South to train more local teachers
- Published: 9/12/2012 at 06:18 PM
- Online news:
The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC) is planning to train more locals to be teachers in the hope that it will reduce attacks against teachers in Thailand's troubled South.
SBPAC director Pol Col Tawee Sodsong said on Sunday that locals with bachelor's degrees or other types of qualifications will be recruited and trained as educators to address the problem of teachers being targeted by insurgent groups.
Pol Col Tawee said the proposed plan will reduce violence because the new teachers will come from communities where teachers have previously been attacked.
A series of attacks have killed 155 teachers and left 144 injured in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and parts of Songkhla since 2004.
The latest attacks were in Narathiwat and Yala last week and angered teachers who decided to close almost 380 schools since last Thursday.
Chatsuda Nilsuwan, a 33-year-old teacher at Ban Ta-ngo school in Yala, was shot dead last Monday. Thirapol Chusaongsaeng, 52, a teacher at Ban Boko school in Narathiwat, was shot and wounded the following day.
Taechers promised to reopen classes on Tuesday after security officers restored confidence about safety measures in place to protect them.
The decision came after Education Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana talked with 1,500 members of the Confederation of Teachers of Southern Border Provinces on Wednesday to listen to problems and opinions on providing safety for educational personnel.
On Sunday the SBPAC chief also held a meeting with villagers and community leaders at a mosque in Bacho district of Narathiwat.
The locals admitted that there was no trust in security officials because the latter are frequently reshuffled in and out the area.
They said they also feared being seen with authorities because it could affect their reputations in their own communities.
Nipon Boonyamanee, a deputy secretary-general of the Democrat Party, said that educators in the region are still seen as "soft" targets by insurgents.
Mr Nipon urged the government to be more proactive in providing protection for teachers and give local people more roles in helping curbing violence.
"Locals should play a more active role in solving the problems in the area. Village chiefs and sub-district heads should be assigned clear duties and objectives. This would be more effective than bringing in outsiders who are not trusted by the locals," he said.
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Writer: Wassayos Ngamkham and Assawin Pakkawan