The Thai government’s free education programme not only offers free schooling but it gives subsidies to parents for such things as uniforms and books.

The Thai government’s free education programme not only offers free schooling but it gives subsidies to parents for such things as uniforms and books. The problem is that it may be too fair – it offers the subsidies whether or not the recipients really need them.

Children of wealthy families can easily afford to pay for education-related expenses and many have opted not to accept the subsidies. Instead, they are giving the money they would receive as donations to needy students and schools.

Education Minister Jurin Laksanavisit is quite enthusiastic about the idea. Yesterday he presided over a ceremony at Satriwithaya 2 School in Bangkok to transfer about 60 million baht to 577 needy schools.

The minister also presented certificates to students who transferred their entitlement to state subsidies to students in need.

The money will go into new buildings at five schools: Wat Samakkhitham in Suphan Buri, Ban Huay Mafai in Chon Buri, Wat Wang Ithok in Phitsanulok, Ban Nongkung Withayakan in Khon Kaen and Ban Kata in Phuket.

The other 572 schools will receive 100,000 baht each to go towards their development.

‘‘This is the beginning of the promotion of pure giving from students to other students who have fewer opportunities, and the ministry will press on with this campaign,’’ Mr Jurin said.

Actually, the level of donations should have been higher this year as students from university demonstration schools also planned to give 15 million baht to needy schools.

But red tape requiring parents to petition for a money transfer from the demonstration schools discouraged many people, so the actual donation figure fell to 6 million baht.

Mr Jurin promised to find a solution to the red tape.

More than 60,000 students rejected their education subsidies, said Khunying Kasama Varavarn na Ayudhya, secretary-general of the Basic Education Commission.

Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by Sirikul Bunnag

subsidy – an amount of money that the government or another organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a service or product เงินสนับสนุน (the verb form is subsidise)
recipient – someone who receives something ผู้ได้รับ
wealthy – having a large amount of money, land, and other valuable things ที่มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย
afford – to have enough money to be able to pay for something มีเงินพอจับจ่าย ซื้อหา
opt – to make a choice or a decision from a range of possibilities เลือก
donation – money or goods that you give to an organisation, especially one that helps people เงินหรือสิ่งของบริจาค
needy – not having enough money, food, clothing, etc. ยากไร้
enthusiastic – very interested in something or excited about it อย่า่งสนใจ กระตือรือร้น
preside – to be in charge of an official meeting, ceremony or other event เป็นประธาน ในพิธี ในที่ประชุม
ceremony – a formal public event งานพิธี
certificate – an official document or record stating that particular facts are true ประกาศนียบัตร เกียรติบัตร
transfer – to official arrange for someone else to be the owner of something โอน
entitlement – the right to receive an amount of money สิทธิในการรับเงินหรืออุปกรณ์การเรียนต่างๆ ที่รัฐจัดให้
promotion – the act of encouraging or supporting something การสนับสนุน
pure – having nothing in something to spoil its quality or effect บริสุทธิ์
campaign – a series of actions intended to produce social or political change การรณรงค์
level –the amount of something ปริมาณ
red tape – documents, rules or processes that cause delays ระเบียบราชการที่ยุ่งยากและทำให้ล่าช้า
petition – to make a formal request ยื่นคำร้อง
figure – an amount of money จำนวนเงิน

Posted by Terry Fredrickson at 08:18 AM


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