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Surat Thani school head probed for wrongdoing

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Surat Thani school head probed for wrongdoing

By SUWANNEE BANDISAK, 
SEKSANTI KANLAYANAWISUT 
THE NATION

 

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THE EDUCATION Ministry will start investigating the former director of the Ban Tha Mai School in Suran Thani province next week for alleged grave disciplinary offences.

 

Somchao Sittichen, who was transferred out of the school’s helm on June 1, risks being sacked without pension benefits if found guilty.

 

His alleged wrongdoing drew the attention of higher authorities after someone posted a video clip on the Internet showing students at the Ban Tha Mai School in the Tha Chana district eating Thai vermicelli with just fish sauce for lunch. 

 

The poor meal suggested that something was amiss at the school. 

 

Under regulations, schools must provide rice with two side dishes plus a dessert or fruit. 

 

Lt-General Kosol Prathumchart, an adviser to Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, yesterday inspected the school alongside several senior education officials to dig deeper into the matter. 

 

Some junior teachers wept as they told the inspection team of how Somchao forced them to sign their acceptance of various works for the school and documents using “creative accounting”. 

 

“You have no need to fear. Please tell us everything,” Kosol said. 

 

The inspecting team said the teachers’ testimony would count in the investigation against Somchao. 

 

Jakkarin Apisamai, deputy director of Surat Thani’s Primary Educational Services Area 2 Office, said Somchao was now accused of engaging in 10 wrongdoings.

 

“Five of them are offences of a serious nature,” he said.

 

According to Jakkarin, corruption over lunchtime meals is just one of the serious allegations against Somchao. Others include substandard road construction for schools, channelling school funds to his own pocket, and having just six electricity poles erected for the school while in fact the school should have got eight poles. 

 

Songwut Maliwan, deputy director of the Fund for School Lunch Office, said he had heard that because current teachers at the Ban Tha Mai School were much younger than Somchao, they did not argue with him. 

 

“Another factor that allowed Somchao to steal lunch money is the fact that the Education Ministry no longer conducts random checks on lunch quality,” he said. 

 

Meanwhile, parents yesterday officially called on the Udon Thani Primary Education Services Area 4 Office seeking the transfer of Ban That Prachanukul School director Kanlaya Phontura. 

 

Kanlaya, who has helmed the school since 2015, is now accused of inefficiency and inappropriate behaviour.

 

“We have noticed that the school has now reduced the lunch budget by 25 per cent,” said Prakai Luenkaew. “Food that is supposed to be for children is also shared with teachers.” 

 

Prakai, moreover, said from the time Kanlaya had headed the school, every student was required to pay Bt1 for drinking water. 

 

“Only students in Anubarn 2 level do not have to pay because their teachers offer to pay for them,” she said.

 

The Udon Thani Primary Education Services Area 1 Office has promised to investigate. 

 

“We will set up a fact-finding committee within seven days,” the office’s deputy director Prasit Chaiwong said. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30347315

 

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-09

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10 minutes ago, rooster59 said:

, channelling school funds to his own pocket,

a hint as to where all that education budget goes

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Just how did Thailand inherit an "entitled' govt bureaucracy that thinks it deserves to have a status above that of the people it should be serving? Stealing from kids in most countries would be an act of the lowest type. Not here.

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Now we can check up this too. Soon we will see that almost all schools are hiding money from different things that should have gone to food or education or cleaning.
Nothing new here, people steal the funds everywhere. 

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The hub of many things, but not ethics.

 

 

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At least the food was edible,i recall my own school days, hard tack biscuits and boiled beef gristle ,yum.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, billd766 said:

Assuming (not always a good idea) that this goes to court and he is found guilty IMHO he should be given 5 years in jail with no reduction for a guilty plea, every other week he should get just one meal per day of Thai noodles and fish sauce, the alternate week he gets standard prison food.

 

Be forced to repay 20 baht per child per day since he became the director, and if the school has 500 pupils that is 10,000 baht a day for 3 years. He should be fired from the job, with no compensation, no pension, his decorations formally stripped from him and banned from ANY government job for life and not permitted near any school for life also.

 

The one exception is that he has to stand in front of every teacher and pupil at the school plus TV reporters and the Thai and (English) newspapers, publicly admit his guilt and apologise for being a thief.

 

If he refuses to do that then simply double his jail time.

Except that they never really apologize-they just Wai and Weasel-the standard tactic that has worked for centuries in endeavouring to mitigate any punishment in Thailand.

 

The only 'guilt' is in the being caught not in a true and reasonable examination and acknowledgement of the individual's despicable conduct.

Edited by Odysseus123

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Apart from the despicable conduct of this toerag, the article itself is a load of old bolleaux.

 

Badly written and extremely inaccurate, I am left wondering just where this incident took place.

 

Was it Surat Thani as in the headline, somewhere else called 'Suran Thani' or Udon Thani?  

 

It took TWO reporters to write that junk and neither of them seem to know where they are!  

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1 hour ago, Mister Fixit said:

Apart from the despicable conduct of this toerag, the article itself is a load of old bolleaux.

 

Badly written and extremely inaccurate, I am left wondering just where this incident took place.

 

Was it Surat Thani as in the headline, somewhere else called 'Suran Thani' or Udon Thani?  

 

It took TWO reporters to write that junk and neither of them seem to know where they are!  

I was thinking exactly the same 

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Starve the kids and get a new Mercedes.this seems the norm and happening all over the country in all government departments.should be big rewards and promotion for whistle blowers when government funds are being funnelled away.a standard minimum of 5 years or more should be set for these greedy people or do what the Chinese do.shoot the buggers.

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I have come to the conclusion that a vast majority if not all government employees are corrupt, I must ask the Mrs as her brother and his wife are teachers at the same school, if I never post again you'll know I screwed up  😂

 

But really, these people are so low they could crawl under a snakes belly wearing a top hat.

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BANGKOK 24 June 2018 15:51
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