Men in uniform to teach southern students


NARATHIWAT, Dec 26 – Thai army soldiers and border patrol police will be assigned to teach in state-run schools in violence-plagued provinces in Thailand’s far South, according to the Thai defence minister.

Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat, who stayed overnight in Narathiwat Tuesday during his two-day inspection trip to the South, said instruction by military and police personnel will be a temporary measure given a shortage of Thai Buddhist teachers.

A series of attacks, many fatal, against Thai Buddhist teachers in the three southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani in the past few months has lowered the morale of educators, many of whom have sought Education Ministry permission to transfer from the troubled region.

He said the assignment of teaching job to soldiers, rangers and border patrol police was agreed to by the Federation of Teachers in Three Southern Border Provinces.

Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has consulted the prime minister and given assurances of the military’s readiness to assume teaching responsibilities if the measure is approved by the government and the Education Ministry, the defence minister said.

Military personnel whose education background is applicable to education will be selected, he said.