Thailand’s new Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin has demanded that the credentials of all 11,200 foreigners teaching in government schools and private schools be checked out.
He has ordered the Department of Labour to ensure that their paperwork is in order and that they have the correct visa type and a work permit.
All schools in Bangkok and throughout the country which hire foreign teachers are to be examined, Thai media reported.
Should foreigners not have a work permit or correct visa type, they face fines of between 5,000 and 50,000 baht and possible deportation.
For teaching agencies that hire illegal foreign teachers, the penalties are much more severe.
Agents face fines of between 10,000 and 100,000 baht each person they hired illegally.
A repeat offence then sees the fines escalate to between 50,000 and 200,000 baht with the prospect of a one year jail term and a three year ban from working in teacher recruitment.
Thai news site Komchadluek reported that there are 11,200 foreigners teaching in Thailand.
The top five nationalities are:
Filipino: 4,360 persons
The media itemized the paperwork needed to teach at a school in Thailand. This included having a non-immigrant visa (definitely not a tourist visa) a teacher’s license, medical certificate and criminal background check. A work permit is also required.
The report comes after Sarasas school in Nonthaburi finds itself at the centre of child abuse allegations. One of the teachers accused of abusing a student at the school is a foreigner who the authorities discovered had only a tourist visa and consequently, no work permit.