Schools re-open: Phuket parents feel the pinch

PHUKET: The new school term will generate more than 40 billion baht, including B5bn in “tea money”, a poll conducted in Phuket and 11 other provinces has revealed.

The survey, by Assumption University’s Abac Poll Center, canvassed the opinion of 2,453 respondents aged 15-60 from 12 sample provinces from all regions of the country.

It found that 37.9 per cent reported feeling burdened by schooling expenses.

Perhaps not surprisingly, of these the vast majority (91.2%) identified themselves as parents.

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The expenses they are reeling under include tuition fees (76.5%), materials and uniforms (68.2%), tutoring fees (23.8%) and tea money (13.8%).

From the collected data, the pollsters estimate that schooling expenses nationwide in the upcoming school term would be 41.9bn baht.

Of this, approximately Bt5 billion would be given to schools as tea money, typically as bribes to administrators or “gifts” to prestigious government schools in order to gain entry for their children.

For a report on how the Phuket Municipality Pawnshop has been drumming up money as the school year at government schools looms, pick up a copy of the latest Phuket Gazette, on sale at news stands around the island now.

— The Nation

Phuket News

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