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Bring peace to deep south, Thai govt told

Publication Date : 16-01-2013


Confederation of Narathiwat Teachers president Sanguan Intarak has urged the Thai government to exert an all-out effort to bring peace to the far south to reduce the loss of teachers, boost teachers' morale, and improve the education of students there.

"Although we cannot see how we can achieve peace, the government must prevent the situation from escalating and put a stop to the loss of teachers at 156. As a teacher with ideology, I will not escape anywhere,'' he said.

His remarks coincided with Teachers' Day today.

Rorsueli Arwaekaji, a teacher at Ban Ka So, in Yala's Bannang Sata district, said what he wanted most from the government was peace.

"Students are adversely affected because teachers feel threatened. The government must seriously attend to this problem,'' he said.

School director Armeen Karndee said the lack of teachers' safety was the major problem that must be solved if the government wants to see the country develop.

Sukhumaporn Kittiwongsakul, a teacher at Ban Tao Poon school in Yala, said that although she had been a teacher there for over 20 years and lived in fear, she was determined to continue her job there as she has bonded with her students and locals.

Yanika Nuisupap, a teacher at the same school, said she thought of asking for a transfer out of the restive area but she felt concern about the future of her students.

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana said on his last inspection to the region, he had sought cooperation from security agencies to step up protection for teachers depending on situations and teachers were happy with that.

He said most teachers insisted on continuing teaching in risky areas but some in remote areas had been moved out temporarily. Some teacher volunteers such as new graduates have been stationed at schools short of teachers.

Meanwhile, Dusit poll released the results yesterday of a survey that showed that teachers want politicians to forgive each other.

Asked what teachers think of Thai politics, 44 per cent said it was boring as politicians only quarrel, 35 per cent said they fought for power and corruption, while 20 per cent said politicians lack a moral conscience.

Asked what they want from the government, 40 per cent said policies that are truly beneficial to students, while 31 per cent wanted policies that improve the quality of life for grassroots people, and 28 per cent wanted policies that allow more public participation.


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