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Arthit fails to convince Dulwich parents

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Arthit fails to convince Dulwich parents | The Thaiger

PHUKET: In a stormy meeting in the Dulwich International College auditorium this afternoon, the school’s CEO and founder, Dr Arthit Urairat, clearly failed to allay parents’ worries about the future of the school.

Central to the parents’ concerns is the relationship between Dr Arthit’s team and the franchiser, Dulwich College, London (DCL), with several parents making it quite clear that if the Dulwich name goes, so will their children.

In his initial presentation, Dr Arthit said that he was distressed about “a lot of rumors – all out of the blue”.

Addressing these rumors, he said, “We will, now and in the foreseeable future, not break with Dulwich [London].” He added, however, “We have had problems adjusting to inter-cultural management. The system they use in London… may not work so well at a school half a world away… so we have to modify.”

He also denied “rumors” that Dulwich would become a bilingual school. “It never occurred to me. It’s not true,” he stressed.

He attempted to lay the blame for the current problems on the recently-fired headmaster, David Cook, who had made an “inflammatory, unnecessary report” to DCL, criticizing the decision, finalized last week, to close down the “feeder school” on Koh Samui, and claiming low morale among teachers after they had been required to pay tax on housing and tuition for their children.

“These are petty things of detail,” Dr Arthit said. “We don’t understand why [they] should be reported to Dulwich in London.”

He stressed once again, “Now it has been cleared [up] – it’s a matter of technical detail how we can work out the problems together.”

In the ensuing question-and-answer session, however, when pushed for an answer as to how certain he was that the marriage between Phuket and London would continue, Dr Arthit said, “Ninety percent.”

For some parents this was not good enough, and they pressed for the CEO’s reasons for not bringing a DCL representative to the meeting, or for not postponing the meeting until Ralph Mainard, Dulwich College’s Deputy Master with responsibility for external affairs, could be present.

Mr Mainard was expected to arrive in Phuket this evening.

Dr Arthit said that he had been unaware until last night that Mr Mainard was coming, and added that he would not be able to meet with him because he himself had to fly back to Bangkok this evening.

However, parents were welcome to meet with Mr Mainard themselves, he said, adding that his representatives would be talking with the Deputy Master at a meeting arranged by James Batt, Joint Managing Director of Laguna Resorts & Hotels.

Clearly reluctant to wade into the situation, Mr Batt nevertheless cleared the fog by taking the microphone and telling the assembly that the relationship with Dulwich London was “a marriage in distress”, but that great efforts were being made on both sides to mend the relationship, with himself as “marriage guidance counselor”.

“A Phuket without Dulwich International College [would be] a poorer Phuket,” he added.

The newly appointed Academic Director, Dr George Hickman, in his presentation, stressed his aim to continue maintaining the school’s high standards. “There is no need to worry about discontinuance in any way,” he said, adding that his door would be open at any time to parents wishing to discuss their concerns.

“Give us a chance to show what we can do,” he pleaded. “The turbulence is not nearly as great as it appears from the outside… Leave your children with us.

“Do we need to improve our public relations?” he asked. “I think so. I need your help in healing the situation.”

An indication of how much healing will be needed was given by an emotional Debbie Cook, wife of the fired headmaster, who emphatically denied that her husband had compiled the damning report allegedly sent to London, and who detailed the less than genteel manner in which her husband had been removed from his post.

She said that after Mr Cook had declined an offer of three months’ compensation in return for his signature on a letter of resignation, the family had been given three days in which to pack and leave. Their car had been taken away, phone service and Internet access had been cut, and the locks on the headmaster’s office had been changed. And the family’s children had been barred from further education, she added.

In response, Dr Arthit pledged to pay Mr Cook four months’ severance pay and to allow his children to complete the school year.

The meeting finally dissolved after an appeal from Dr Arthit for patience on the part of the parents while efforts are made the resolve the dispute.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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