Scouts uniforms a 'burden', claim parents

Scouts uniforms a 'burden', claim parents

Students are seen in scout uniforms. Parents have asked schools to ease their financial burden by scrapping the requirement for their kids to wear them. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Students are seen in scout uniforms. Parents have asked schools to ease their financial burden by scrapping the requirement for their kids to wear them. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

Education Minister Trinuch Thienthong has asked schools to consider whether pupils enrolled in scouting programmes should be compelled to purchase and wear the uniform following recent publicity of parent complaints and online debate.

On Monday, Ms Trinuch directly referenced the current hot topic amid concern among parents that it was a burden they could be relieved of while the economy is in the doldrums.

She said that the Ministry of Education is well aware of the cost of the uniforms, especially following the pandemic. However, she insisted that the content of the course is still useful to students.

"I have directed every school to be more lenient on uniform wearing. Students wearing only some pieces of the whole uniform is also permitted," she said.

Moreover, she said that even though the 15-year compulsory free education scheme covers the payment of uniforms, the Ministry of Education has arranged extra cash payments to help struggling parents.

However, she also confirmed that the ministry is considering raising support fees for parents to cover the expense.

She added that scouting is a compulsory programme as it trains the students to be disciplined and offers them volunteering work. However, if the curriculum no longer fits the current context, it can be revised.

The Kru Waendam Facebook page recently asked members for their opinions about the issue following posts by parents lamenting the expense.

"The Thai education system should have amended the scouting programme a long time ago. It should train students to be prepared for the modern world in areas such as asset management," read one post.

However, many who disagreed said that the programme fosters independence and equips students to deal with emergencies, and openly wondered why there have been so many complaints recently.

"Former governments never subsidised the uniforms, school supplies or books. How did people in the past manage? Kids these days complain a lot. Perhaps they could use the money they pay for internet connections to pay for their uniforms instead?" another user added.



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