Readers' Submissions

Qualifications for “Stick”

  • Written by Grumpy
  • June 16th, 2006
  • 4 min read


“We’re all of us lying in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars”Oscar Wilde

Has long been one of my favorite quotes. Sanuk maybe?

I’m intrigued at some of the comments about Thailand’s teaching “qualifications” made on this site. For many years in the UK I ran a small computer training school largely focused on teaching customers at night. Back in the late 90’s we were invited to do “Teach the Teacher” training sessions in computers for local schools. All went well for a while & the overstretched teachers were relieved that these contraptions were not so difficult after all. But we were finding it difficult to cope with the demand. Sometimes, we were asked to teach the children, which could be a joy, sometimes a real pain.

But then came an ominous “What are your Teachers' Qualifications” from one of the thousands of bureaucrats infecting the system.

Now my staff were the masters of their subject & empathized like crazy with their students, so in my humble opinion they were pretty good teachers. But none had a “teaching qualification” and insofar as I am aware, none had a degree either. I was not, nor ever will be, interested in a bit of paper, just in my employees' ability.

So I was asked to provide only “qualified” teachers. Am I supposed to sack my staff? Where am I to get teachers with IT skills. I thought we were….. I threw in the towel rather than tackle this absurdity. Protectionism, the abomination of the age.

In a former life I was a guest speaker at Harvard University and their “shove it down your throat” teaching methodology really shocked me. Diabolical. This is qualifications at work?
Your correspondent is singularly unimpressed with “But you have to have some standards! “Why? Are you too lazy to do quality checks yourself? A good or bad teacher can be spotted within 5 minutes of their being in action, their CV being irrelevant.

Maybe the Thais should issue “Sanuk” certificates, Great smile, good f… etc. There are examples of this rampant protectionism all round us.

Police Protectionism

I also ran a taxi company (an interesting contrast) & one seemingly innocuous day I was a snooze on a taxi rank when I was rammed by a drunken army officer. Mercifully (I thought) the police were on hand for an arrest and I was duly given his name & address in the presence of the boys in blue. Now, dear hearts, insurance for a taxi company is no small matter, gigantic is a term which seems appropriate, and my renewal was coming up. So I naively elected to claim myself, rather than through my insurance company. The first surprise came when the address was wrong, the second, a real shock, when the police point blank refused to give me the correct details. “Data protection act “. That’s right, victims of crimes in the UK are not allowed to have the personal details of their attackers.
Classic Police protectionism. “Our job not yours”.

This process ends up with a poor farmer in East Anglia bring imprisoned for shooting a burglar with a knife. I won’t bore you with my own details but eventually I won a horrendous battle with the both the Police & the British Army courtesy of a sympathetic judge.

What to Do about This?

How about a “Tourists” certificate. “This man is Sanuk” “This man is a sucker” or best “this man is a rich sucker”

Electricians' Protectionism

It seems that both the Data Protection Act & The Electricians Act got past Maggie Thatcher, for now, by law, I am not allowed to correct a faulty wire & electricity repair fees are not surprisingly at gigantic levels too.

This process ends up with an old man being incinerated in a nursing home because the staff are not allowed to cover an exposed wall wire, caused when he fell trying to shave
If I return I am half expecting to see “Glass Panel Maintenance Engineers”, government approved to repair my broken window.

Nursing Protectionism

Fantastic this one. Methinks that Florence Nightingale wanted Nurses who could make sure that an ailing Dana could reach his dinner (I said dinner). But no, nurses write theses on antibiotic developments while “care workers” do the problematic business of actually attending to patients needs.

At “Little Venice” in London there used to be a Theatre Pub. You could go in when you wanted, smoke or not, eat or not, join in the performance or not. Great stuff! For a few hours, out of this mad sausage machine which is modern life. Freedom!
Maybe, just maybe, Thai Bars serve the same purpose. Expat teachers in Saigon hit the bars just as often as those in Thailand. Maybe it’s the only way they can cope
So now what?

I propose that bar girls should be approved & certified

Oral skills?

Pretty legs?

Cheap?

Lying level?

Sanuk level? (the only important one)

Do you think we would bother to read them? Or just blow them away & test for quality ourselves as we should with teachers nurses electricians and their like.

And then, and then maybe the Stick should require qualifications for his writers. Any ideas?

Stickman's thoughts:

Ummm….is this really Thailand related?