Education commission says students can protest, but must remain vigilant over Covid risks

PHOTO: AP/Sakchai Lalit

After students at a number of high schools around the country used the flag-raising ceremony to flash a 3 finger salute in solidarity with political protesters, the Office of the Basic Education Commission is weighing in on the matter. OBEC is writing to schools at the request of Anek Laothamatas, the Minister for Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. The minister says that while students are entitled to express their opinions, educational leaders should be on the lookout for any attempts to undermine Thaland’s monarchy.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has repeatedly emphasised that the future of the country could not be decided by violence.”

Meanwhile, Amnat Wichayanuwat, OBEC secretary-general, says students have the right and freedom to protest, but should do so in a way that does not endanger public health or lead to violence.

Ongoing anti-government protests are calling for the dissolution of parliament, as well as reform to both the monarchy and Thailand’s constitution. A 10-point manifesto drawn up by protesters has angered royalists, with a number of protest leaders possibly facing imminent arrest.

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Amnat says his priority, however, is ensuring gatherings at protest sites do not lead to a resurgence of the Covid-19 virus. He adds that claims from some students, that teachers are using propaganda in classrooms in order to quash dissent, will be looked into.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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