Joining hands to fight school ills

Thailand is initiating an inaugural meeting of Asean education ministers to find ways to tackle the problem of student indiscipline common to the region. 

Thai Vice Minister for Education Piyabutr Cholvijarn said Education Minister Dr Adissai Bhodharamik had initiated the move to organise the Asean Education Ministers Meeting and Retreat in Phuket next month. 

He said the education ministers would among other things, focus on the issue of student indiscipline. 

“They will recommend ways to tackle the problem affecting Asean countries now,” he said here yesterday. 

He was speaking to reporters after opening the International Buddhist College at Thung Mo district, Amphoe Sadao in Songkhla province. 

BUDDHIST PRIDE:A view of the main entrance flanked by admin block(left)and academic block of the International Buddhist College in Songkla, Thailand.

The college is partly founded and financed by the Penang-based Than Hsiang Temple. 

Among those present were Songkhla province governor Somporn Chaibanyang, Than Hsiang Abbot Ven Wei Wu, Air Itam assemblyman Cheang Chee Gooi who represented Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, college rector Dr Somboon Duangsamosorn and Songkhla-based Malay- sian consul-general Azizan Ismail. 

Piyabutr said it was time Asean countries worked closely to tackle the problem of indiscipline among students. 

The countries had so far given importance to trade, commerce, border management, security, sports, tourism and culture, he said, adding that the problem of student indiscipline had worsened and needed serious attention. 

He said that in Thailand the education authorities were grappling with indiscipline issues like school bullying, drug abuse and teenage sex. 

He said he learnt that Malay-sia was saddled with similar problems and that he thus wanted the respective education ministers to meet to and find ways to overcome them. 

On the unrest in southern Thailand, Piyabutr said Malay-sian students should avoid enrolling in schools in Nara- thiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces where violence was rife.  

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