Samantha Dalley: What sports are popular in Thailand? Do they have a national sport?
The most popular sport, bar none, is Thai boxing. It is taught in school and I have seen gyms along the side of roads. Any Thai bar (that isn’t catering to tourists) will seem to have an event on the TV. I also saw kids playing soccer and I have heard that the people enjoy canoeing (but this I did not see). But most certainly Thai boxing is more popular than all the other sports combined.
Jade Roberts: What are the schools like in Phuket? What sort of programs do they offer?
School is mandatory for all children up to Grade 9. From Grades 10 – 12 you can follow an academic or a vocational education.
In talking to people here there are five core subjects to learn up to and including Grade 9 — Thai history, reading and writing, languages, math and religion. I have read that teaching quality in some public schools is not as good because they have a hard time keeping the good teachers away from the international, private schools which are higher paying jobs.
All the students have use of computers as we have in our schools, although I was told a calculator cannot be used for math until starting Grade 10. International schools must have a curriculum approved by the Thai authorities and students are those whose families can afford it, or children of Farang, (non Thai) who want their kids to have an English education. There are a lot of foreign teachers in these schools. Again I could not get a great deal of information on this subject. I invite you to read about it on the Internet. There are some interesting articles and this is where I learned about the teaching shortage for public schools.