Thailand asked Chinese educational institutes to send 10,000 Chinese language instructors for Thai learners as parts of a Sino-Thai educational and cultural exchange plan.
Education Minister Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech on Sunday said after meeting with Xu Lin, director of the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), and delegates from Chinese universities and educational institutes that Thailand and China agreed to an exchange of education and culture.
As a result, the education ministry asked the Chinese educational institutes to send 10,000 Chinese language teachers to offer language instruction for Thai students, Mr Suchart said.
Currently, China supports Chinese language education in Thailand by sending some 1,200 Chinese native speaking teachers to Thailand annually, the education minister said.
The ministry is attempting to enhance the country’s educational revolution and to achieve a goal ahead of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) that Thai students will be able to speak both English and Chinese within 2015.
According to the minister, Chinese officials agreed with the request and asked for the ministry to send 500-1,000 Thai language instructors to China to introduce and teach the Thai language and teaching methods to graduated Chinese language instructors in six-month preparatory courses before the graduates are sent to Thailand to teach Thai students.
Mr Suchart said that he would later discuss with relevant agencies about the feasibility of the plan to send Thai language teachers.
In addition, both sides also discussed potential expansion of Thai language courses at universities in China.
Currently, 24 universities in China offer Thai language courses for interested students. (MCOT online news)