Schooling in Udon Thani

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lee
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Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by lee » October 21, 2009, 10:15 am

Schooling in Udon Thani - by Steve Graham © Udonmap.com (Magazine Issue 11)

Parents in Udon Thani are spoilt for choice when it comes to the schooling of their children; however, because there is so much choice, sometimes they find it difficult to decide what is best for their children.

All children are individuals, so it is difficult to offer advice on this subject, although as I have had to go through the process myself, I believe I have some ideas that you may find useful.

I chose to put my children through the rigors of a Catholic education. I am not Catholic; however, I remembered those old television programmes back in UK depicting children being bullied to study and decided that this would be the best policy for my children bearing in mind how lazy I was when I was their age.

As it turns out, the rod at these schools is spared possibly spoiling the child; however, there are no guarantees that this type of schooling is best for your child. Local government schools abound and there are some that have to fight off parents wanting to enrol their children as they only take the best.

There is a time honoured tradition of offering “tea money” to a school to ease the selection process. Be aware that it is illegal, although well practiced in the province, allowing students who have not passed the entry criteria to study at a school of their parents choosing. Armed with 30,000 baht plus, it is possible to obtain a place at the school of your choice for your child.

Rural schools are much more spread out and less claustrophobic; however, they tend to lack the same facilities as their inner city relations. The other problem is that most teachers want to teach in the city, resulting in some of the rural teachers not being so happy with their location and the facilities that are on offer. The ideal situation would be to have schools that are a mixture of both, but this is a piped dream and only exists in my head.

Some schools offer programmes for gifted children and those who want to concentrate on their English, science or sports. This obviously will cost more, although the benefits are clear to see as there are plenty of Thai children leaving after completing grade nine and going to Bangkok to further their studies somewhere else.

The reason for this is that their parents are concerned about the university that their child will be attending, so they prepare them early for the entrance tests that they will be facing and try to get them settled with a family member in the area ahead of time.

At the end of the day, parents can decide to use the free government education that is on offer or elect to send their children to a private school. The fees for a private school can be as little as 10,000 baht a year, but remember that it is the same in all countries around the world, this does not guarantee that you child receives a higher standard of education.

As always, it is best to follow “word of mouth” and see what kinds of educational adventures are on offer for your offspring.

Some of the city schools are quite grand and reasonably priced; however, it is better to ask local people their opinions concerning individual schools and their performance. (St. Mary’s School)

Image
City schools differ greatly from rural schools in Udon Thani, resulting in some parents deciding to send their children from outlying areas to the city for their education. (Mariepithak School).

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Rural schools tend to have more land available for the children to play on; however, it is difficult to recruit teachers to these far away places (Bantatprachanukoon School).



TJ
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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by TJ » October 21, 2009, 12:37 pm

In the U.S. millions of parants are choosing to school their children at home.

A mix of home schooling and Thai public schooling should be considered IMO. If for no other reason than to provide a command of the English language.

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by Billg » October 21, 2009, 3:10 pm

So Lee,
if there was a "wish list" of prefered schools for education in Unon Thani where would Prajak Silaprakan School on the ring road near Big C be,
My Daughter attends there. and i would like the best for her..

Bill

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by lee » October 21, 2009, 3:24 pm

Hi Bill, I'm sorry I can't tell you, however the writer of the article may be able to give you more info. If you want to send him an email drop me a pm.

I'll be needing to know myself in a few years time. ;)

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mak
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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by mak » October 21, 2009, 4:07 pm

1. Don Bosco
2. Udon Phit
3. Rachinut
4. St. Mary's
5. Udonpichairak
6. Makhaeng
7. Christian
8. Tesaban 6
9. Marie
10. Prajak

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by Billg » October 21, 2009, 10:33 pm

Thanks for the ifo Mac, but can i ask where you got the info from?

Lee, I sent you a pm, hope you got it

Thanks guys
Bill

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mak
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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by mak » October 22, 2009, 7:51 am

It's just an opinion.

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pienmash
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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by pienmash » October 22, 2009, 11:14 am

mak wrote:1. Don Bosco
2. Udon Phit
3. Rachinut
4. St. Mary's
5. Udonpichairak
6. Makhaeng
7. Christian
8. Tesaban 6
9. Marie
10. Prajak
my 9 yr old son goes to udon christian so far been very happy with it a tenth of the cost of his school in Pattaya and a dam sight better.
note number 1 on the list above Don Bosco , considered as the best school in town . i was not a happy chappy when enquired to get my son in as was outwardly asked to give the school a donation of minimum 10k bt under the table this not to garantee him a place this just to put his name on awaiting list for the year after suffice to say i told them to swivel.

because of our gipsey like lifestyle in Thailand my son and i have had numerous school changes from bkk , pattaya , khorat , buriram and now udon i can say the latter being the best by far.

good luck

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by TJ » October 22, 2009, 3:40 pm

When surveying opinions about Udon Thani schools, those of the local falang school teachers may be useful and easy to acquire. If you can force yourself to stop at the Irish Clock for a few cold ones in the evening you might chance upon a few teachers and make your inquires regarding the better schools.

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by Billg » October 22, 2009, 3:47 pm

Thanks TJ, for the benefit of my Daughter and ONLY for my Daughter I will force myself to go to the IC and enquire about cold ones,,, I mean my daughters education...

Thanks guys
Bill

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papaguido
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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by papaguido » October 23, 2009, 11:24 am

pienmash wrote:
note number 1 on the list above Don Bosco , considered as the best school in town . i was not a happy chappy when enquired to get my son in as was outwardly asked to give the school a donation of minimum 10k bt under the table this not to garantee him a place this just to put his name on awaiting list for the year after suffice to say i told them to swivel.
I have two that attend DB, one is in 2nd grade the other in pre-school. It took me a couple of years to figure things out, by no means I'm no expert, but may have some idea of how it works. The following is in reference to preschool & kindergarten only, not sure how the other grades work (however I believe an entrance exam is required for the higher grades, not sure at which grade the exams are required; donations are also requested should the candidate not pass the entrance exam).

First, open registration is held for approx 3 days about 3 months prior to the start of school. During this time you go to the school complete an application form and also need show house book and I think birth certificates. If the application is accepted, based on documentation provided an appointment will be made to come at a later date, about 2 weeks later.

At the appointment, you check in and are given a queue number (first come first serve). The meeting is somewhat of an interview, for us it was very basic and quick. As I understand it was because we already have a child attending DB (first time enrollments without siblings in the school the process is more detailed)

With that completed, we wait another week or 2 and they post the results at the school to find out if our child was accepted and her class number.

As I understand the priority given to 1st time enrollments:

The priority is given to children with siblings attending DB. After which it it becomes a matter of space available. I don't know how they determine what child gets in or not to fill the available class seats, but the asking of a donation comes in after the available seats have been filled.

My theory (in reference only to preschool/kindergarten) is that if there are 200 classroom seats available, a significant portion are made available to open registration applicants. Once those seats are filled, then the remaining seats are offered on donation and the seat goes to the highest bidder (as I understand it that's why there are no guarantees given that a child will get in).

Couple of notes:

1. In one case an acquaintance of my wife donated 60,000bt and was outbidded and her child never got in. I've also heard of some parents donating upwards of 80,000bt to "guarantee" a class seat.

2. My understanding of the money gained from donations goes to:

School projects
Teacher bonus
Audio/video equipment (every classroom is outfitted with LCD flat panel TV)
A/C in all classrooms

The above are was gathered from my observations, from asking questions and from other parents experiences.

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by NOLA » October 24, 2009, 12:39 pm

I speak from my own personal experience...On advice from my mother-in-law, who is a retired high school head master from the Thai school system, that Don Bosco and Udonphit are the best in Udon for university preparation...
With this advice, we took our daughter from St. Mary's when she finished grade number nine and transfered her to Don Bosco...She had to take an entrance exam and was then interviewed and accepted for grade number ten...I have never been asked for, or even heard of, any extra money as a bribe for a seat in the school...I would like to think that this bribery talk perhaps comes from someone whose child could not pass the exam or interview and they are putting this out in spite after trying to make an offer...And if it's true, well this IS Thailand.

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papaguido
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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by papaguido » October 24, 2009, 1:08 pm

NOLA wrote:I would like to think that this bribery talk perhaps comes from someone whose child could not pass the exam or interview and they are putting this out in spite after trying to make an offer...And if it's true, well this IS Thailand.
That's pretty much the way it is. My stepson failed the entrance exam for a technical school here in town, but a 20,000bt donation was asked for to get him in. In another case was my wife's friend son, wanted to transfer him to DB, but failed the entrance exam. A substantial donation would guarantee him a classroom seat. I've heard the same goes on at Udonpitt as it's a very popular school with the kids and parents with money will make a "donation" to ensure their child is guaranteed a class seat. TIT.

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by KHONDAHM » November 15, 2009, 6:59 pm

My 7 yo is attending an English program in Pattaya @THB 51k/term. We will be moving (back) to Udon late 2010 probably during the October break. We are interested in getting her into DB (preferred based on what I am hearing) or St. Mary's. She will be in P3.

For both schools:

Is it possible to get her in for the 2nd term? When do we need to apply for entrance for term 2? How much is tuition? I am sure she will crush any exam for P3, but how exactly does the "donation" thing work? Do we just walk in and hand over an envelope with an amount of our choosing in it?

Do they have a website? Can't seem to find one. Seems like they should have one given their standing and how advanced they are supposed to be. Finally, we do not want her brainwashed with religion. I am passive atheist and my wife is Buddhist and is raising our daughter to also be Buddhist. We do not want a school deciding she is going to be Catholic, Christian, etc. Do they force prayer, or other worship?

Thanks in advance! Cheers!

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by Jaz » November 17, 2009, 10:38 pm

KHONDAHM wrote:My 7 yo is attending an English program in Pattaya @THB 51k/term. We will be moving (back) to Udon late 2010 probably during the October break. We are interested in getting her into DB (preferred based on what I am hearing) or St. Mary's. She will be in P3.

For both schools:

Is it possible to get her in for the 2nd term? When do we need to apply for entrance for term 2? How much is tuition? I am sure she will crush any exam for P3, but how exactly does the "donation" thing work? Do we just walk in and hand over an envelope with an amount of our choosing in it?

Do they have a website? Can't seem to find one. Seems like they should have one given their standing and how advanced they are supposed to be. Finally, we do not want her brainwashed with religion. I am passive atheist and my wife is Buddhist and is raising our daughter to also be Buddhist. We do not want a school deciding she is going to be Catholic, Christian, etc. Do they force prayer, or other worship?

Thanks in advance! Cheers!
I can help a bit.

DB: http://www.donbosco.ac.th/index.html
St. Mary's: http://www.st-mary.ac.th/
(note: St. Mary's contains quite a few dead links)

DB is about 5000B per year, I think.
I really do not know about St. Mary's, but I do believe it is more expensive.

I am not quite sure about the donation.
You will probably have to contact either school about specific admission information/dates.

From my understanding, they do not regulate religion in either schools. I do not know too many girls from either school, but I have a few friends who go to St. Mary's and are very much Buddhist.

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by KHONDAHM » November 18, 2009, 2:32 pm

Jaz wrote:I can help a bit.

DB: http://www.donbosco.ac.th/index.html
St. Mary's: http://www.st-mary.ac.th/
(note: St. Mary's contains quite a few dead links)

DB is about 5000B per year, I think.
I really do not know about St. Mary's, but I do believe it is more expensive.

I am not quite sure about the donation.
You will probably have to contact either school about specific admission information/dates.

From my understanding, they do not regulate religion in either schools. I do not know too many girls from either school, but I have a few friends who go to St. Mary's and are very much Buddhist.
Excellent! Thank you. My daughter is fluent in English (and Thai, and Isaan). I want to put her in the school with the BEST program taught primarily in English. Would you say that these schools have the best English programs? If not, then which other school is the best?

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by laphanphon » November 18, 2009, 3:59 pm

ok, think the numbers above or wrong, DB is about 20 k a year, and st mary's is about 10 k a year, depending on grade. as far as i know, no school teaches in english, or has a good english program. the only real english she'll get is at home. written english lessons are scary enough, the conversational is worst.

my little village orphan goes to st mary's, 5th grade now, quite satisfied with that, except the english program, but she is fluent and actually competes occasionally, as the best speaker in the school. from going to the competitions, english definitely isn't a priority at any school, gov't or private.

at st mary's, which i'm personally anit-catholic, but sadly one of the better schools, and like the all girl thing, one less distraction, they do not push religion on the students, they get buddhist and christian classes, then can decide which they prefer, neither is forced on anyone. i think.

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by KHONDAHM » November 18, 2009, 5:35 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

Darn. I was hoping for a really good English program. LOVE the prices, though! \:D/

My problem is that my daughter tends to revert to her mother's broken English or just speak Thai and Isaan a bit more often than I would prefer when I am not around. I intend to send her to the States for her higher education, but not having a solid foundation in English schooling may be a problem down the road. I do not have time to home-school her like I did when we stayed in the States for awhile. Hmmm...I'll have to figure out how to get over that hump...

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by laphanphon » November 18, 2009, 6:45 pm

our house, english was all that was allowed in house, figure she'll get here issan anywhere, and thai in school. also dvd's in english help alot, whether movies or cartoons. we would sit and watch movies, and she would ask what they said, and i'd explain expressions and words she didn't know. they are little sponges. i wouldn't wait to long for 'higher' education. math seems real good, history here sucks, as they are changing it all the time, plus will have no reference to usa history, and science is lacking also. but sadly, one of the better schools. after 6th grade, i'm not sure how redundant the curriculum will be. i'm amazed at some of the things i see and hear, the textbooks, the teacher's interpretations. it really is sad, but again, they are a couple of the better schools.

ABC chart............e....is it egg, no....'eye'..........t...for top or table........no, t-shirt....and there was one more, but i forget, made no sense at all. science is a mix between the teachers instilled believe of voodoo BS, and textbook, some times the ignorance voodoo BS wins. history, thai history, so you know it's a lie to begin with, then they are changing the history every so often so no to offend any neighbors, or be PC correct. such as early wars between khmer empire, burmese, nan/laos were opposed to the wars being taught that they were brutal, men killed and women/children enslaved.........so they changed it so no so brutal. damn, wars back then were brutal, here and everywhere, the men are usually killed, woman and children taken as slaves workers, in every war from every empire. but not now, it is a kinder more gentler war. most don't know about the political uprising of students. or the coups, 18 of them, the every changing constitutions, along with only one PM actually finishing his term in office. it's quite a joke.............just like the news, everything is great here.

even somak, one of the last PM to get evicted, said only one person died during one uprising, though quoted at the time saying only 8. unconfirmed, possibly as many as 1500.

if you want to do your kids right, have them educated in usa, and tutored in thai, or home schooled for thai. the wife and thai movies should work.

good luck.

there's a couple threads on education, search and they may pop up. but here are some sad stats. from a discussion i had on another website about education.
Test scores fall for med school
The Nation April 7, 2009

Test scores for medical school slid slightly this year, due to the Advanced National Educational Test, which accounts for 70 per cent of admission criteria.

"This year, the Anet scores are rather low," Dr Boonmee Sathapatayavongs, chairwoman of the Consortium of Thai Medical Schools' direct admission panel, said yesterday.

"However, we've seen just a slight drop among our successful applicants."

The consortium posted the list of successful applicants in the evening on its website, http://www.cotmes.org, and its member medical schools' websites.

**Of 22,000 test-takers, only 1,491 will go to the next step - an interview with a consortium medical school.**

**Sit Assawaworarit from Triam Udom Suksa School emerged as the top scorer, with 79.12 out of 100 points. He has applied to Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Medicine.**

**The lowest score accepted by the consortium was 52.77 for Rangsit University's Faculty of Medicine.**
_____________________________________________________

Grade-12 students perform poorly across the board in all main subjects
The Nation April 7, 2009

'Easy' test, which weighs heavily in the university-admissions system, seems to be stumping high-school seniors

Grade-12 students have performed badly in the Ordinary National Educational Test (Onet) with their average scores from the past four years below 50 per cent in all main subjects.

"The statistics show most schools still have low standards," National Institute of Educational Testing Services (NIETS) director Utumporn Jamornmann yesterday said.

NIETS has held Onet for Grade-6, Grade-9 and Grade-12 students. The Onet scores for the 2008 Academic Year have just been announced via http://www.niets.or.th and some other web sites.

To Grade-12 students, the Onet scores are very important because they count in the university-admission system.

However, NIETS has found most students could not perform well in the Onet.

From 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 academic years, the students' average scores in Thai-language subjects were 49 out of 100. In social studies, the average scores stand at just 38.25 and students on average have scored only 30.28 in mathematics. The students' average scores in English language are also at a mere 32.12, and the average scores in science as low as 34.28.
"Onet is rather easy. Still, students can't do it well," Utumporn said.

A total of 343,859 Grade-12 students sat in the Onet in the 2008 Academic Year.

Utumporn said the Grade-12 students' Onet average scores during the past four years showed schools did not improve their services based on what Onet scores had reflected.

"Actually, school directors and teachers must make some improvements," Utumporn said, "We will send a full analysis to each school so that all schools know about their strengths and weak points. Onet scores are effective indicators".

Utumporn added that the schools would also be informed of their ranking in the country, based on their students' performance in Onet.

At the Grade-6 level, students' average scores in Thai-language, mathematics and science subjects stand at 42.02, 43.76 and 51.86 respectively for the 2008 Academic Year.

At the Grade-9 level, students' average scores in Thai-language, social studies, mathematics, English-language and science subjects are at 41.03, 41.36, 34.56, 32.63 and 39.38 respectively in the same academic year.
_________________

some more happy test scores, thai's own evaluation, as above is thai's own assessment, so no foreign prejudice, locals trying to point out the obvious, and falling on deaf ears.

http://thainews.prd.go.th/en/news.php?id=255204100002

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Re: Schooling in Udon Thani

Post by laphanphon » November 18, 2009, 6:59 pm

case in point, the links in quoted area no longer work or have information, everything is beautiful here.

i posted it on LP thorntree, guess higher ups thought it was a bit more than tourist need to know, and deleted it. very sad. :evil:

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