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Book Review: by Lang Reid
Directory Thailand 2009
those readers who have school age children, there is always doubt and
uncertainty as to where to send the offspring. There are many factors to be
taken into account, far more than just curriculum. There are geographic and
financial factors to be considered as well.
I picked up the “International Education Directory Thailand 2009” which
looked as if it could answer all the questions a parent could ask. In fact,
the book begins with two pages of FAQs, though some of the answers I felt
dodged the question - such as “Are international school fees in Bangkok
unreasonably high?” This produced a three line answer including, “When
parents choose an elitist type of education for their child, they expect to
pay more.” However, the book does give some helpful web sites that can be
accessed in the quest for answers.
Other subjects touched on before the listings include Getting True Value for
Your Money, and the Curriculum Conundrum which has a somewhat patronizing
description advising the readers “Don’t confuse the term curriculum with
educational philosophy or with teaching methodology.” I believe that parents
who earn salaries sufficiently high to be able to afford up to half a
million baht a year probably knew that before opening this book.
Each school listing begins with address and contact details, followed by
admission requirements and the curriculum system. Languages spoken and
taught are listed, as well as the academic years catered for. Any religious
affiliation is also denoted. Size of classes and origins of the teaching
staff, sports and other extra-curricular pursuits are listed followed by the
school accreditation, such as the International Baccalaureate, fees (and be
prepared for some shocks as to the enrollment fee), a history of the school
and the school philosophy.
As well as all the international schools, the book also lists international
universities, but not in the same detail as with the schools.
Now my complaints. Am I being unreasonable in expecting that books that have
been published be proof-read? This book obviously had not, with many words
losing the space between them. Thisproducesverydifficulttoreadtext. This
artifact occurs when the printer’s software and the publisher’s software
does not quite marry up - but would be / should be caught at proofread time.
Am I also being unreasonable in expecting that a book covering private
schools should give me an indication of the fees? Some schools did provide
this information, others did not. “No information” or “Please contact the
school” is not good enough for an enquiring reader, I am afraid. I also
realize that the information presented was that as supplied by the
institution, but if the institution does not realize the importance of this
information, do I, as a parent, want to look further, or look at the schools
that did give me what I wanted to know from this book?
At B. 325, it is not an expensive publication, but after promising so much,
it lets itself and the readers down in the end. Perhaps next year’s edition
will be better? This year’s book does mention “Caveat emptor” (let the buyer
beware). You have been warned.
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