Last bell for private school after 65 years

Last bell for private school after 65 years

Chalerm Chailai Witthaya School is closing permanently this month for most students, the pandemic having driven it to bankruptcy.

After 65 years, the private school in downtown Samut Prakan is calling it a day.

"We can't go on any longer. It's the economy and the pandemic that's putting us out of business," said the school's director, Wathinee Suthonrak.

She explained enrolments had been dwindling in recent years. And when the pandemic hit, sending the economy into a downward spiral, that was the last nail in the coffin.

The school teaches students from kindergarten to Matthayom 3 (Grade 9).

"Many parents lost much of their income [during the pandemic] and were behind in paying the tuition fees," the director said.

The loss of those fees proved critical, forcing the school to close.

Ms Wathinee said most students have switched to other schools in the area. Only 40 remain, each with autism, whom the school will teach for a while longer.

The teachers were given full severance pay but some have been unable to land another position. It is now summer break and the new term will start in the middle of next month.

Ms Wathinee said the school has notified the school district of its plan to permanently close.

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