Suchart: "Nothing wrong with donations for seats" | Bangkok Post: learning

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Suchart: "Nothing wrong with donations for seats"

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Education Minister Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech is defending his "donations for school seats" policy, saying it is not a form of under-the-table payment. 

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Suchart says 'school seats-for-cash' policy isn't bribery

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Education Minister Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech

Education Minister Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech is defending his "donations for school seats" policy, saying it is not a form of under-the-table payment.

The minister yesterday responded to a motion raised in a Senate hearing by Senator Tuang Unthachai, who questioned his planned policy to allow schools to open class slots for children whose parents donate money to the schools. Mr Suchart said he was not promoting "tea money" payments to leading schools. He said the policy would allow schools to accept donations transparently from parents and open separate classrooms for their children.

The donations would be spent on school development and benefit all students, he said, adding the donations were not bribes and that the admission process would be transparent.

Meanwhile, a new poll has found most people disagree with the Education Ministry's donation policy. The National Institute of Development Administration polled 1,258 people in all regions of the country, and found that 59% of respondents disagreed with the education minister, saying it would deprive smart students from needy families the opportunity to study at good schools.

However, 38% backed the minister's plan, saying it was common practice for schools to accept cash donations.

The money could be used to grant scholarships to poor students and improve the schools and their educational standards. The remaining respondents gave no comment.

Some 56% of respondents said the policy violated the constitution as it would lead to inequality in educational opportunities among children from different economic backgrounds. However, 24% said the policy was constitutional. The remaining respondents were uncertain if the policy violated the constitution.

cash – money in the form of notes or coins เงินสด
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
bribery – the crime of giving money or presents to someone so that they will help you by doing something dishonest or illegal การให้สินบน
defend – to say things to support someone or something ปกป้อง
donation – money or goods that you give to an organisation, especially one that helps people เงินหรือสิ่งของบริจาค
respond – to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done ตอบสนอง, ตอบรับ
motion – a formal proposal that people discuss and often vote on in a meeting or debate ญัตติ, ข้อเสนอเพื่อการอภิปรายในที่ประชุม
raise – to bring up a subject for discussion ยกขึ้นมาเป็นประเด็น
Senate – one of the two groups of politicians who make laws in some countries, for example in the US, Australia, Canada and Thailand วุฒิสภา
slot – a position, a time or an opportunity for somebody/something ตำแหน่ง,  กำหนดในตาราง
transparent – not keeping anything secret; open โปร่งใส
separate – forming a unit by itself; not joined to something else  ซึ่งแยกออกจากกัน
benefit – to give an advantage to someone มีประโยชน์ต่อ
admission – allowing somebody to become a member of a school, a club or an organisation การให้สิทธิเข้าได้
process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
poll – an occasion when a lot of people are asked about what they feel about something – การสำรวจความคิดเห็น
respondent – someone who answers questions — ผู้ตอบคำถาม/แบบสำรวจ
deprive – to prevent someone from having something ทำให้ไม่ได้รับ
needy – not having enough money, food, clothing, etc.  ยากไร้
opportunity – a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something  โอกาส
back – to support สนับสนุน
common – ordinary; not unusual or special ธรรมดา
practice – a way of doing something การปฏิบัติ
grant – to officially give something  ให้
scholarship – money given to a student to pay for the cost of education ทุนการศึกษา
improve – to make better  ทำให้ดีขึ้น
standards – a level of quality that is normal or acceptable for a particular person or in a particular situation มาตรฐาน, บรรทัดฐาน
violate – to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
constitution – the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by รัฐธรรมนูญ
inequality – a situation in which people are not equal because some groups have more opportunities, power, money etc than others ความไม่เสมอภาค
constitutional – correct or allowed according to the constitution ถูกต้องหรืออยู่ในขอบข่ายที่ระบุไว้ในรัฐธรรมนูญ
uncertain – not feeling sure about what to do, whether something is true etc ไม่แน่ใจ, คลางแคลงใจ

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