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Each year the government gives out billions for the purchase of school uniforms and learning materials, but there is no guarantee it is always spent on those items. Smart cards could be the answer.
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Under the government’s 15-year free education scheme, these students (i.e., their parents) now receive cash for the purchase of their uniforms and some learning materials. PARITTA WANGKIAT
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Time for smart cards, Obec says
One of the key features of the government’s 15-year free education scheme is funding for learning materials and uniforms.
Under the scheme, 195 baht each is provided to primary class students, 210 baht each to junior secondary students and 230 baht each to higher-level secondary students per term for buying learning materials.
For uniforms, 360 baht each is handed out to primary students, 450 baht each to junior secondary students and 500 baht each to higher secondary students.
Over 40 billion baht has been allocated annually for the 15-year free education scheme, but there is a problem, says Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) secretary-general Chinnapat Bhumirat.
There is no guarantee that the money given to students actually gets spent on learning materials or uniforms.
The solution, he says, is the introduction of smart cards to replace the present system of giving out cash. Smart cards will allow spending to be tracked.
Mr Chinnapat says he will put the idea to Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana this week.
If approved, the smart card issued by the Government Savings Bank would be handed to all students from Prathom 1 to Mathayom 6 levels — about 7.8 million students — in the 2013 academic year.
This is not a new idea, however. The main complaint has been that it would be hard for students in rural areas to find stores where they could use them.
Adapted from a story by Nasreen Ngoh in today’s Bangkok Post.
scheme – a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
cash – money in the form of notes or coins เงินสด
uniform – the special set of clothes worn by all members of an organisation or a group at work, or by children at school เครื่องแบบ
feature – something important, interesting or typical of a place or thing จุดเด่น, คุณสมบัติ
funding – money given for a particular purpose การให้เงินสนับสนุน
provide – to give someone something that they want or need จัดหาให้, จัดเตรียมไว้ให้
primary school – a school for young children usually between the ages of 5/6 and 11 โรงเรียนประถมศึกษา
secondary school – a school for young people, usually between the ages of 11 and 16 or 18 ชั้นมัธยมศึกษา
allocate – to officially give out an amount of or share of something แบ่งส่วน
annually – happening every year ทุกๆปีด
guarantee – a promise that something will be done or will happen คำรับรอง, การประกัน
solution – a way of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation วิธีแก้ปัญหา
replace – to get rid of someone or something, and to put a new person or thing in its place เลิกใช้และนำสิ่งใหม่มาใช้แทน
track – to follow the development, use or progress of something ติดตาม
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
approve – to give official permission อนุมัต
issue – to officially give out ออก
academic year – school year ปีการศึกษา
complaint – when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
rural – connected with the countryside outside big towns and cities ในชนบท, บ้านนอก