Thailand’s Education Ministry has unveiled the government’s plans to tackle debts owed by about 900,000 teachers nationwide, worth about 1.4 trillion baht.
Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong said the government aims to enlist teachers’ savings cooperatives in solving the problems. Three cooperatives in each of the 4 regions of the country will be chosen as models to work with financial institutions and local education agencies to tackle the problem. This model will then be expanded to other provinces nationwide in November.
She said this approach was previously adopted by teachers’ savings cooperatives in Samut Prakan and Kamphaeng Phet provinces, to address similar debt problems in the region. They reduced interest on members’ savings to no more than 3% and changed the interest on low-risk loans to bring them in line with those of financial institutions at 4.5-5%.
Ms. Treenuch said other measures launched to help in-debt teachers included debt-restructuring programs, withdrawing lawsuits against debtors and reducing loan interest for teachers aged over 75 years old to 0.25-0.50%. (NNT)