Situation in Thailand

canadhist
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:02 am

Situation in Thailand

Post by canadhist »

We accepted offers in Thailand to start August 2021. A big part of the interview process focused on discussing covid, and the HOS made a point of reassuring us that everything was open in-person and that, after a possible quarantine (paid for by the school, but he implied that this would likely not be necessary by the time we arrive) we would be in "the best place to be" covid-wise. A major selling point to us was the fact that schools have been in-person since the start of the schools year 2020-2021. We are now hearing that that is not the case, and that the country's covid situation has drastically changed and that schools have had to switch between in-person and online multiple times this school year. This was not communicated to us accurately during the interviews. We are having significant second thoughts about continuing our plan to move to Thailand in August. How would this be received by the school? Would we be blacklisted?
sid
Posts: 1277
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by sid »

Did things change after you interviewed, in which case it's not fair to say that things were misrepresented. Or were they already switching online/physical before you interviewed? And are you sure your source is more accurate than the person who spoke at interview? Is there a difference between what "schools" and "your school" experienced?

How would a reneged contract be received? The school is unlikely to appreciate it, is the best I can say. Before you go that route, make sure you have the most accurate information about what is happening.

If you renege, your recruiting agency will probably refuse to work with you again. If it's Search, you'd be held responsible for paying the placement fee. You may feel the situation has changed since you signed, and they will point out that you were rolling the dice by signing a contract you only intended to honor if the pandemic behaved itself the way you wanted.
wander
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:05 pm

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by wander »

The situation probably changed after you interviewed based on the data I see for Thailand. I would still say Thailand is much better off than a lot of the world. There are very few places you could go in August that won't still be feeling some effects from Covid for a while. I think you should stick with your commitment.
shadowjack
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by shadowjack »

I haven't heard this from my friends in Thailand. Perhaps it is just some locations?
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

Regardless of how @Sid feels if your recruiter/leaders knew of something they were under obligation to discuss it with you, so either your other sources are wrong or your recruiter isnt being forthcoming with you. I expect its the latter. They either allowed themselves to be ignorant and negligent in the state of current affairs which is critical in recruiting given the present conditions or they misrepresented how ever marginally the present conditions. Neither one of those options is positive.

If you withdraw your contract acceptance the IS is likely to be unhappy. If your repped by a premium agency (SA) they may and are likely to cease repping you. You wont get a refund in this case and they may demand you remit the placement fee to them. There isnt much they can do to enforce this, and you could negotiate with your associate something if it came to that. In general however SA tends to side with ISs over ITs. Its not unlikely that at a future point if youve been working your associate might work with you again.

You could also point out that given the nature of the pandemic everyone is rolling the dice and taking a chance, but this isnt about the pandemic this is about you having a good faith belief with support that the contract on offer was misrepresented and that neither the IS nor SA is going to compensate you for anything if 'pandemic' is used as an escape clause by the IS to nullify the contract.

All said, and I really suggest you do some deeper research into the state of affairs at your IS and the region in Thailand your relocating to as your other sources may not be entirely accurate, assuming they are though and you want to withdraw, you would be in a much stronger position if you were to secure yourself a new appointment using the resources you have prior to notifying your contracting IS that you are withdrawing. You will be in a far better position moving forward with your job search doing do. Dont worry about the IS they will be fine regardless of how long your delayed in notifying them and they wouldnt hesitate to do the same to you if it fit their narrative better.
Verano
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 05, 2020 3:11 pm

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by Verano »

As far as I know, the situation in Thailand has changed recently due to the increase in Covid19 cases. There are very few countries that have controlled the . in a way that it would be safe to continue onsite teaching. Some countries look like they are doing better than others because of the number of infected cases. However, look closely at the population, because it is possible that the ratio of the covid19 cases are way higher than you thought or vice versa.

It is your life, and you have the right to make the right decision for you: Whatever you feel comfortable doing and not regretting is the right decision.
Heliotrope
Posts: 962
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by Heliotrope »

As @Sid said, if the school told you in the interview they have been teaching in-person, but it turns out they have been teaching online instead before the interview, then they lied and you have a reason to be upset.

However, up till very recently (first spike around Feb 1st) the numbers were very low in Thailand, so they probably were teaching in-person until that spike.
You can hardly fault the school for being responsible enough to switch to online teaching (although it might have been government-mandated). They can't be held responsible for not knowing the numbers would go up.

There's a second spike happening right now in Thailand, although compared to most Western countries the per numbers are still relatively low.
By the end of the Summer the numbers are likely a lot lower than now, but no-one can know for sure of course. Thailand has been handling the pandemic very well though, so the school's claim of Thailand being the best place to be was justified (Taiwan and New Zealand handled it better though).

I wouldn't worry, chances are good you will be teaching in-person.
If they did lie to you about not having been teaching online before you had the interview, that would be a reason to scrutinize the school and contact some members of staff to ask if this is indicative of how the school operates, and if so, you could reconsider. But I assume you did your research before accepting the offer.
grdwdgrrrl
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 6:26 pm

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by grdwdgrrrl »

There was a second wave that started mid December so we were online after Christmas break until the beginning of February. Now, we are in a third wave. This time centered in Bangkok. Schools have had parents test positive and teachers test positive. A lot of complacent, naughty behavior is to blame considering the establishments at the center of this problem.
My school’s holiday ends today and we will be teaching online from tomorrow. The initial hope is for us to go back in person by May 3.
No one planned this, it just happened. However, it’s interesting that we follow other countries’ waves about 3 or 4 weeks later. Also, currently, the UK strain has been detected. So, Thailand is doing well, but it’s not perfect. Although the government says it’s vaccinated 4 or 500,000 people or more, I certainly haven’t and no other teacher I know has been vaccinated. Cross fingers we can get the jab soon.
Illiane_Blues
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:56 pm

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by Illiane_Blues »

Here's a timeline: https://www.google.com/search?q=covid+n ... n+thailand
They def handled it waaaaaaaay better than US or UK.
expatscot
Posts: 251
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:26 am

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by expatscot »

I think Thailand has generally done well - certainly, when colleagues who moved there over the summer went through quarantine, it was a lot more pleasurable than those of us who did it in China!

If it's the online learning which bothers you - don't get too concerned about it. If it's a good school, then it will have procedures in place which by now are well established, unlike most UK schools. Certainly, when we went back online after Christmas it was just like flicking a switch - we knew what we were doing and what the expectations of the school, parents, kids and colleagues all were.

On the plus side - if you're online, then is there really a requirement to stay at home? I know of people who managed to escape Bangkok and are now teaching from their beachside hotel.....
JDK
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:41 pm
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by JDK »

canadhist wrote:
> We accepted offers in Thailand to start August 2021. A big part of the
> interview process focused on discussing covid, and the HOS made a point of
> reassuring us that everything was open in-person and that, after a possible
> quarantine (paid for by the school, but he implied that this would likely
> not be necessary by the time we arrive) we would be in "the best place
> to be" covid-wise. A major selling point to us was the fact that
> schools have been in-person since the start of the schools year 2020-2021.
> We are now hearing that that is not the case, and that the country's covid
> situation has drastically changed and that schools have had to switch
> between in-person and online multiple times this school year. This was not
> communicated to us accurately during the interviews. We are having
> significant second thoughts about continuing our plan to move to Thailand
> in August. How would this be received by the school? Would we be
> blacklisted?

Assuming you interviewed and accepted the position prior to January, the HOS was being accurate, as mandated closures have only occurred twice since that time. Up to December 2020 school campuses had been open with basic safeguarding measures in place, including social distancing, temperature checks, etc. A spike in cases leading up to the holiday (from a shrimp market in the province immediately southwest of Bangkok) led to the Ministry of Education ordering a closure of all schools from January 4-31. They were then able to reopen for in-person learning again in February.

The more recent spike began in early April before Songkran and was directly tied to nightclubs. (See https://www.thaienquirer.com/26322/covi ... fe-cluster) It has since spread across a wide range of demographics and locations. As Songkran is the most significant Thai holiday, many people leave Bangkok to return to their home provinces, which in turn spread clusters to other locations. (See https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... irus-surge as one example) Due to the escalating numbers, more mandatory campus closures have been enforced. In Bangkok the governor ordered all schools to shift to online learning through Sunday, May 9, and it's likely that this will be extended to at least mid-May.

In short, schools could have predicted specific outbreaks like this (nor is it their job to), and the extended closures in January and at present were both ordered at short notice. As a few others have already pointed out, a few other factors should be taken into consideration:

1: Looking at the globe picture, Thailand is still generally safer than most other countries and did fairly well in managing cases up to this point. If the current outbreak can be managed through the ongoing restrictions, this will likely continue to be the case.

2: The Thai government is still sticking to its plan of further reducing entry requirements and reopening the country almost entirely by October. Whether this will be feasible is up in the air and will likely be partly dependent on how quickly vaccinations occur over the summer.

3: Schools here have largely been able to implement in-person learning for most of the school year, but there could be further mandated closures after May if the situation does not improve. If this is a sticking point for you, it's going to be a challenge to find an ideal position anywhere, as further unexpected outbreaks could occur (and are occurring) in countries all over the world.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

Its not there yet but if you must have a salary come fall, have a backup IS.
canadhist
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:02 am

Re: Situation in Thailand

Post by canadhist »

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts.
Needless to say, at this point, we are thinking that the safest move is to let the school know that we are not able to come to Thailand anymore.
The news we are receiving about what is going on there (Bangkok in particular) and how the government is handling vaccines is not encouraging. We have friends there now at more than one school and we feel that the safest thing for us to do is to go back to our home country where the situation is much better.
Any advice on the best way to do this?
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@canadhist

Yes, dont tell them. Youre not looking at getting a reference from them. Just keep playing along with them and hope that either COVID directly keeps you from getting in, not your fault, nothing you can do about it, and your not withdrawing your contract acceptance or breaking contract. If COVID doesnt directly keep you out, you can use COVID to claim a dependent got it or some other COVID related emergency and your really sorry you have to prioritize their health and health care. The outcome of both of those is likely going to be a lot better for you than withdrawing your contract acceptance at this point which they may (very likely) interpret as breaking contract. They will not be happy either way, and either way they will be fine. Extraordinary or unavoidable circumstances are much easier to accept than what sounds like your scared of the . and are having second thoughts over a contract you went into knowing that a global pandemic was going on.
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