Thursday, December 05, 2019

‘Ghost students’ mystery probed in Northeast

Nov 26. 2018
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By Prasit Tangprasert
The Nation

8,126 Viewed

More than 10 schools in the Northeast have been accused of exaggerating the number of students enrolled, possibly to gain benefits based on scale, the director of the Third Regional Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) office said on Monday.

Pol Lt Col Samart Chainarong said random checks among schools in Si Sa Ket, Yasothon and Nakhon Ratchasima this month found three schools where the number of students had allegedly been exaggerated.

At Kham Sakaesaeng School in Nakhon Ratchasima, new director Rangsiroj Palawat on November 22 allegedly reported 191 “ghost students”.

The Office of Basic Education Commission’s online database counts 1,510 students at that school, but there are in fact only 1,319, Samart said.

The PACC office expanded its investigation to all eight provinces in its jurisdiction, the others being Surin, Buri Ram, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani and Chaiyaphum.

Samart said student numbers so far appear exaggerated at 10 more schools.

If the student body increases from less than 500 to the range of 500-1,499 students, the school director is eligible for transfer to a larger school.

Samart said the investigation was continuing and would try to determine why directors want those transfers, since it would not alter their salaries.

He suspected that postings to larger schools might bring other benefits, such as “tea money” kickbacks from parents seeking to place their children in the school.

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