Phuket’s Alternative Pathway to Higher Education

Phuket’s Alternative Pathway to Higher Education 

(Earn a US High School Diploma in Kathu, Phuket)

Located in the heart of Kathu, Phuket, Phuket PALS is a school that has dared to be different over the past decade. Phuket PALS has built up a solid reputation for test preparation, international college placement and as a US High School Equivalency Diploma (GED) center. These three services allow Phuket PALS to help those seeking an alternative pathway to higher education.

Let’s jump into a time machine and travel back to the year 2009. Then Phuket PALS’ Directors, Mr. Michael R. Keag and Dr. Suttada Rueangsuttapha noted the polarized nature of education in Phuket: on the one hand, elite international schools offer students the chance to study the British curriculum, surrounded by young people from all around the world. This is an amazing opportunity for students to gain internationally recognized qualifications and learn about a diverse range of cultures. That said, the experience comes with a price tag that few in Phuket can afford.  On the other hand, the Thai education system comes at much more affordable price, but its diploma limits students’ options for third level education and work overseas. Thus, the Phuket PALS’ directors saw the need for a middle way between these two options and thus formed an exclusive partnership with GED Testing Services (USA) This partnership has flourished over the years allowing Phuket PALS to offer students a viable grade 12 diploma alternative, the GED.

The GED Diploma is a USA high school equivalency diploma, issued form The District of Columbia (USA) and is a grade 12 equivalent. This means students passing their GED are of a similar academic level than someone finishing grade 12 in the USA. In Thailand, the Ministry of Education recognizes the GED as being equivalent to a Mathayom 6 diploma. As a result, students have the option after GED of accessing higher education overseas or in Thailand.

Phuket PALS believes strongly in the need for this middle way as some teens struggle to reach their potential in a traditional educational setting. The reasons for this are endless, but the most common reasons are financial or social. Over the years too many youngsters have missed out on the chance to study in university simply because of financial or social reasons. After all, it’s not uncommon for a business to hit hard times. One must look at the devastating effects the 2020 Corona Virus has had on business in Phuket. Economic downturns are unpredictable, and often a student’s education is adversely affected as they are moved from one school to the next for financial reasons, most commonly from an international program to a Thai program. Likewise, some students find large group interaction challenging or who have suffered at the hands of bullies should never have to forget about their dreams to study abroad, but sadly this can bes the case. They, too, sometimes leave school and enter an educational environment in which they might feel isolated and culturally out of depth, separated from friends and teachers. Both aforementioned can have a detrimental effect on a student’s emotional and academic wellbeing.

This is the reason why the Phuket PALS GED Program is so invaluable, for it gives students an alternative way to earn a high school diploma, one that is certified, internationally recognized and affordable.

Phuket PALS forgoes with formalities such as uniforms, songs, flags and all the rest of the razzmatazz that goes with traditional schooling, rather focusing our learners on the core academic areas of Mathematics, Science, English and Social Studies. We have found over the year’s simplicity is what many students are craving, for often aspects of the traditional school system such as the long days, the uniforms and the endless customs and conventions wear some kids down. The GED Program gets kids to where there want to go in a streamlined fashion, cutting out extra school activities etc. and focusing on the core subjects already mentioned. This is not to say that Phuket PALS doesn’t see the value in extra activites, we do. The Phuket PALS GED Program day finishes at 15:30 giving students the opportunity to take part in sport, drama, art, music etc. in their free time, and many do.

At Phuket PALS our GED Program has small class sizes in which our learners have opportunities to be heard in a non-judgmental environment, allowing them to have a voice within the system. This is vital in order to give students space to think critically and speak out. Small classes also give students an increased amount of time to talk to their teacher and learn from their peers. This is important for those seeking clarification or expansion of concepts and ideas, boosting the confidence of struggling students and accelerating the learning of exceptional students.

Once students complete the GED program many doors of opportunity open. Phuket PALS’ students’ go to study with our partners in Singapore, Switzerland, the USA, the UK, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and of course in Thailand as well. We provide free consultations to discuss further education with all our students, making sure they progress to higher education with confidence.

If you feel that traditional schooling is not working for your child, then please get in touch with us here at Phuket PALS. One of our representatives will meet you in person or on the phone to discuss what our GED Program can do for you.

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