Parents file complaint after school rejections

Parents file complaint after school rejections

Principal accused of asking for 'donations'

The parents of 43 students who were denied admission to Suankularb Wittayalai Nonthaburi School on Monday lodged a complaint against the school's director to the Royal Thai Police, alleging irregularities in the entrance process.

The school director, the parents said, failed to explain why their children were denied seats in Mathayom 4 (Grade 10), despite scoring above the passing grade of 2.0.

"The director didn't explain why my child was rejected despite scoring 2.65. The other 42 students received a 2.5 score, and they were also denied seats," said one parent, Pornweenas, 43, who chose to withhold her last name.

"We have lodged appeals with the Ministry of Education twice, but nothing has happened. Our children don't have a school to go to when the semester starts," said Ms Pornweenas.

While the Ministry of Education has assured that all new Mathayom 4 students will have a school to study at for the new school term, Ms Pornweenas said that students should be allowed to stay in the same school, as long as their grades qualify.

"A new school will be further away and inconvenient for the students," she said.

The complaint was received by Pol Maj Gen Suwat Sangnum, chief of the Anti-Corruption Division under the Royal Thai Police on Monday. The parents were accompanied by anti-corruption activist Nakboon Akkabutra.

Mr Nakboon said he has also accompanied the parents to petition Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan on June 15, after the school rejected the students without giving the parents sufficient explanation.

He said that students aren't able to find seats at other schools so close to the start of the semester on July 1. He also said that schools which the district office has arranged are too far away from the children's homes.

In the complaint, the parents also accused the school's director of asking parents for donations in exchange for guaranteed admission to Mathayom 4 at the school.

Surawut Yanyaluk, the embattled principal of Suankularb Wittayalai Nonthaburi School, firmly denied the accusation. The school did not also ask for any kinds of donations in exchange for seats, he said.

Mr Surawut explained that the decision to reject the 43 students was approved by the school committee, which did not only base their decision solely on average grades.

He said the students' performance in certain subjects was also taken into account by the school committee.

"It's not unusual for students to leave the school after Grade 9, because we have to clear out underperforming students whom we don't believe will be able to cope with more advanced subjects," he said.

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