Teerakiat moves to defuse teacher row


The Education Minister yesterday ordered the Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) to rehire two women refused jobs as assistant teachers after having taught at Umphang Wittayakhom School in Tak province for five months without pay.

Local education authorities gave Wanalee Thunmak, 27, and Nirawan Cheuboonmee, 26 their marching orders after it was decided they did not have the necessary qualifications.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin admitted mistakes were made by Obec and that the two teachers, Wanalee Thunmak, 27, and Nirawan Cheuboonmee, 26, did nothing wrong and deserved better treatment.

"Obec must take responsibility for the mistakes and the two teachers should be rehired as soon as possible," said Mr Teerakiet.

The minister also ordered Obec to set up a panel to oversee the rehiring and look at providing them compensation and ensure fairness in the case.

Obec secretary-general Boonrak Yodpetch ordered the Secondary Education Service Area Office 38 to explain the problem to him directly and presented an initial 30,000 baht in assistance money to Ms Wanalee and Ms Nirawan.

The minister's intervention came after their story received widespread coverage on social and mainstream media.

The saga began in May when Ms Wanalee and Ms Nirawan were assigned by the Secondary Education Service Area Office 38 (Sukhothai-Tak) to the school in Umphang district.

In September, after having worked for five months, they were shocked to learn they were not to be offered permanent positions at the school after the Tak Educational Committee deemed they did not have the necessary qualifications.

It was also reported the women had not been paid for the entire time they were at the school and not told why.

The teachers said they assumed at the time their salaries had been delayed by a bureaucratic problem.

After the story gained public attention, the education authority helped them by giving them temporary teaching positions in other provinces.

Tak Educational Committee acting secretary Samrit Waipia came out to defend the committee's actions.

He said the two positions required graduates who majored in maths and Ms Wanalee and Ms Nirawan had majored in social science. The confusion came about because both teachers had been recruited two years earlier while they were still studying at university.

Mr Samrit said when the committee overseeing the confirmation process examined their case, it discovered both women did not have the expertise and degrees that matched the job requirements.

As a result, the committee had no choice but to disqualify them, Mr Samrit said.


Origin: https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1357027/teerakiat-moves-to-defuse-teacher-row

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