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Education Ministry urged to tackle sexual abuse of students

Jack Burton

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Education Ministry urged to tackle sexual abuse of students | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Peach State Realty
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92 organisations have demanded the Education Ministry ramp up proactive measures to stamp out sexual abuse of schoolchildren, following recent scandals in 3 provinces. Representatives yesterday handed a letter to the education minister, urging him to take action. They also submitted a list of some 10,000 people who signed a petition via change.org supporting the call.

The manager of the Women’s Wellbeing and Gender Justice Program says schools should be safe havens for children, and called on the Education Ministry not to stand idly by letting children and their parents seek justice on their own.

She says the ministry, must step up and file lawsuits against offending teachers, offer legal help to victims’ families and provide victims with protection and counselling.

“If teachers or education personnel are found guilty of sex crimes, the ministry must dish out severe punishment by sacking them and revoking their teaching licences.”

She believes the ministry must also come up with aggressive measures to prevent such incidents in schools and set up independent mechanisms employing experts to handle complaints. According to her, school directors and teachers must have guidelines on protecting children’s rights and gender equality.

After formally receiving the letter, the minister said he has set up a centre to help victims and protect other schoolchildren from further abuse. He said the network’s proposals will be used when drawing up future preventive measures.

“Rest assured. The Education Ministry will not let wrongdoers remain in education circles and ruin the reputation of other teachers and schools.” he said.

Early this month, police charged 7 men – 5 teachers and 2 alumni of a school in Mukdahan province – with gang-raping a 14 year old student over course of a year. 3 of the teachers were also charged with the rape of a 16 year old student.

Also this month, a 39 year old teacher in Buri Ram was accused of molesting a 12 year old girl. Last month, a primary school director in Phetchabun was charged with abusing a student in a video that went viral.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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.

International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Universities

“Bad Medical Student” group takes to Twitter to discuss downfalls of medical industry in Thailand

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“Bad Medical Student” group takes to Twitter to discuss downfalls of medical industry in Thailand | The Thaiger

A new group, inspired by the Bad Student protesters, has taken to naming itself Bad Medical Students, as it stormed Twitter to reveal the downfalls of studying medicine in Thailand. The hashtag #นักศึกษาแพทย์เลว (Bad Medical Student), has now gained over 86,000 Tweets after the Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Chiang Mai university encouraged the group to voice their take on the industry. Dr. Manoch Chokchamsai, posted on his Facebook page:

“Let’s hear some noise from the Bad Medical Students. Talk about the things the [medical] faculty wouldn’t want to hear.”

The message gained over 670 comments and was shared by 3,400 people on Facebook. Now, it is the top trending topic on Twitter, prompting many medical students, interns and residents to expose what they say is the toxic work culture in the Thai medical industry. Such allegations range from sexual harrassment, abusive workloads, verbal and emotional abuse, gender discrimination and many more. One Twitter user says she was discriminated against because she was a woman.

“Some professors treat med students with double standards. The management was the same, but I was verbally abused and looked down upon because I am not a man… yep.”

“I was screamed at by a medical staff right in the middle of the ward and told to go jump off a building and kill myself. I didn’t, because I didn’t want to die and just didn’t want to see their face.”

“We should not be romanticizing working beyond human powers as sacrifice, such as being on call for 24 hours and working for another right. This practice is probably held at every hospital, because I have witnessed it everywhere.”

Thailand’s medical education industry has long been rumoured to be toxic, but the issue has never been publicly addressed apart from news reports that have shone a light into what happens behind closed doors, which has prompted some students, residents, and interns to take their own lives.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

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Education

The King to give royal land title deeds valued at 10 billion baht to universities

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The King to give royal land title deeds valued at 10 billion baht to universities | The Thaiger

King Vajiralongkorn is set to give royal land title deeds worth 10 billion baht, to 2 universities and 2 schools today in a ceremony at Bangkok’s Dusit Palace. The title deeds cover more than 100 rai of land along the Ratchawithi Road in Dusit district. Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University will receive deeds that cover 60 rai, while Suan Dusit University will receive deeds that cover more than 37 rai.

Anek Laothamatas, the Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Minister, says he and the university presidents will have an audience at the handover ceremony with the King and Queen at Ambara Villa in Dusit Palace. Rachawinit School, an elementary school, and Rajavinit Mathayom School, a secondary school, will also receive the deeds according to Anek.

The land on which the universities are located has an estimated value around 100 million baht per rai. There is almost 100 rai in the deed.

The lands where the universities are located were originally part of Dusit palace, but after the 1932 revolution that saw the monarchy change from absolute to constitutional, some of the land was used for educational institutions. The land where Dusit Zoo was located, which was closed on September 30, 2018, amidst a relocation venture to Pathum Thani’s Thanyaburi district, will now be used to build a public hospital.

Other land that has been repurposed includes the Royal Turf Club of Thailand’s racecourse, which will now be transformed into a public park commemorating His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The land was returned in 2018 to the Crown Property Burea, after featuring the racecourse for 102 years. Such land under the Crown Property Burea was originally allocated to building the Grand Palace, when King Rama I had it built. It was later that the royal residences expanded to the Dusit Zoo and racecourse, as well as the universities that are now situated on it.

The Suan Dusit University president, Sirote Phonphanthin, says the land where the university sits is owned by the Crown Property Bureau, which was originally owned by King Rama V. He says the university is grateful that the King attached so much importance to education. Sirote also said that he was told by the Royal Household Bureau that the King did not intend on keeping the land title deeds, rather, he wanted to give them to the universities.

The director of Rachawinit School, Supornrat Sattacthanachaiphat, agrees that the handover of the deeds was great news. The school was originally established in 1966 to educate the palace officials’ children.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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