Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Educational committee defends disqualifying two Tak teaching assistants

Nov 08. 2017
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By Somjit Rungjamrasrassamee
The Nation

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Tak Educational Committee acting secretary Samrit Waipia on Wednesday said a review panel had followed civil service regulations in rejecting the recruitment of two female teaching assistants at Umphang Wittayakhom School in Tak.

The case involving teaching assistants Wanalee Thunmak of Sukhothai and Nirawan Cheuboonmee of Loei created a controversy after the two women’s credential were rejected.

The Secondary Education Service Area Office 38 (Sukhothai-Tak) had proposed that the two teaching assistant positions be filled by maths graduates, while Wanalee and Nirawan, social science majors, were selected from a list that was more than two years old without the committee’s knowledge, Samrit said. 

When the committee checked the recruitment process and found that the two women did not match the proposed qualifications, it was unable to approve their appointments, Samrit said. 

Approvals would have violated regulations and incurred damages for the committee, he said, adding that his office had notified the Secondary Education Service Area Office 38 twice about the problem.

Samrit said remedial measures helping the two women would be the responsibility of the central agency, adding that the committee would be stricter in screening teaching positions in the future. 

He said his office had already reported the case to the Education Ministry and related agencies, while previous reporting about the case had caused damages to the educational committee due to a “public misunderstanding”.

The case drew criticism after the Facebook page of the Sukhothai-based Seu Thonthing Muang Pra Ruang and the “Northernnewsthailand” website published the women’s story, which was then picked up by the mainstream media. 

Wanalee and Nirawan, who were apparently qualified because they ranked 66th and 67th respectively on the Secondary Education Service Area Office 38 candidate list, reported to work on May 4, while their qualifications as candidates extended until May 10.

Wanalee taught at the school without pay for five months from May to September, assuming that her salary had been delayed due bureaucratic problems, while Nirawan quit another job at a Loei kindergarten to join the school. 

Both said they were shocked on October 24 to discover that they could not officially be hired because the Tak Education Committee had not approved their qualifications.

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