In the past two weeks, there has been a rise in the number of attacks on teachers and schools in the deep South. Two female teachers were brutally murdered, two schools were torched and another teacher was seriously injured by insurgents who are out to destroy what they view as symbols of a Thai Buddhist state in the Malay Muslim-dominated region.
In response, the government has promised to beef up security and improve financial remuneration for teachers in high-risk areas. Although these measures are necessary, they are sorely insufficient in addressing the safety concerns of teachers in the restive South.
Like it or not, we must admit that the military can never provide round-the-clock protection for school teachers _ not when state schools are not regarded as part of the local culture and community.