Thai Education Minister plants ‘sufficiency seeds’ in teacher finance debate

Picture courtesy of Sanook.

Education Minister Pheeraphon Nitikorn sparked controversy by suggesting teachers and educational staff adopt a sufficiency economy philosophy to reduce their debt and financial planning burdens. This proposal was made during the presentation of educational policies and guidelines for the Good Study, Happy Policy.

Another issue related to reducing the burden of teachers and educational staff is addressing their debt problems. Pheeraphon, also known as Big Uum, said people need to understand proper financial planning, which may involve providing knowledge that we ourselves, or potentially external lecturers, can offer.

“We should teach them how to save, how to use money, by implementing the sufficiency economy philosophy in their conduct.”

Big Uum went on to suggest another way to reduce teachers’ expenses would be carpooling to work or reducing the amount given in envelopes at various events.

“For example, when going to teach, we could share a car. And if you attend a wedding or any other event, you don’t have to give 200 baht. Police are a bit lucky, they can give just 20 baht. Because they are not called teachers, they are ordinary police. I know the factors in rural areas, so we must try to solve this norm. Even if you have only 20 baht, just put 20. If you don’t have money, it’s okay. Go to their event, help them wash dishes, participate in anything, it’s an honour. We must change our norms in living sufficiently.”

Pheeraphon faced severe social criticism when the Prosecutor General decided not to prosecute Boss, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, for drunk driving because he signed on behalf of the police chief in the non-objection, effectively ending the case. He was the only one to escape charges after the order to establish an investigation committee. At that time, Pheeraphon revealed that he followed the legal procedure normally, nothing more, Sanook reported.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

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