Khon Kaen parents forced to pay ‘tea money’ for student admission

Photo courtesy of Thailand News

Eight secondary schools in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen found themselves in hot water as officials from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) launched an investigation into alleged corruption practices.

Parents have lodged complaints, accusing decision-makers within these schools of demanding exorbitant “tea money” sums, reaching up to 100,000 baht, from families whose children failed the entrance examination.

Thirat Bangpetch, acting director of the NACC’s Khon Kaen office, confirmed the disturbing revelations.

“We have received complaints from several parents regarding the alleged corruption by certain influential figures in these eight high schools.”

To validate these claims, the NACC conducted an independent probe, uncovering evidence suggesting that bribes were indeed solicited from parents of unsuccessful exam candidates or those placed on the reserve list for each of the implicated schools.

Audio recordings, dating back to March 27, have further substantiated these claims. In a chilling exchange between two parents, the extent of the corruption is laid bare.

“Did they ask for 100,000 baht?” one parent questioned, to which the other grimly confirmed, “Yes, 100,000 baht.”

Thirat Bangpetch stressed the importance of transparency in school admissions, demanding clarity on vacant seats, applicant numbers, and exam results, reported Thai PBS World.

However, resistance from school administrators, some even refusing to provide documentation, has only added fuel to the fire of suspicion.

In related news, the NACC has set its sights on high-ranking government officials, leaving no stone unturned in the battle for transparency and accountability. The NACC, led by President Police General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, is leading a proposal to extend asset reporting laws to encompass agencies notorious for corruption risks.

Under this plan, heavyweights from the Revenue Department, Excise Department, and even the Royal Thai Police could soon find themselves under the microscope.

In other news, the Cabinet has given the nod to a 2.95 billion baht free school lunch programme for nearly half a million students nationwide for the upcoming 2025 academic year.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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