With just one hour of English classes per week in primary schools, it is no surprise that most Thais have little to no ability to speak the language. The government wants to change that.

The Ministry of Education has embarked on a program to ensure that all primary schoolchildren are able to speak enough English to handle everyday situations within 10 years.

Deputy Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin unveiled a plan this week that calls for drastic changes to the English language curriculum in schools, including more classes, new textbooks and an intensive training program for top teachers who will become "master trainers" for other teachers.

A ministry official confirmed to The Associated Press the details of the plan, published in Thai media. The official cannot be identified under government rules.