2,800 small Thai schools facing consolidation

2,800 small Thai schools with fewer than 40 students will be merged – this from the chairman of the Basic Education Commission.

Associate Professor Dr Ekkachai Kisukphan says not all 18,000 small schools under the Office of Basic Education Commission that are located near one another would be merged. But the OBEC wanted to merge small schools each with fewer than 40 students and close to each other.

Ekkachai said the goal of the merger was to provide newly merged schools with teachers for all classrooms as well as sufficient teaching materials and adequate buildings.

He said the merger would improve the quality of education and the OBEC would consider the merger case by case instead of using the same criteria nationwide. For example, schools on islands and on mountaintops would be exempt. Ekkachai said the merger will be carried out gradually starting from this year.

To address worries that students might find it hard to travel to school after the merger, the OBEC would cooperate with the local administrations to provide subsidies for travel costs.

“New schools formed under after merger would not be too far and travel time must not be longer than half an hour.”

He said the OBEC would also consider measures to compensate school directors who would lose their jobs and have been opposed to the merger.

The OBEC has surveyed and found that there are 14,796 schools nationwide with fewer than 120 students and 2,845 schools with fewer than 40. There are also 123 other schools in remote areas, including on mountaintops and small islands.

SOURCE: The Nation

2,800 small Thai schools facing consolidation | News by Thaiger

Associate Professor Dr Ekkachai Kisukphan – The Nation

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