So today is our final day in Muang Loei and aside from printing off a few exam scores later we’re supposed to sit in our office from 7.30-4.30 as we did yesterday as well (insert grumpy face here). There’s not a lot to do in our office but luckily we do have the internet and our laptops so it’s not completely horrendous and seeing as how they originally wanted us to continue doing this until March 24th I guess we’ve got off lightly!

Last week was exam week and to tell the truth it was a very silly week where we all felt a bit like we were being given stuff to do for the sake of it. The reason being is that apparently in all of Thailand education (primary through to uni) every so-called test is actually just an exercise in whether the kid decides to sit next to the brainiest kid in class, or if the Thai teacher walks past at the right moment to give them the correct answer (including how to spell the answer) or whether the kid has the answer sheet to hand. Everyone must pass by at least 60%.. this isn’t a thing where if the kid doesn’t achieve that score we then have to re-test them until they achieve it, oh no, this is where we spend 5 months teaching then we devise our own exams, hold the exams in our classrooms without support and then mark them only to receive the news that all this is kind of pointless as you’ll now need to fudge the test scores to show that everyone (including those who were absent or spent the hour colouring in) got at least 60%.

At first we thought it was because they don’t take conversational English seriously, then we realised that it’s all subjects and then we find out that this is a Thai education thing!

We asked why? They don’t seem to know this word so it always brings a confused look. Apparently it’s just the way things are done.

It’s a shame that the kids who did actually do well in the exams have to share equal success with those that couldn’t even be bothered to show up or write anything and it really makes you wonder why they a)bother with exams in the first place and b)did doctors and other people in positions of responsibility in Thailand have a different education or when does a test become a real test? After uni?

We wanted to fight the system and fail the kids who didn’t show and those that drew cat pictures all over their test sheets but we also want to move on and sitting in this office until March 24th whilst they berate us about sufficiently fudging the scores until we eventually relent out of boredom is not high on my priority list. Doesn’t mean I agree with it or I’m happy about it though.

Onwards and upwards.

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