Discrimination alleged at school for blind

Prof Wiriya Namsiripongpun, the president of Christian Foundation for the Blind in Thailand (CFBT) and a prominent disabled rights activist, has called for in inquiry into alleged corruption and discrimination at the Bangkok School for the Blind under the management of Foundation for the Blind in Thailand.

Photo by Yingyong Un-anongrak

Prof Wiriya said that over the last 6-7 years there had been numerous complaints about the school's mistreatment of its blind students and teachers.

Many blind teachers had been unjustly fired while many blind people had not been able to take full advantage of the school. Moreover, the management was not transparent. He called this a violation of the foundation's  founding principles.

Prof Wiriya told Thai Rath that he raised the issue with the foundations executive committee more than a month ago but has not received any reply. As a result, he is planning to file a complaint with the Senate committee overseeing the disabled affairs on Wednesday.

In the past, the school's faculty was made up almost entirely of its blind alumni, but nowdays only a few blind teachers work there, Prof Wiriya said.

He said the school's excuse that the low number of blind employees was caused by lack of vacancies and document problems was unacceptable.

To address the problem, the CFBT president is demanding the following: at least a fifth of the foundation's committee members must be from blind people, to ensure the school's compliance with all related regulations. 

He also wants at least a third of the foundation's and school's staff must be hired from blind applicants, and there should be an investigation into corruption and discrimination by a panel chaired by alumni, with  representatives from the foundation and parent-teacher association.

Related search: Bangkok School for the Blind, corruption, discrimination

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