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Surat Thani school director transferred over pathetic school lunches

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Surat Thani school director transferred over pathetic school lunches | The Thaiger

The Education Ministry is investigating the former director of the Ban Tha Mai School in Suran Thani province for alleged “grave disciplinary offences”.

His alleged penny-pinching cuisine options drew the attention of authorities after someone posted a video clip on the internet showing students at the Ban Tha Mai School in the Tha Chana district eating noodles with just fish sauce for lunch.

Somchao Sittichen, who was transferred out of the school’s top position on June 1, risks being sacked without pension benefits if found guilty.

ขนมจีนกับน้ำปลา

31/พ.ค./61ขนมจีนกับน้ำปลา คือ อาหารกลางวันเด็ก ของโรงเรียนบ้านท่าใหม่ หมู่ที่17 ต.ประสงค์ อ.ท่าชนะ จ.สุราษฎร์ธานี(เด็กโตน้ำแกงหมูสับ)สำนักงานคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ ภาค 8สำนักงานป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตในภาครัฐ เขต 8 จ.สุราษฎร์ธานี

Posted by ชมรมstrong-จิตพอเพียงต้านทุจริต จังหวัดสุราษฎร์ธานี on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The pathetic student meals suggested that something was amiss at the school. Under regulations, schools must provide at least rice with two side dishes plus a dessert or fruit.

Lt-General Kosol Prathumchart, an adviser to Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, yesterday inspected the school alongside several senior education officials to dig deeper into the matter.

Some junior teachers wept as they told the inspection team of how Somchao forced them to sign their acceptance of various works for the school and documents using “creative accounting”.

“You have no need to fear. Please tell us everything,” Kosol said.

The inspecting team said the teachers’ testimony would count in the investigation against Somchao.

Jakkarin Apisamai, deputy director of Surat Thani’s Primary Educational Services Area 2 Office, said Somchao is now facing at least 10 wrongdoings.

“Five of them are offences of a serious nature,” he said.

According to Jakkarin, corruption over lunchtime meals is just one of the serious allegations against Somchao. Others include substandard road construction for schools, channelling school funds to his own pocket, and having just six electricity poles erected for the school while in fact the school should have got eight poles.

Songwut Maliwan, deputy director of the Fund for School Lunch Office, said he had heard that because current teachers at the Ban Tha Mai School were much younger than Somchao, they did not argue with him.

Surat Thani school director transferred over pathetic school lunches | News by The Thaiger

“Another factor that allowed Somchao to steal lunch money is the fact that the Education Ministry no longer conducts random checks on lunch quality,” he said.

Meanwhile, parents yesterday officially called on the Udon Thani Primary Education Services Area 4 Office seeking the transfer of Ban That Prachanukul School director Kanlaya Phontura.

Kanlaya, who has helmed the school since 2015, is now accused of inefficiency and inappropriate behaviour.

“We have noticed that the school has now reduced the lunch budget by 25 per cent,” said Prakai Luenkaew. “Food that is supposed to be for children is also shared with teachers.”

Prakai, moreover, said from the time Kanlaya had headed the school, every student was required to pay 1 baht for drinking water.

“Only students in Anubarn 2 level do not have to pay because their teachers offer to pay for them,” she said.

The Udon Thani Primary Education Services Area 1 Office has promised to investigate.

“We will set up a fact-finding committee within seven days,” the office’s deputy director Prasit Chaiwong said.



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Bangkok

Bangkok luxury poised to push through the US$300 ceiling

Bill Barnett

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Bangkok luxury poised to push through the US$300 ceiling | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett of c9hotelworks.com

PHOTOS: Rosewood Bangkok

For hotel owners and managers in South East Asia, one of the great mysteries of the past ten years has been the low rate profile of Bangkok’s luxury hotel set. Despite soaring and sustained tourism growth, rising airlift and a strong economy, rates at Bangkok’s top tier properties have remained fairly stagnant.

Have we reached the tipping point?

I had had the opportunity to visit the latest entry to the Bangkok luxury class a few days ago, the Rosewood. With 159 keys which includes a limited number of posh houses with private pools and terraces the property is seeing an exceptional response and already achieving high rates.

What’s impressive about the entry is a take on the design approach that sees hotel developers apply a non-uniform approach with AvroKO coming in to focus on the restaurants and bars, while the rooms and public areas were led by Celia Chu Design and Associates.

While the speakeasy Lennon’s has not be opened yet, the 6,000 record vinyl collection is impressive and the bar will clearly have a strong pull. Taking the approach to designing restaurants and not typical hotel outlets, the Chinese eatery Nan Bei is a breath of fresh air and limited seating provides a bespoke appeal.

Taking a step back, and looking at recent entries like the Waldorf Astoria, and upcoming 101 key Capella, what is clear is luxury properties are shifting in terms of key drivers of the segment of art, fashion, residential vibe, bar and restaurant offerings, wellness and events.

So, what about rates?

On a broad basis Bangkok’s top tier hotels have averaged rates of US$200-240 for the past few years. This set has seen longer serving properties such as the St. Regis, Kempinski, and Okura effectively flatline on rates, though newer entries have come up including the Park Hyatt. On the broader horizon is the return of the Four Seasons and Capella by the river and the Orient Express at the MahaNakhon skyscraper.

With the entry of Rosewood driving rates, my expectation is that a few of the set will follow and at the end of 2019 we will set limited number of hotels crash through the US$300 average room rate barrier and effectively smash the legacy glass ceiling of Bangkok’s luxury hotels.

As in any business there will be winners and losers. Smaller hotels with some rate leading premium key types will be able to push up average daily rates. Segmentation is another key and hotels on the river that lack substantial corporate numbers will remain challenged until transport links to the area improve.

Where in the world are Bangkok luxury hotels heading?

To sum up 2019, size and location matter, the shift on food and beverage and social events along with niches like wellness and  smaller meetings/weddings are the key to the future. As for the quantum leap in rates, it’s about time Bangkok hoteliers be confident and push rates towards a more global norm.

Bangkok luxury poised to push through the US$300 ceiling | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport

The Thaiger

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Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport | The Thaiger

The Thai cabinet yesterday approved the construction of a third runway at Suvarnabhumi International Airport as part of the country’s ambition to become the aviation hub of ASEAN.

The 21.7 billion baht project will increase the combined capacity of Suvarnabhumi international airport’s runways to 94 arrivals and departures per hour from the current 64, said Lt-Gen Weerachon Sukonthapatipak, deputy government spokesman.

Suvarnabhumi Airport (aka. BKK) was opened in 2006 as Bangkok’s second airport. Initially it replaced the tired Don Mueang Airport but Don Mueang was later revamped as a low-coast airport to service the growing traffic demands.

Meanwhile Suvarnabhumi Airport was, and still is, operating above its designed capacity. An earlier bid to build a third terminal has been mired in controversy and is currently shelved pending a new brief from Airports of Thailand with a new round of design bids called for in the future.

Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport | News by The Thaiger

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Plastics

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | The Thaiger

By the end of 2019 Thailand will be free from three types of plastic – microbeads, cap seals and oxo-degradable plastics.

Then by 2022 four other types of single-use plastics will also be banned – lightweight plastic bags less than 36 microns thick; styrofoam food containers for takeaways; plastic cups and plastic straws – according to a road map approved by the Cabinet.

The Plastic Waste Management Road Map 2018-2030 also includes an ambitious plan for Thailand to use 100 per cent recycled plastic by 2027 in various forms, including turning waste into energy.

The Cabinet has acknowledged the road map and assigned the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry to formulate a draft action plan for plastic waste management, so it is in line with the 20-year national strategy.

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

The Cabinet also called for clear details on related agencies’ role in the integration of the work for managing plastic waste, which will also get huge participation from the private and business sectors. The related state agencies should create various mechanisms to propel this forward such as creating a good understanding among agencies, continuously implementing a public relations campaign via social media to achieve the set goals, the Cabinet instructed.

The work procedure must consider lifecycle plastic-waste management so steps are taken from the very start: with plastic products designed applying the “Eco Design” approach, manufacturing and post-consumption disposal which will include garbage separation, transport and storing, recycling and proper disposal.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Thais generate as much as 1.14 kilogram of garbage per head per day, contributing to the 27.04 million tonnes of waste per year.

One person uses approximately eight plastic bags a day – or 500 million plastic bags per day for the whole nation.

Most of the plastic waste ends up in the oceans, accounting for 16% of garbage in the seas.

SOURCE: The Nation

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

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