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Education ministry bans forced haircuts for students

Jack Burton

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Education ministry bans forced haircuts for students | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wall Street Journal

Just days after a teacher who forced a pupil to submit to a haircut was reprimanded and made to apologise, Thailand’s Ministry of Education has issued a letter instructing all schools under its jurisdiction to repeal the 1975 regulations regarding students’ hairstyle and length, and forbidding the arbitrary cutting of students’ hair at school. The practice has long been used by teachers as a ‘punishment’ to shame students in front of their peers.

The permanent secretary of education, who also serves as spokesman for the Education Ministry, says schools that still enforce the 1975 regulation must also adopt the 2005 regulation stating that punitive actions against students are limited to warnings, probation, demerits and performing social activities.

Commenting on the case earlier this week at a high school in the northeastern province of Si Sa Ket, in which a girl student was forced to have her hair cut in front of other students during the flag raising ceremony, he said that the school administrator exceeded his authority.

The girl’s mother was so upset over the forced haircut, which she described as a deliberate public shaming of the girl in front of her peers, she threatened to move her daughter to another school. The director of the provincial education office has reportedly asked the mother to delay moving her daughter to another school while officials try to resolve the problem.

The incident, posted on social media, has drawn widespread criticism of the school administration’s behaviour.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Kevin Skinner

    Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    Disgusting behaviour by a teacher. I hope they are no longer one.

  2. Avatar

    Terence Kinnear

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 4:33 am

    In some countries this would be classified as an assault.

  3. Avatar

    dinesh

    Monday, July 13, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    time for schools to stop abusing the right to blast their announcements via the speaker system and causing damage to children who know any better. Most thai schools still amplify their announcements which can be heard a few sois away from the actual venue. this must be horrifying for children who have to put up with this invasion or noise pollution.

    would be helpful if you do an article on this. thai schools vs internationa, schools who have adopted a better system which doesnt effect children.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in North East Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Education

Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation”

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Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation” | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Student protests led to one student not graduating due to being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”

After participating in protests for student’s rights, a Phuket student was barred from graduating 9th grade, moving from middle school to high school, charged with being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”. The student had advocated against mandatory uniforms and for student’s liberties. He told reporters that the school started paying attention to his actions last year when he participated in rallies in solidarity with students across Thailand. The school’s student affairs office received a copy of posts he made on social media encouraging others to join the cause. The school ordered a stop to his political actions, but he and his friends disregarded warnings and violated school rules when they handed out white ribbons to classmates. They received a warning from the student affairs office.

Student protests have increased after pro-democracy demonstrations surged in July last year, empowering many Thai people to speak out against injustices, including students’ rights and liberties. People from schools across the nation have been banding together in solidarity to bring their issues to public light.

On graduation day, all the students were promoted into high school, except for the one student protestor, says the Bad Student protest group. The theme of the day focused on dedication to the monarchy, country and religion, and specifically how students should be obedient. The student said he has received support from friends, but his parents remain neutral and his teachers have been completely silent on the matter. He is frustrated that he was punished for his right to express himself. He plans on testing with incoming students to re-enrol in the same school, and if he is not accepted because of the disloyalty charge, he will pursue legal ramifications, suing the school for blocking his right to an education over the student’s protests.

The student believes he needs to speak out to prevent school administrators from imposing on more students’ rights. He advocates for diversity in schools and ending prejudices, with increased liberties and freedoms for students.

“Schools must teach children to be able to think by themselves, not force children to think like them. Schools should create opportunities for students to express their ideas more freely.”

SOURCE: Prachatai

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Thailand’s first female Education Minister targets bullying in schools

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Thailand’s first female Education Minister targets bullying in schools | Thaiger

Thailand’s first female education minister is targetting bullying in schools as part of 3 policies she says she will start implementing today. Trinuch Thienthong, an MP from the coalition – core Palang Pracharath Party, says she will promote safety at schools, access to digital resources and knowledge and campaign for vocational education.

Trinuch says Thailand’s schools, must be free of bullies and child abuse. She says those who abuse students will face “decisive action.” Thailand has made the news often in terms of bullying incidents as corporal punishment, although illegal, is still widely practised with educator’s often receiving little to no repercussions. As Thailand’s culture practises obeying those older and higher in status, most victims of abuse stay quiet or are blamed.

Recently, a franchised school sent shock waves through the nation after a teacher was caught on CCTV hitting and dragging a kindergarten student in class. The issue made headlines causing many to take a stand against such punishment in schools. After investigating, officials revealed that many teachers in government schools are not licenses, and therefore, do not have the training necessary to understand the psychological effects of such abuse on children. Student protesters also made a point of bringing a taboo subject to light with many being criticised even for doing so.

The issue of skin colour is also a subject in which students can be bullied. Many Thais pass on their views of skin colour to their children, who may then pass on those views to their peers. Patriarchy is alive and well in Thailand, with many of the students who brought such bullying to light, said they were discriminated against as females.

Trinuch says the Ministry of Education would also ensure that they share the knowledge and skills that were necessary for people of the 21st century and push for the development of adequate internet networks and relevant equipment to ensure public access to digital resources. The minister says Thailand suffers from a shortage of vocational workers and parents could plan a good future for their children by sending them to vocational schools.

SOURCE: TNA.MCOT

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Education

Thai students want university entrance exams postponed citing fears over their futures

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Thai students want university entrance exams postponed citing fears over their futures | Thaiger

Thousands of Thai students are wanting their university entrance exams postponed over fears of their futures being impacted by Covid-19. #Courtpetitionsforexampostponement is now trending on Twitter after 6 students submitted a plea to the Central Administrative Court.

The Mathayom 6 students received help for their plea from Pheu Thai Party spokeswoman Arunee Kasayanond in lieu of exams scheduled to begin tomorrow, unless the Court intervenes. Nearly 10,000 students have signed the petition to postpone the exams, after complaining that Covid-19 has disrupted their studies and preparations for the Thai University Central Admission System.

The second wave of Covid, which started last December, saw students taking to online learning in 28 provinces, in which many say has not been ideal. Many are stating they returned to classes for only a month, and feel less prepared to sit the exams.

The TCAS matches students with universities majors of their choice using several admission rounds for applicants, with exam scores being the most important in determining which university they can attend. Despite the push to postpone the exams, education authorities have recently said that the exams will go ahead as scheduled.

According to Thai PBS World, Chulalongkorn University president and head of the University Presidents Council of Thailand, says exams will go ahead because more than 250,000 students had already prepared to sit the exams this weekend. Even more students are scheduled to take another type of university entrance exam next weekend.

“Many more students are worried about the exams being postponed. So, even though some have spoken up [against the exam schedule], we need to make a decision based on the bigger picture and the majority.”

But Athapol Anunthavorasakul, who teaches at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education, has agreed with students’ postponement requests, given that they will be forced to sit for up to 35 tests in less than 1 month.

“Before [authorities] make a decision, they should imagine what it feels like to take 25 to 35 exams in merely 26 days.”

Athapol says that universityworldnews.com shows that several countries have already put off exams over concerns for their students’ readiness.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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