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Thai Teachers Committing Suicide Over Mounting Debt Burdens

“The debt problem is at a critical level,” he said. “Teachers’ houses and assets have been confiscated because they were unable to repay loans. Even more leaving some Thai teachers stressed out and sick. In the three worst cases, Thai teachers committing suicide.”

The Thai Teachers Development Association has appealed to an MP to ask the prime minister to help ease “Thai Teachers” debt burdens. The appeal was made through New Palang Dharma Party MP Ravee Machamadol Friday.

Ravee said some 400,000 Thai teachers were in debt because of the Cremation Welfare Fund. A project that was designed to aid school personnel in need. The project fund is also affecting 45 million students and their parents, he said.

“The debt problem is at a critical level,” he said. “Teachers’ houses and assets have been confiscated because they were unable to repay loans. Even more leaving some Thai teachers stressed out and sick. In the three worst cases, Thai teachers committing suicide.”

Ravee said the Administrative Court had ordered 70 per cent of Thai teachers’ pay garnisheed to pay off their debts. Placing a huge burden on retired teachers whose pension are less than their previous salary.

Even more the Government Savings Bank is even confiscating the assets of the Thai teachers and guarantors. Even when they have enough money to repay the debts, the Nation reports.

“I ask the prime minister to take care of this problem urgently by setting up a committee of relevant agencies.”

Teachers debt at national crisis levels

Debt accumulated by Thai teachers nationwide has risen to crisis levels, totaling 1.1 trillion baht, about 16% of the public debt. With the average teacher owing approximately 3 million baht.

This figure was given on National Teachers Day, by Samkhan Jongkoyen, secretary-general of a coordinating centre. The center was set up to solve the debt problems of teachers and others in the education sector.

He said teachers’ debt was at crisis level. Statistics showed that about 400,000 teachers, about 80% of the total nationwide, were deeply in debt – to an average, at least 3 million baht.

Teachers debt comes from loans drawn on the teachers’ welfare fund; funeral loan schemes and the Teacher Savings Cooperative (TSC); to a total of 1.1 trillion baht. This was about 16% of the country’s public debt, Mr Samkhan said.

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