An interesting video by Bede Sheppard from the Children’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch about the situation of education in Southern Thailand, and how the government and security forces are in some regards making things worse, rather than better.
Some (reworded) quotes from the video:
“the presence of troops in schools is not to protect the schools – it’s about easy accomodation to place troops in particular areas”
“the presence of security forces in schools causes immense distractions in students lifes & the ability to get a good education”
“as soon as troops set up in schools, there is an almost immediate exodus of students”
“by setting up inside these schools the government is arguably putting students in greater risk of attack”
It’s not exactly clear how many schools are closed – some news sources say 365 schools in Narathiwat, while others say the number is higher than 400 schools. In a way, both could be right – 365 schools in Narathiwat and more schools in Yala and Pattani.
After that, PM Abhisit ordered the Education Minister Chinnaworn Boonyakiat and Deputy Interior Minister Thavorn Senniam to visit the troubled Southern Thailand. He also said he would want to visit himself, but is not able to at this time because of other responsibilities he has to take care of first.
Since 2004, more than 4200 people have been killed. Prior to the latest killings, there were flyers distributed in Narathiwat that said: “WANTED: 20 Buddhist teacher deaths”. The death toll for teachers and school workers is now at 135 people.