:12:04:40 น.  

I know what you're saying. That's how our society defines "success." Being academically successful is much more desirable than being a successful musician or football player. You don't get paid that much even if you're an excellent football player in Thailand. But you have a better chance of making a lot more money if you excel academically and get into a good school. There is very little room for sports and music in our society. Which is too bad in a way. I wish our children had more choices in life.

โดย: Rive Gauche วันที่: 19 กุมภาพันธ์ 2551 เวลา:8:09:16 น.  

I like to read your message. It was for me as well when I was young.
When I looked back, there is nothing there except studies and studies.
When I have a kid (hopefully), I will teach them the other things in life. Others that make his/her life complete.
I know you will for your son. Enjoy your time in Thailand.

โดย: Joy. IP: วันที่: 26 มีนาคม 2551 เวลา:0:21:35 น.  


โดย: Coconut Dance : วันที่: 20 เมษายน 2551 เวลา:12:32:40 น.  

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Note: My life has been intertwined with works and many others. New responsibility has emerged, resulting less and less time for my ordinary life. Although, a love to write is still intact... But having less time is related to having less imagination.... Therefore, I could not come up with new writings for quite some times.

It might be a good time for me to leave this forum for moment.... Please take it as Mr. A.T. is having a sabbactatical leave or something like that....

As noted above, my love to write is still the same... and will not be changed. Sometimes somehow, I hope I could come back and give some thoughts in this blog once more.

Mr. A.T.
June 6th, 2008



My pen-name in Pantip is amatuer translator. Actually, I'm a lousy translator with lame translation. My pen-name is somewhat misleading, I have no background in linguistics what-so-ever. Anyway I love to read, write and communicate with people...

Reading is my most favorite hobby. I read everything from shopping bags to articles in theoretical physics. I do research and teaching for my living. So, reading, writing, thinking and doing research works are my everyday routine.

I would like to define myself as a person who is accepting new ideas and adopting those into my way of life.

I believe in power of knowledge/education. I think every society can be a better society with knowledge. Ignorance can be dispelled by it. Humanity can live sustainably and harmoniously with each other along with its biosphere with understandings in the nature surrounding it.

Apart from my philosophical thoughts reflecting who I am, I can tell you something I like or love in particular;

I love dogs.... Particularly, labradore retrievers.... One day, I would like to spend my time and life with them as a big part of my family.

Zhuge Liang is my hero. With his wisdom and faithfulness, he led a tiny army to a mighty and formidable kingdom. He left his humble residence with a hope to come back. But, sadly, he had never returned and died far far away from home in a horse carriage in a battle field. If I could choose where I would, I would say where-ever my lovely wife was nearby.

I value happiness and my family as my first priority. My profession and my philosophy come in the second. Pursuit in wealth has never been in my desire.

I'm glad to be your friend, and look forward to seeing you around krub.

Best wishes,
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