PATTANI – In an attempt to counter the massive exodus of teachers from the troubled Deep South region of Thailand, the government announced a new TV reality show that would award a grand prize of Bt10 million to one lucky southern teacher who survives 2013.
“Survivor: Education!” will be a co-production of Grammy Entertainment and Channel 3, and will feature as contestants all remaining teachers in Thai public schools in the three provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat.
Any educator who has not been blown up, beheaded, or shot by midnight on December 31 will be given a chance to go to the final round, in which they will take on even higher-risk jobs like rubber tapper and market stall operator.
The last living teacher will win the BT10 million prize as well as a safe teaching job in Chiang Mai or Krabi.
“It’s an extreme way to do things, but these are extreme circumstances,” explained Somrak Narongwichai, Channel 3’s managing director. “We need to keep teachers in the south, and we think reality TV is the way to do it.”
The format will involve interviewing the teachers to allow the audience to get to know them and their backgrounds, including short films about their families, hopes and dreams. TV crews will be stationed at the teachers’ schools to document their daily work and lives, while stationary cameras will provide round-the-clock footage to be broadcast on a dedicated website.
“It will be very similar to Academy Fantasia,” explained Somrak. “Except, of course, that all but one of them will die horribly.”