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Thai schools semester postponed again

June 18, 2021

Original Article: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2117807/school-semester-postponed-again

The Education Ministry yesterday postponed the new school semester from June 1 to 14 to allow more time for teachers to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong yesterday said the ministry has, for the second time now, decided to postpone the semester' start because of the coronavirus situation.

Ms Treenuch said if schools would like to start their semester on June 1, they must assess their capability to do so through the Thai Stop Covid Plus online platform and ask for permission from the provincial disease control committee. The Bangkok Teacher Club (BTC) meanwhile petitioned the Education Ministry to postpone school semesters until the Covid-19 disease situation has subsided.

Kraithong Klakhaeng, president of the BTC, submitted the petition to the Education Ministry to reconsider semester openings as the new wave of Covid-19 pandemic is still severe.

The petition insisted that the high infection rate makes teaching in schools too risky for students, while speeding up vaccination would not immediately halt the spread of the virus, as the vaccine needs time to build up immunity in people.

According to an online survey among Bangkok teachers on social media on Saturday, around 98% of the teachers agreed to the postponement of the semester, while only 1.45% were against the plan, saying that schools reopening later would disrupt children's education, he said.

Pongsathat Wanichanan, an education researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute, said the short-term solution is to speed up vaccinations among teachers in areas with high infection rates.

Medical recommendations for teaching personnel and compensation for those who have allergic reactions to the vaccine are needed, he said.

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