Teachers owe B1.1 trillion, 16% of total public debt

Teachers owe B1.1 trillion, 16% of total public debt

Teachers attend a forum marking Teachers' Day in Nakhon Ratchasima on Thursday. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)
Teachers attend a forum marking Teachers' Day in Nakhon Ratchasima on Thursday. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

The debt accumulated by teachers nationwide totals 1.1 trillion baht, about 16% of the public debt, with each teacher owing an average 3 million baht.

This figure was given on Thursday, National Teachers Day, by Samkhan Jongkoyen, secretary-general of a coordinating centre set up to solve the debt problems of teachers and others in the education sector.

He said teachers’ debt was at crisis level. Statistics showed that about 400,000 teachers, about 80% of the total nationwide, were deeply in debt - to an average, at least 3 million baht.

Their debts came from loans drawn on the teachers’ welfare fund, funeral loan schemes and the Teacher Savings Cooperative (TSC), to a total of 1.1 trillion baht. This was about 16% of the country’s public debt, Mr Samkhan said.

The huge debt incurred by teaching personnel was attributed to the rising cost of living, family burdens and a lack of financial discipline on the part of both teachers and the financial institutions they borrowed from, Mr Samkhan said. 

The coordinating centre has been trying to help, he said.

It planned to sue the government over a cabinet resolution in 2010 that failed to solve teachers’ debt problems, and also the Government Savings Bank, the Office of the Welfare Promotion Commission for Teachers and Education Personnel, and Dhipaya Insurance Co, for alleged unfair loan contracts, said Mr Samkhan. 

The centre would ask the courts to void those contracts and then new, fairer contracts could be drawn up, he said.

He advised new teachers to follow the tenets of sufficiency living and be more careful than their older peers have been. If they do need to borrow, they must heed financial discipline, he said.


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