Thai ministries to patrol schools post operational hours following assault

Picture courtesy of Somchai Poomlard

The aftermath of a shocking assault on a school teacher in Chiang Rai last week has instigated the Education Ministry to collaborate with the Interior Ministry and Royal Thai Police (RTP). The objective is to ensure local law enforcement officers patrol schools after operational hours.

A 38 year old man was responsible for the severe injuries inflicted on a female teacher who was performing caretaker duties at a local primary school in Chiang Rai’s Mueang district.

This incident prompted immediate action from the Cabinet during a mobile meeting in Ranong. A new decree was passed to cease the practice of teachers performing caretaking duties nationwide. Previously, the responsibility to guard school properties outside working hours was a duty rotated among teachers. This was part of a cabinet resolution introduced on July 6, 1999, applicable to all state agency employees.

However, the advent of security-related technology such as CCTV has made it possible to reconsider this duty, stated Education Minister Police General Permpoon Chidchob.

“So, teachers no longer face disciplinary action if they do not conduct caretaking duty outside of school hours.”

The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) will likely have to modify school regulations to accommodate this change. Teachers can still volunteer for after-hours duties, but they must ensure their safety. Police General Permpoon suggested locking doors or having company for added safety, reported Bangkok Post.

The Cabinet’s focus will now shift towards assessing the number of CCTV cameras installed in schools across the country and identifying schools that require additional surveillance. However, it is acknowledged that CCTV technology cannot entirely prevent unforeseen incidents, particularly in schools located in remote areas with unstable internet signals.

To enhance school safety, the Cabinet has directed the RTP and Interior Ministry to assign police or administrative officials for after-hour school surveillance. Banks and gold shops also receive similar protective services from the police. In addition, local education offices will cooperate with provincial police commanders to strengthen patrols around schools.

Education committees have commenced discussions with police, Kamnan, and village heads regarding safety protocols aligned with the latest cabinet resolution. Pol. Gen. Permpoon also mentioned the possibility of hiring more janitors and administrative staff, particularly in smaller schools, to assist with security work. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has pledged to look into this matter.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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