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Filpino Teachers Find Niche in Thailand
It is not surprising to hear some older Thais speak a Tagalog word or two because there was a time quite a number of Thais went to the Philippines to study in universities.
A popular band here, “Kalabaw,” has members who studied at Gregorio Araneta University in the 80′s.
Today it is also not surprising to hear some Filipinos speak Thai words. This is because quite a number of Filipinos are coming to Thailand to teach.
In the ’70s a few Filipinos came to work with Bangkok-based international agencies or multinational firms, or as missionaries or entertainers.
But starting around 2001, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra opened the country for teaching employment and a new kind of migration began.
A number of those early migrant teachers were Filipino.
As of December 2010, according to the Commission on Filipino Overseas, there were at least 14,000 Filipinos in Thailand, 3,000 of them permanent migrants married to Thai citizens and about 11,000 temporary migrants with work permits.
More job opportunities may be opening up for qualified Filipino teachers as Thailand prepares for the full implementation of the Asean Community program by 2015.
Some universities in Phitsanulok are going to offer Filipino as a subject starting this year.
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