School Types in Thailand

We hope that this article will help you learned more about Thailand’s schooling system, if having any questions or concerns please contact us directly via contact.


Basically, Thai school system is divided into four distinct stages, including pre-school (Kindergarten), primary (Pathom), secondary school (Mathayom) and higher education such as University and technical or vocational college, and each stage is splitted into separate years the same as western countries’ schools : 3 years of “Kindergarten” (K1 to K3), 6 years of “Prathom” (P1 to P6), 6 years of “Mathayom” (M1 to M6) and 4 years of “College” or 3 years of “Technical or Vocational College” (Instead of attending M4 to M6). Thailand’s schools are primarily divided into government and private schools, as well as international schools. Furthermore, in addition to the mainstream system, language institutes or private tutors, which are ideal for those looking for part-time work, are very popular in Thailand. As a result, this article provides general information on various types of Thai schools to assist you in learning more about teaching in Thailand and clearly understanding teaching in Thai schools.

Thai Government School

The first type of Thai school is public and government school. As it is compulsory for Thai children from 6-15 to attend school, Thai children, whose birth was registered in Thailand by the Thai parent are able to register in a Thai public school for free just pay for a nominal fee for books, school uniforms and other necessities. In the past, many students from government schools in Thailand had a chance to experience the English language in their grade five or six, but nowadays, they have been involved in the lesson since they were in grade 1. Not only Thai programs are provided, but English-language programs that are taught by foreigners or even native speakers are also run by many public or government schools, especially those in Bangkok for the students, who pay some fees for the courses. Hence, they can access these programs considerably cheaper than an international school. Even though the schools provide Thai children with opportunities to study English in full courses, their quality and standard are still controversial, for example, class sizes of public schools are basically huge, so the instructors may not thoroughly participate to their students, and the teaching methods still mainly focus on rote learning.

Benefits of teaching in Thai government school

Teaching in Thai government schools requires a Bachelor’s Degree and TEFL certification, and the expected average income is 30,000B – 35,000B ($900 – $1060) per month. Although teaching in these schools does not get much salary and good facilities, this is where the instructors will receive teaching flexibility through the country and personal reward or achievement.

Thai Private School

Thai private schools’ resources are normally from their own funding, so the facilities and quality of teaching, including buildings, equipment and technologies in these schools are better than public schools, however, the tuition and miscellaneous fees are significantly higher, especially for English-language programs. Many private schools also provide all education levels, from kindergarten (K1) until secondary education or Mathayom (M6). Bi-Lingual schools and International schools, which are more extra and exclusive are also involved in this type of Thai school. The majority of these schools are located in Bangkok, but can be found in other big cities such as Phuket, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin. Rather than studying, most private schools offer a wide range of extra activities, consisting of sports, arts and music. In addition, as several private schools are run by catholic pastors, there are some western activities involved in these schools such as Christian rituals and Christmas celebration. Typically, private school students are well familiar with English, so preferring these schools is considerably easier for foreign teachers to adapt themselves for teaching in Thailand.

Benefits of teaching in Thai private school

The requirements of the certifications for teaching in Thai private schools are the same as Thai government schools, but most schools will primarily consider advanced education or prior teaching experience before hiring. Teachers could expect higher salary anticipating to be around  35,000B – 40,000B ($1060 – $1200) per month for Thai program private school and 40,000B – 60,000B ($1060 – $1800) per month for Bi-Lingual schools and International schools, furthermore, additional degrees and higher experience could be used to negotiate a higher salary.

Language institution and private tutor

Even though this type of teaching in Thailand is not included in the mainstream of the Thai education system, it is very popular in Thailand. There are numerous language institutions in Thailand providing for all ages. For young children, most of their parents want their kids to have some activities on the weekend, and also aim to improve their English background while adolescents access the institutions to achieve their higher English scores including GPA, TOEFL and IELTS for university admission and registration. In addition, some adults may not be familiar with English because there was no English-language program for Thai schools when they were studying, so many Language institutions also offer a variety of courses composed of reading, speaking, writing and listening for those who want to develop English skills and increase TOEIC score for the opportunities in their careers.

Benefits of teaching in language institution and as a private tutor

Being a tutor in language institutions is one of the most preferable for foreigners, who work in Thailand due to the high demand and high rate of payment, which is based on teaching hours. Normally, they will get at least 1000B ($28) per hour, however, if you are looking for long term jobs in Thailand, teaching in a language institution or being a private tutor may not be suitable as a short-term contract and no work flexibility throughout the country.

Teaching Jobs in Thailand

Mana Workforce is the education recruitment agency based in Thailand which offers teaching jobs in Thailand. If you’re interested please feel free to look at our job posting page or contact us here.

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