Schools in far South reopen amid tight security


NARATHIWAT, May 14 – Fifty per cent of all 379 schools in the southern border province of Narathiwat opened for the new semester on Tuesday amid heightened security.

Security officials have been dispatched to provide security at schools and on teachers’ travel routes to ensure their safety.

The remaining schools are due to open on May 16.

Many schools in the neighbouring province of Yala are also open.

In Songkhla’s four districts, connecting the three violence-plagued provinces, about 1,000 students travelled to Baanna School in Chana district.

Security measures have been stepped up and police officers as well as defence volunteers are cooperating, taking turns in being stationed at schools and community areas to provide security for teachers and students.

Charun Moonchan, Baanna School director, said although the situation on the first day of the new semester is normal, he warned teachers to be careful and avoid travelling alone.

Meanwhile, Lt Gen Sakon Chuentrakul, Fourth Army Commander, said cooperation between security personnel and teachers is now more efficient. Nonetheless he asked teachers to avoid travelling alone.

Gen Sakon said, however, there are many teachers in the area, so cooperation with all teachers is quite difficult. The security agencies as a result work with officials at the district level and in localities.

The fourth army region commander said that the army chief had ordered a survey of all locations and personnel before school started. Any loopholes in last year’s security operations have been reviewed to improve security operations in the new semester.

Local authorities are now more cooperative in helping provide security for teachers