Thousands of students stranded




Around 37,000 students finishing Prathom 6 (6th grade) were disappointed yesterday after they failed to gain entry to prestigious schools in Bangkok . It was their last opportunity to try their luck through the drawing lots process.  Prathom 6 students of 85,132 have applied to enter the schools in all the three educational service area offices of Bangkok, whereas the schools could provide 48,054 seats for Matthayom 1 (7th grade). So, to date 37,078 students have not had where to study said Chaiyapruek Serirak advisor to the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC).

Students in Prathom 6 level who could not enter the popular schools through the schools' admission exams had given a chance to cast lots yesterday nationwide at the school of their choice.

Around 6,000 students living in the areas taken care by the educational service area office 2 of Bangkok cannot enter any schools—there are 35,637 students finishing their Prathom 6 this year while the schools under responsibility of the office can provide 29,375, Chaiyapruek said.

The office has faced the problem with too many students every year and the excess of students this year was similar to last year.

"We're sure that we will be able to find places for the rest students. Any students having no schools to study must submit a request for being provided a seat at the office. We'll put them into 47 other schools supervised by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). They can provide 7,200 seats," Chaiyapruek said, adding that some of schools under the OBEC probably provide more seats per one class, but each class would not contain over 50.

Education Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said he had the schools and the ministry's inspectors report the information about providing places to study for Matthayom 1 and 4 (10th grade) students within 15 days.

Meanwhile, Ratchasima Wittayalai School director Udom Prompanjai in Nakhon Ratchasima province revealed parents of hundreds of students had tried to offer the school tea money in exchange for their child's seats but the school had to urge them to submit a request for seats with it and it would then send the request to the province's education commission to consider putting them into another school, which received academic support from the school instead.

There were many popular schools with the high excess of students.

Horwang School had 420 students drawing lots while it can offer 85 seats through the process; Satriwithaya 2 School had 675 students trying their luck, but it could provide only 100 places; Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) 2 School had 441 students drawing lots, but only 100 were fulfilled; and Triamudomsuksa Pattanakarn School had 312 students trying their luck, but could offer 130 seats.

Reports said many parents and students worshiped Buddha statues, spirit houses and other holy things located at each school to beg for seats for their children.

Suchada Naowaopas, elder sister of Nisakorn, a student from Bangkok's Suan Luang district who could not enter Triamudomsuksa Pattanakarn School after drawing lots said her younger sister was so sad and she would then submit the request for seats with the school to wait for it to find another school for her. They were among ones that worshiped holy things.

While, Sakpol Wonganan, a student who lives very close to the school said he was very happy after knowing that he could enter it as he extremely wanted to study at the school—it was more convenient for him to travel to school.


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