Author Topic: Businesses 'are inciting' school outcry  (Read 479 times)

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Offline thaiga

Businesses 'are inciting' school outcry
« on: May 27, 2012, 12:12:47 PM »
SPURNED COMPANIES ACCUSED OF BACKING STUDENTS' CHARGES OF ADMISSION BRIBES

 An association representing secondary schools has accused some business operators of influencing the complaints against 20 popular schools over "donations" for student admissions.

Watcharin Sriburin, president of the Secondary Schools Administrators Association of Thailand (SAAT), claimed there was evidence some businesses in the education field which stood to gain commercially were encouraging parents to make the complaints.

He said certain individuals linked to the businesses were supporting students and their parents in filing complaints alleging bribery.

"They are telling lies to level accusations against the schools' directors, and I beg them to stop taking children as hostages for their own benefit as it is the children who will be most affected," Mr Watcharin said.

Ratchai Sornsuwan, director of Rattana Ratbumrung School in Ratchaburi and the SAAT's legal adviser, said evidence indicated the operators were coercing the students and parents into making complaints to force the schools to do business with them. The businesses are involved in learning tools and the hiring of foreign teachers.

He said the businesses had been rebuffed because of substandard or over-priced products and services.

Preecha Jitsing, head of Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) School admission committee, showed a letter from a private company allegedly involved in the questioning of a school director.

The company claimed it was working with the Anti-Corruption Network, the Office of the Auditor-General, the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Department of Special Investigation.

It asked the school for a fair chance to sell its products.

"This would appear to be intimidation. I will send a letter to those state agencies asking if they are backing this company. If not we will take legal action against it," Mr Ratchai said.

Mr Watcharin said that the SAAT will give its full support to the directors of the 20 schools being investigated for bribery.

He said the schools' executives had strictly followed admission regulations laid out by the Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec).

It was clearly stated there could be only one round of school enrolment a year and classrooms could not have more than 50 students.

"I am very concerned over the allegations as it discourages school directors and unfairly damages their creditability," Mr Watcharin said.

The Anti-Money Laundering Office and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission are investigating a petition accusing the heads of 20 schools of bribery. Among the schools are Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni), Suan Kularp, Triam Udomsuksa, Thepsirin and Samsen Witthayalai.

The complaint accuses school directors of demanding payments ranging from 50,000 baht to 1.5 million baht for school placements.

Last week 16 Matthayom 3 students from Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) claimed the school rejected their applications to continue their studies and that bribery was behind the decision.

Four of them went on a hunger strike in protest at Government House, while the father of another student threatened to set himself on fire if his daughter is not given a place in the school.

Sayan Rungpasak, director of Bangkok's Secondary Educational Service Area 2 and chairman of a panel to find new schools for the students, said the parents should understand the authorities could not break regulations for them.
SOURCE
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