Author Topic: Obec revives smart-card student plan  (Read 1146 times)

Offline thaiga

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Obec revives smart-card student plan
« on: January 03, 2013, 01:56:30 PM »
The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) has revived an idea to distribute smart cards to students to purchase school uniforms and learning materials, replacing the present system of offering cash.

Chinnapat Bhumirat, Obec's secretary-general, said the idea will be put to Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana this week.

If approved, the smart card issued by the Government Savings Bank would be handed to all students from Prathom 1 to Mathayom 6 levels _ about 7.8 million students _ in the 2013 academic year.

Funding for uniforms and learning materials is provided under the government's 15-year free education scheme.

Under the scheme, 195 baht each is provided to primary class students, 210 baht each to junior secondary students and 230 baht each to higher-level secondary students per term for buying learning materials.

For uniforms, 360 baht each is handed out to primary students, 450 baht each to junior secondary students and 500 baht each to higher secondary students.

Over 40 billion baht has been allocated annually for the 15-year free education scheme, but there is no guarantee the budget is used for the purposes it is meant to serve. Smart cards will allow spending to be tracked, Mr Chinnapat said.

Key complaints about the present cash scheme is that the money does not reach students or that it is spent by students on other things. When the smart card idea was raised in the past, critics said it would be hard for students in rural areas to find stores where they could use them.
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