Teachers close 332 Pattani schools

Teachers close 332 Pattani schools

The Confederation of Teachers of Southern Border Provinces on Monday agreed to temporarily close classes at 332 schools in Pattani province to apply pressure for security agencies to review security measures to ensure their safety.

The confederation called a meeting of its members at a school in Muang district of Pattani on Monday following the murder of Nanthana Kaewchan, the director of Ban Tha Kam Sam School in Nong Chik district, who was shot by militants after leaving the school in her car on Nov 22.

The confederation made the point that In November alone, two teachers had been killed and two wounded in separate attacks in Pattani. During the past eight years, since the insurgency erupted, 66 teachers had been slain and 46 wounded in the province.

The meeting passed a resolution to close 332 schools in Education Zones 1-3 in Pattani and to send a letter to the teachers' associations of Yala and Narathiwat province asking them to follow their example.

Boonsom Srithongplai, chairman of the confederation, said the school closure was intended to draw the attention of all concerned, particularly the government, to the newed for more serious protection for teachers, who were performing their duties in an atmosphere of fear.

He apologised to parents and students and promised to arrange additional teaching hours after the schools were reopened.

At today's meeting, the conference expressed concerns there might be even more violence following the arrest of Marosi Da-o, a suspect wanted under warrants for many security-related cases, in Nong Chik district last night.

On Monday morning, a bomb exploded at a vendor's stall by the side of the Narathiwat - Tak Bai road in tambon Sala Mai of Narathiwat's Tak Bai district, wounding Mayuso Mamami, a civilian who was passing the spot on a motorcycle.

The home-made bomb, weighing about 20kg, was believed intended for an attack on a security patrol of Narathiwat Task Force 36.

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