Covid-19 forces 70 private schools out of business, 100 to follow

PHOTO: Private schools in Thailand are closing due to Covid-19. (via Ben Salmons)

With Covid-19 shutting down classroom learning for months on end, private schools are struggling, with about 70 going out of business in the past 9 months. The Office of the Private Education Promotion Commission has already received notice from nearly 100 more private schools planning on closing.

The president of the Association of Private Education Promotion and Coordination Committee explain that this semester many parents have not been able to pay school tuition fees creating cash flow problems with unpaid dues estimated at about 1 billion baht.

In fact, schools are losing registered students in part due to parents not being able to afford tuition and also often to the fact that families have relocated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The economic hardship faced by families has led to many schools facing an insurmountable cash flow problem.

Many teachers in the schools have volunteered to accept a 50% pay cut in their salaries to help with the financial burden faced by these private schools who are only collecting tuition some some of the families with students attending. The teachers have accepted the pay cut as an alternative to losing their jobs completely.

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The association has urged the Ministry of Education to help the schools in allowing them to open on-site learning before the second semester by providing them with free rapid antigen test kits to test students and teachers and create a Covid-19 safe zone.

Many private schools are struggling with the effects of Covid-19 including Bangkok’s well-known Amnuaysilpa Thonburi School, which announced the cash flow problems were forcing it to shutter its doors after more than 80 years of education. The president of the Prapamontree chain of schools warned that while many people view private schools as a profit-focused for many students business, these schools are estimated to save the government about 6 billion baht each year as they replace public schools for thousands of students.

The school chain president did admit that Covid-19 was the nail in the coffin for many private schools that have struggled already with student shortages due to 5 to 10 years of low birth rates in Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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