Monthly Archives: July 2011

Suranaree Wittaya school

Suranaree Wittaya schoolSuranaree Wittaya school in Nakhon Ratchasima.

It is a girls only fee paying school often described as the top school in the region.

It permits teachers to hit children and when they do so takes no action against the teachers involved.

There was a video posted on youtube of a teacher beating several girls in 2008 (three years after it was made illegal) but the video was removed in January 2011 after the school was investigated by the Ministry of Education over the incident.

The teacher is this video subsequently “retired” biut faced no official sanction or punishment as far as we are aware. If she did this was not officially published by the school.

The video can now bee seen on youtube as below.

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Geraldine Daray-Pugoy

Geraldine Daray PugoyYet another teacher who attempts to protect child abusers at Kanlayanee SiThammarat school.

In a conversation today Geraldine Daray-Pugoy says that she has seen many Thai teachers abusing children but has never tried to stop them saying it is part of Thai culture.

Sorry Ms Daray-Pugoy it used to be part of Filipino culture too 20 years ago but it is wrong so they stopped it (19 years ago to be precise). The “culture” argument holds no water – it is ILLEGAL and teachers should not break the law. Teachers in your own country respect the law or they are punished. Why do you think it should be any different here? Do you think it is part of Thai culture for teachers to somehow be above the law?

She went on to say that the teachers who abuse children do it because they love the kids – sorry again Ms Pugoy but you are showing a distinct lack of intelligence and training here. If you love someone you do NOT abuse them.

She should read this article which explains the difference between discipline and abuse.

http://www2.unescobkk.org/elib/publications/086/Pos_Dis-final.pdf

Ms Daray Pugoy is a Fillipino working in Thailand. As a foreigner, from a country where such abuse is specifically prohibited, she should know better than to try and defend the abuse of small children by adults in schools. She should also make herself aware of her duty to protect the children in her care and if she fails to do so her work permit, and teachers licence, should be removed at very least.

Whats with the haircuts in some Thai Schools?

The  Ministry of Education regulation on haircuts (in government schools) was removed in May 2003, yes thats eight years ago! the new regulation stated it was up to each individual school to set their own rules on the matter.

So, why do some schools still implement this archaic rule as it achieves nothing and does only harm :-

1. It continues to institutionalize some students to ensure they all look the same and restricts individual development.

2. It stigmatizes students in some schools with the label that they are somehow less “worthy” or even “trustworthy” than students at better quality schools.

To give an example, there are five (large) schools in my home town, three government schools and two private schools. Four of the schools do NOT implement the hair cuts and one does. The results are that kids at the haircutting school are made to feel like second class citizens – unable to understand why their peers and friends can be different. Worse still the kids at the school with the haircuts are “identified” as being of lower grade as few parents choose to send kids to this school but often have no choice if they fail to get seats at the others. These kids are also mercilessly laughed at by the kids in the other four schools about their lack of choice.  This creates a two tier system where one school is perceived to be of less value than the other four.

In addition, the haircuts are infringing on childrens personal rights outside the classroom and that is something no school or school administrator should have a right to do. It is one thing to force a child to have a short haircut in school but it is an entirely different matter to be forcing them to conform once outside the school gate. This is depriving children of a very basic right to choose.

So why do some schools still do this?

There are several possibilities.

1. Teachers and administrators are simply stuck in the old days and ways. They just don’t understand the damage they are doing by enforcing archaic rules.

2. Administrators (wrongly) believe that “uniformity” is still the best way. They have no training or education themselves about the negative aspects of this practice.

3. Some teachers are simply obsessed with retaining their power and control over the lives of their students.

4. Most likely, the teachers and administrators at these schools don’t actually know that the rule changed, despite it being eight years ago.  EVERY teacher we spoke to at the school I mention said they believed it was a national regulation for kids to have these ridiculous haircuts.

A recent study paper by Mahidol University stated that it was vital for the future of the Thai education system that kids be encouraged to develope their individual personalities as the practice of producing automatons was holding back Thai society as a whole.

The answer is simple – someone needs to educate the educators about the harm caused by this practice, especially regarding the social stigmatization of kids at these shools who should be made to feel equal to their friends.

We are all in favour of ensuring “reasonable standards”, indeed the MoE states that the haircuts must be tidy and girls must tie up long hair in pony tails or plaits whist on the school premises.

However there can be no doubt in anyones mind that forcing kids to all look the same stunts their pesonal developement. Any school that still practices this out of date system is doing their students no favours at all.

Kanlayanee School – again!

We were contacted via Facebook yesterday by a female student from Kanlayanee SiThammarat school. The is a student in the English Programme at the school.

She informed us that, despite the her promises, Phasuk is still hitting children with a cane. She did not say if this was in the Thai Programme or the Kanlayanee School English Programme (KNEP) but that is irrelevant. If the teacher is abusing children then ALL children at the school are placed at risk.

We are contacting the school (again) but expect another cover up by the school administrators who seem to have little interest in the welfare of their students.

We remind Phasuk and Mayuree Karikarn that hitting children is illegal and is child abuse. Why? Becasue Thai law says so!

Mayuree Karikarn

Mayuree Karikarn is the Head of the English Programme (EP) at Kanlayanee Si Thammarat school.

She contacted us after we exposed the illegal hitting of kids in the school by a female P.E teacher Ms Phasuk.

As with so many teachers, heads of departments and school directors (principals) her only concern (as she says herself) is the good name of the schools. The welfare of the children in their care comes a distinct second place.

As far as we are concerned school employees who attempt to cover up, or protect, abusive teachers are equally guilty of that abuse.

Below is the transcript of our conversation (held on a messenger service not vocally).

Some explanation –

Kanlayanee SiThammarat school has two separate preogrammes; the Thai Programme (TP in the conversation) and the English programme (EP). Ms Karikarn is the head of the EP (only). However both are part of the same school and share some teachers.

Ms Karikarn is abbreviated to MK and our responses are marked as TT.

The bold sections have been added here and were not bolded in the original conversation.

MK – Hi, I need to talk to you.

TT – please use the open profile for discussion

MK – I am Mayuree Karikarn. HEad of the English Program of Kanlayanee Si Thammarat school

TT – yes, please use the open profile for discussion.

MK – this conversation should be in private.

TT – no thank you.

MK – That is unfair.

TT – beating children is unfair and ILLEGAL.

MK – you claims that our teacher is abusing students and putting pictures on ur profile.

TT – Yes!

MK – Then prove it. when. how?

TT – We have several statements from students and ex students and 4 parents

TT – in the meantime you should tell her to stop

MK – first thing you shuold do is to learn how to pronounce her name correctly.

MK – I am the boss

MK  – of course i know this teacher.. i don’t recognize her name that you stated but i recognized her picture. I am not telling you what to do it’s your life your decision her I am talking to you cos I need to protect EP cos I am the boss here I am doing my job why don’t you take care of our businessss?

TT – Is it your job to protect child abusers or to protect the children in your care?

TT – Are you saying that “protecting your business” is more important than protecting children?????

TT – We are aware that the EP does not hit children but EP and TP is the same school.

MK – what is TP? we are EP not TP.

TT – the law is there to protect ALL children not just those in the EP. Yes I know, read what I said, you are EP.

MK – but the picture of a teacher shown in ur profile teaches for us too.

TT – and kids in TP are the ones who get hit but it is the same school and the law is there to protect ALL children equally!

MK – please tell me what TP stands for.

TT – I know but she is not permited to hit the kids in the EP we know that. TP = Thai programme.

MK – still she teaches our students too.

TT – yes we know that

MK –  it is important that you clarify that she hits students in Thai Program not just put TP

TT – and she does not hit the kids in the EP?

MK – nop never.

TT – why the double standards? it’s the same school and the school is employing a teacher who breaks the law. If she is your friend why not tell her to STOP?

MK – it’s ok. up to you. Ill just put information on the open profile that she doesn’t hit EP students.

TT – I am aware that you are not a child beater but it is the schools responsibility as a whole to ensure they do not employ teachers who break the law.

MK – if you don’t care about EP students then you have double standards too.

TT – We care about all children equally, unlike you.

TT – so you admit she hits TP students then?

MK – I am not saying she hits students.

TT – but you just did!

TT – ASK her this question “have you EVER hit a child” and see what she says

TT – I just asked one of the students from you school as I want to be sure. Would you like to see her reply?

TT – Here is her reply FYI.

“Sure it’s only TP still beat the student. They beat primary Mathayom but just a few teachers do this not all.

The teacher who hit the students, her name is Phasuk ( female) but the majority of teacher hate the teacher who hit students.

She does like this almost every hour when she teach students,I don’t know that’s why she does such this but the other teachers don’t beat students except her !!!”

At this point Mayuree logged off and refused to discuss futher despite us sending her the rest of the evidence we have.