'Pracharath' project to stay
The cabinet has agreed in principle that the pracharath school project -- initiated in the southern border provinces by the previous coup-installed government -- will continue, deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said.
"The project will have a budget allocation of more than 3 billion baht to support it," she said.
Schools under the project are located in Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and four districts in Songkhla -- namely Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi, and Saba Yoi.
In 2016, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered that a primary and secondary school in each district of these provinces be upgraded into a boarding school.
The project is aimed at providing basic education to needy or abandoned children affected by the southern violence so as to reduce educational inequality and improve the quality of life of local people.
"Since the project began in 2017, there are now 64 schools under the project, and that number is expected to continue to increase," the spokeswoman said.
The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) has sought a budget allocation of 3.4 billion baht to support the project from the cabinet, Ms Traisulee said.
Of that amount, some 132 million baht will be used to hire teachers and buy teaching aids; about 1 billion baht will be spent on constructing dormitories at each participating school, while some additional 2.2 billion baht will be paid for three square meals per day for each student, and to subsidise their tuition fees.