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Thailand’s economic, educational gap widens due to Covid-19 crisis

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The economic, educational and social gap in Thailand has further widened due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Equitable Education Fund’s chief Assoc Prof Dr Chaiyuth Punyasavatsut said, citing the 17.5 per cent rise in students seeking financial support his year.

So far, some 1.8 million students have applied for assistance versus 1.56 million in 2019. The applicants are assessed on two criteria – families with incomes less than Bt3,000 per person per year and family status based on the number of dependants, neighbourhood, workplace, vehicle etc.
Usually, some 300,000 or 20 per cent of the applicants come under the family income of Bt1,337 per person per year category. However, this number has risen to 600,000 this year.
“It can be confirmed that Covid-19 has worsened the economic situation and educational gap. More children are slipping through the system due to high tuition fees,” Chaiyuth said.

“Families need to come up tuition fees that are three to four times more than their income to educate children in higher classes.”
He said the JPAL Poverty Action Lab had found that the availability of financial support can affect students’ decision to remain in the educational system, which in turn will end the cycle of poverty.

Published : August 19, 2020

By : The Nation