The City

Phitsanulok is an important, historic city in lower northern Thailand. Phitsanulok province stretches all the way to the Laos border, covering an area of 10,815 square kilometres, featuring mountains, plains and forests in the east. It is one of the oldest cities in Thailand and the crossroad between the northern and central regions of the country. Phitsanulok is without doubt the most prominent city in the province.

Located 377 km from Bangkok, it is rich in historical, cultural and natural attractions. The Nan River, lifeline of the province, runs through the heart of the city. Things to see in Phitsanulok include the ‘Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Temple’ locally known as "Wat Yai". It is considered the most important temple in Phitsanulok containing the famous Phra Phutthachinnarat image. Also, Namtok Chattrakan National Park, located in Ban Pak Rong, Chattrakan district. There are also many other beautiful waterfalls to experience. The night bazzaar is where you can pick up many bargains, and not forgetting the long boat racing and many other annual events. Phitsanulok is also the home of a major Royal Thai Army base.

Centrally located, Phitsanulok is easily accessable by air, train and bus from all the surrounding regions and countries. Many travellers pass through Phitsanulok on their way to and from the north. Travelling in and around the city is easy as there are many kinds of public transport available.

Education

There are various types of educational institutions within the city and province. Such as private and international schools, as well as colleges and universities.

Private Schools

One of the most renowned and revered private institutions within Phitsanulok is without doubt Teeratada Phitsanulok School. Providing outstanding learning opportunities to students of kindergarten, primary and lower-secondary levels. And while the school still recognizes the significance and importance of traditional values, its eyes are set firmly on the future and all the technological advancements that it can bring. This is a school that does not rest on its laurels, but constantly strives to build on past achievements. Ever since its inception in 1997, the school has placed great emphasis and significance on the English language, with more study hours per week devoted to the subject than any other school in the province. The culmination of this important language building exercise is that years 8 and 9 (M2, M3) are given the opportunity to sit the internationally recognised IELTS test, strictly administered by the British Council, with many of the students achieving exceptional scores for their age.

Government Schools

Education is compulsory for all children from ages six to fifteen. It is not compulsory for preschool children to attend school, however, there are facilities for children aged three to five to attend nursery and preschool.

Parents are required to pay a nominal fee for books and necessities. They are also required to buy a school uniform. Some government schools run an English-language programme that may be available to foreign students, but there are fees for this.

International Schools

The facilities and quality of teaching in international schools is of a high standard and the class sizes are small. The curriculum may vary between schools although most follow either the American or British curriculum. International school students study internationally recognised courses such as AP, GCE “A” Level, IGCSE and the IB, which allows them to attend higher education institutes in countries outside Thailand. Thai studies are a compulsory subject in international schools as in government schools. Most international schools offer wide ranging extra curricula activities including sports, arts, dance and community service.

One of the most successful international institutions in Phitsanulok is Cambridge College (Thailand). Opening its doors in 2011, it is rapidly becoming one of the most recognized and successful colleges within the province. Having strong associations and links with Cambridge Regional College in the UK, Cambridge has now come to Thailand. By following the an adaptation of the UK curriculum, CCT has successfully managed to integrate the UK educational system and all the benefits that it brings. Therefore, it is no longer necessary for students to endure the cost and stress of travelling abroad to further and advance their education, as CCT is now on their doorstep. Being easliy accessable from all provinces and neighbouring countries, CCT has recognized the need to provide a genuine home-from-home location for their students. Set in a beautiful and peaceful area, the college provides a comfortable but stimulating study environment, which serves to promote positive learning and attitude. The college is open to years 7,8 and 9 (Key Stage 3) and years 10 and 11 (IGCSE).  Whilst the Key Stage 3 format follows the framework set out by the English National Curriculum, years 10 and 11 focus solely on IGCSE, which enables them to gain entry to any university in the world or take up some form of occupation in any country. Students at CCT are constantly pushed to be the best that they can be, and they gladly meet the challenge head-on. Some of CCT’s previously graduated students are currently furthering their studies at Cambridge Regional College in the UK and other leading British educational institutions.

Vocational Colleges

Probably the most well-known vocational institution in Phitsanulok is Phitsanulok Technical Commercial School. A formal vocational and technical education conducted at three levels: upper secondary (leading to the Lower Certificate of Vocational Education), post secondary (leading to a Diploma or Vocational Associate Degree) and university level (leading to a Degree). There are many students enrolled in the various vocational study pathways. Eight fields of study are undertaken as majors: trade and industry, agriculture, home economics, fisheries, business and tourism, arts and crafts, textiles and commerce.

Universities

The major universities in Phitsanulok are Naresuan University and  Pibulsongkram Rajabhat University. Both are well-respected institutions establishments in their own right. Naresuan is a government sponsored university that was established in 1990, which was the 400th anniversary of the start of the reign of Phitsanulok-born King Naresuan the Great. The university has about 20,000 full-time students.  Pibulsongkram Rajabhat University was first established in 1926.  It offered two years of training to students who desire was  to become teachers in government schools.

I hope that you have been given a brief insight into some of the educational faciltities that are available in Phitsanulok, an ever expanding city with lots to offer. Whether it be education, entertainment, historical knowledge or sightseeing, Phitsanulok has all these things in abundance. I can only conclude by inviting you to come and see for yourself, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

 

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