Teachers are a high value target to jihadis. Nothing more fearful and terrifying to bloody savages than education and enlightenment.
Southern teachers want moral, financial support
The Nation (hat tip John K, SIOT -- Stop Islamization of Thailand)
Teachers in the deep South want to live a normal life just like their peers in other regions, a local leader said on National Teachers Day yesterday.
"We wish we did not have to worry about our safety all the time," said Boonsom Thongsriprai, who heads the Federation of Southern Border Province Teachers.
He lamented that many teachers had been killed in the deep South over a period stretching back many years.
"I don't think there's anywhere else on Earth that is so dangerous for teachers," he said.
Boonsom said teachers in the far south want the government to end the unrest in their area.
"But as relevant authorities have failed to do so, they should at the very least do something to sustain the morale of teachers working in the deep South," Boonsom said.
Local teachers want the government to increase their monthly allowance for working in a dangerous area by Bt1,000, he said. "We made the request during the previous administration; a new government has come to power, but there has been no response to our demand."
At least 155 teachers have been killed in the southern border provinces since the [Islamic] insurgency flared more than seven years ago. Among the victims was young female teacher Juling Pongkanmoon, who was beaten to death in 2005.
Narathiwat Deputy Governor Pradit Sukhonthasawat yesterday handed out awards to outstanding teachers in the southern province.
In Bangkok, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra also presented awards to people who have made significant contributions to the country's education. The ceremony took place at the auditorium of the Teachers Council of Thailand.
Yingluck said her government was aware of teachers' importance and contributions to society.
"We want to help teachers focus on teaching and their other job responsibilities. That's why we have given attention to teachers' debt problems," she said.
Council secretary-general Ongkorn Amornsirinan urged the government to make education a national priority this year.
"Education should get priority because it's a tool to build the nation and the world," he said.