Obec gives nod for casual attire in all schools

Obec gives nod for casual attire in all schools

Concession is only for first day of new term

Student protester volunteers manage traffic at a busy ‘Bad Student’ rally on Rama I road in front of Siam Paragon in Bangkok on Nov 21. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Student protester volunteers manage traffic at a busy ‘Bad Student’ rally on Rama I road in front of Siam Paragon in Bangkok on Nov 21. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

The Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) has instructed all schools to not prohibit their students from wearing casual outfits to school on the first day of the second term.

Obec secretary-general Amporn Pinasa said students should be allowed to don casual attire today, as students going to school to study is the best thing that could happen to society.

However, Mr Amporn said that school dress codes will still apply, and each school will be required to inform parents of their respective dress codes.

The move was announced after "Bad Students", a group of students pushing for education reforms, called on students to wear casual outfits on the first day of the new school term, as part of a wider civil disobedience campaign.

Desperate times: A student sells ‘miang kham’ at the Siam BTS skytrain station during the school break to pay for his tuition, as the economy has yet to recover from the Covid-19 slump. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)

"Bad Students" also supports the three demands sought by anti-government protesters: the removal of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a new constitution and reforms to the monarchy -- as well as reforms to the education system. Their latest rally took place on Nov 21 beneath the Siam BTS skytrain station.

The group is known to have members in many schools, including Samsenwittayalai, Triam Udom Suksa, Suankularb Wittayalai Rangsit, Benjamarachalai, Chonratsadorn Umrung, Horwang and Khon Kaen Wittayayon schools.

Mr Amporn said that Obec believes the Education Ministry's regulation on student uniforms does not constitute a violation of student rights.

Instead, he said, compliance with such regulations will help students develop discipline, so they can be responsible for themselves and in society.

"If the students insist on wearing casual outfits to school, a committee will be set up to consider this matter," said the secretary-general, adding the Education Ministry has already begun reviewing the school uniform rule.

The director of Samsen Wittayalai School in Bangkok, Bunyaphon Phothiwatthanat, said students have the right to express themselves, but schools under the Education Ministry are bound by its rules.

"If students wear casual outfits to school, we may talk to them, but won't reprimand them," he said.

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