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Teacher’s need for brain surgery behind school’s call for low-cost fill-in

Ban Pha Wiang School in Sukhothai’s Sri Satchanalai district has elaborated after a social media controversy over its plans to hire a temporary kindergarten-level teacher at Bt4,000 a month from donated money due to the permanent teacher needing to take an absence.


Some Thai social media comments criticised the low pay for the temporary job as published this week in an employment ad.

The school executives then made a further donation that hiked the position’s salary to Bt7,000 a month.

Nobody has yet applied for the position, said academic affairs teacher Anuthida Kanjanya.

The school is seeking a teacher with a bachelors degree in early childhood education or a related field.

The permanent Kindergarten 1 teacher had fallen ill and would need frequent hospital visits and undergo brain surgery, and so requires time off from teaching, said Anuthida. The teacher will undergo brain surgery.

With the school term opened this week, other concerned school teachers donated money so that the school could hire a temporary teacher for three to four months at a Bt4,000 salary. School executives have since added to the donation, enabling the position to offer Bt7,000 a month.

In the mean time, the school has blended the Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2 classes under one teacher as a short-term solution, said Anuthida.

Ban Pha Wiang School in Tambon Mae Sin, located 100 kilometres from Muang Sukhothai, has 320 students from kindergarten to Mathayom 3. Five of its teachers had recently requested a transfer and those positions had not been re-filled, causing the school to suffer a severe teacher shortage.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin has waded in, noting that a Bt4,000 salary would be below the minimum legal wage. A teacher receiving that sum could file a police complaint to have the Labour Ministry or related authority look into the issue. However, he said, this particular matter is more correctly viewed as a mutual-consent agreement between an employer who wanted a staff member on those terms and an applicant who wanted a job.

Teerakiat said the ministry has a system for legally hiring contract teachers. Before criticising this school’s case, a detailed look at the job requirements is needed, he said.


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