BANGKOK, Dec 24 — Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat is considering enlisting active military and border patrol police to teach students in Thailand’s southern border provinces after many schools face a shortage of educators due to the recently escalating violence.
Defence Ministry spokesman Col Thanathip Sawangsaeng said the minister floated the idea of deploying more soldiers, paramilitary rangers and border patrol police to the south to help educators in teaching in schools in Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani following the shortage of Buddhist teachers in the areas.
He said the idea was also the result of the meeting between the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC)’s 4th Region Forward Command and the Confederation of Teachers in Three Southern Border Provinces on security measures for teachers.
The Confederation earlier urged the government and military to strengthen security for teachers who have lately become targets of insurgents’ attacks, as the Thai Buddhist teachers are highly prone to being attacked.
The defence ministry spokesman said that additional security forces would be deployed for this purpose and that now the agencies concerned are checking how many military personnel graduated from faculties of education or have experience teaching.
Col Thanathip explained that the move did not reflect a military failure to provide adequate security to educators, but was a part of the government’s short-term measures to ensure teacher safety.
Long-term measures would later follow suit, he added.