By The Nation
The special conditions include enrolling children whose parents or guardians make frequent contributions to schools and students from allied schools.
Assoc Professor Ekachai Keesookpun, who chairs the Basic Education Commission, said these conditions were being cancelled in response to a recommendation from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
“The NACC believes these conditions give way to corruption,” he said.
With applications at popular schools far exceeding the number of available seats, it is an open secret that some rich parents pay “tea money” – sometimes in six-digit figures – to get their children enrolled.
However, Ekachai said his commission was not able to revoke all seven conditions as yet.
“We can only cancel three. We need to keep the remainder because they are beneficial to the country’s education sector and encourage people to contribute,” he said.
The rules that will remain are enrolling children whose parents donate land to schools; underprivileged children; children whose parents have made sacrifices for the nation and disaster victims; and the offspring of school personnel and teachers.
State schools, overseen by the Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec), allocate 60 per cent of their seats to children in the neighbourhood, while the remainder are given to children living outside the zone.
Sanit Yamgesorn, deputy secretary-general of Obec, said under new regulations only children who have been living with their parents in the school’s neighbourhood for at least two years as of May 16 this year, will be eligible for enrolment.
“The children must really be living in the neighbourhood. We will not accept applicants who are neighbours just in paper,” Sanit said, adding that every residential document will be strictly checked.
“Any child found to have been enrolled with fake residential papers will be expelled,” he said, adding that the parents could also face criminal action for fraud.
Applications to state schools under Obec will be accepted between March 22 and March 27, with the exception of election day on March 24.