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2,000 teachers face unemployment

A total of 1,964 teachers of maths and science under the Office of the Basic Education Commission due to be laid off in September have sought help from the Education Ministry.

Somkid Homnet, president of the People’s Sector Network against Corruption, said the teachers have been employed under a special project to improve the kingdom’s teaching standard in maths and science since 2018.

Recently, they were informed by the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) that it will end the project and cease its funding.

They submitted a petition to Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong on Thursday, seeking relief from the hardship of unemployment.

Mr Somkid, who accompanied teachers’ representatives to submit the petition, said the dissolution of the project would results in a shortage of teachers at many schools and lower  the quality of education.

The petition includes the names of the 1,964 teachers who will be laid off, and three proposals asking Obec to reconsider the plan to lay off teachers at such a difficult time, to extend the project’s duration until September 2023, and delay the scheduled recruitment of new maths and science teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Treenuch took the petition for consideration and reportedly said she would ask Obec to reconsider its decision.

Without a revision, the 1,964 teachers will be without work at the end of September.

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Schools free to decide how to teach in new term

The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) will allow schools to decide how to provide teaching to students when new semester opens on June 1.

Obec secretary-general Amporn Pinasa said Obec and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) have been assessing control zones for schools and considering their readiness for the school term.

As some schools cannot return to normal teaching to Covid-19 pandemic, Obec has decided to offer five learning and teaching options — on site, on air, online, on demand and on hand — depending on the specific situation each school finds itself in, Mr Amporn said.

With this approach, students can choose learning options which suit to their circumstances without creating a burden on their parents.

“Obec will find a way to arrange efficient courses. We will also offer alternative learning, such as work skills, while waiting for the new term,” he said.

Obec will apply the lessons learned from the Covid-19 outbreak last year, and that schools will dip into their archives to pull up old lessons.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong is working with Chulalongkorn University to help develop online courses for teachers.

For on-air study, the ministry will coordinate with the Distance Learning Foundation to provide extra tutorial courses. Learning equipment will be provided for students for the five study options.

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