Thailand’s Ministry of Education will seek Cabinet approval for 21.6 billion baht to subsidize education costs, at 2,000 baht per student in the elementary and vocational education systems, to mitigate financial burdens on parents as a result of COVID-19.
Minister Trinuch Thienthong said the mitigation measures were proposed at a meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval on Tuesday. The funds are to help parents tackle financial issues during COVID-19 and can be spent on tuition fees, maintenance, Internet or electricity bills.
She said state-run schools have returned some maintenance fees and miscellaneous expenses to parents, while private schools, affiliated with the Office of the Private Education Commission (OPEC), have also returned fees, amounting to about 2.27 billion baht.
Ms Trinuch added that the ministry is attempting to narrow the learning gap and is addressing learning set-backs caused by COVID-19 by allowing schools to spend subsidies, allocated under the free education scheme, on fees, books, accessories, uniforms and development activities. Additional funds will be allocated for a variety of educational devices for online learning for kindergarten to Pathom 3 (grade 3). (NNT)