Fired teachers won't be rehired

Wanalee Thunmak, second left, and Nirawan Cheuboonmee, third left, show complaint letters they submitted to the Education Ministry demanding justice for being refused jobs as assistant teachers after having taught in Tak for five months without pay.?Chanat Katanyu


The Office of the Teacher Civil Service and Educational Personnel Commission (OTEPC) has found more irregularities in the hiring practices of the Secondary Education Service Area 38 in Sukhothai and Tak.

Two women were recently refused jobs as assistant teachers after having taught at Umphang Wittayakhom School in Tak province for five months without pay.

OTEPC secretary-general Pinitsak Suwanrang said yesterday that he found the hiring process there questionable.

"Normally, the Education Service Area Office must hire teachers according to their score in the candidate ranking. But here, we learn that 25 candidates who ranked from 40th to 65th were skipped and the office instead called up applicants from lower ranks and offered them jobs," he said, referring to Wanalee Thunmak, who was ranked at 66th, and Nirawan Cheuboonmee, who was placed at 67th.

Between March and September, both worked at Umphang Wittayakhom School, but were then relieved of their duties. They later lodged official complaints asking the Ministry of Education to rehire them as official teachers.

Mr Pinitsak was recently appointed by the education minister to investigate the case. Initially, he found both Ms Wanalee and Ms Nirawan had been provided with teacher ID cards immediately by the Education Service Area Office 38 -- which is unusual as they usually take some time to issue. Another suspicious point is that another candidate who ranked 68th has also now been legally hired as a teacher at the school.

According to OTEPC regulations, skipping someone with a higher achievement ranking is a violation of the process.

Mr Pinitsak said Ms Wanalee and Ms Nirawan could not be rehired as the 25 candidates who ranked before them could file a lawsuit against the OTEPC.

When asked whether the executives in Secondary Education Service Area Office 38 engage in corrupt practices, Mr Pinitsak said it is unfair to make any conclusion as the investigation is ongoing.

"We cannot say anything right now [regarding] whether there is corruption. We need to wait until the investigation is complete," he said.

Tak Educational Committee acting secretary Samrit Waipia, who is responsible for the area, defended the committee's actions regarding Ms Wanalee and Ms Nirawan, saying that the women did not have the correct degrees for the jobs they were applying for and therefore the office could not hire them.



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